London Borough of Merton proposes bringing street-cleaning back in-house

PROPOSALS by the council’s Cabinet to bring street cleaning services back in-house across the London Borough of Merton from 2025 will be put before councillors from all parties for their views next week.

Under the proposals, due for a final decision by Cabinet on February 20, the council would transfer all street-cleaning back to the authority, while going to the market to tender a new contract for waste and recycling kerbside collections. The new services would then go live from summer 2025.

The Cabinet recommendations will be put to councillors for their views at the next Sustainable Communities Scrutiny Panel, to be held on February 13.

The review of bin collections and street cleaning comes after the Cabinet decided in October last year that Merton would not be renewing its contract with Veolia ES (UK) Ltd for either service when the current arrangement runs out in March 2025.  

Veolia has been the council’s service provider since 2017, as part of the South London Waste Partnership between Croydon, Sutton, Kingston and Merton councils. 

The proposals follow a detailed resident consultation in October and November last year, during which 2,500 residents gave their views on what they want to see from waste services in the future. 

Following the consultation, the council has been formally analysing various different options for how street cleaning and collections could be delivered in the future, including in-house, re-contracting and setting up a Local Authority Trading Company. 

Councillors from all parties will be asked to give their initial feedback on the recommendations next week (February 13) at its Sustainable Communities Scrutiny Panel, with their comments going to Cabinet when it makes its final decision the following week. 

Read Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel papers