London Borough of Merton to bring street-cleaning back in-house from 2025

The London Borough of Merton will bring street-cleaning services back in-house from 2025 following extensive consultation with residents.

The council’s Cabinet decided tonight (Feb 20) that work would now start on building an in-house function to start in April 2025, after determining that the council needed “full control and flexibility” over service delivery in the future.

Bin collections will continue to be contracted out, with a new supplier contract starting in 2025 at the same time as the new street-cleaning service.

The decision follows a six-week consultation in October and November 2022, in which 2,500 residents gave their views. Following this, the council spent three months assessing different business model options against resident priorities.

Ross Garrod, Leader of the London Borough of Merton, said: “Our top priority is generating pride in the borough; clean streets is essential to that, and analysis of the options shows it’s the best way to deliver the further improvements we want.

“We’ve made significant improvements in the past year, including overnight cleaning and investing into the new street sweeping equipment, but we want to push on from there.

“This is yet another tangible step towards our ambitions of nurturing civic pride, building a sustainable future, and creating a borough of sport.”

Natasha Irons, Cabinet Member for Local Environment, Green Spaces & Climate Change, added:

“By making these changes to our services, we’re aiming to re-build a waste service that’s based on the needs of our community, that meets the environmental challenges we face; and that keeps Merton clean.

“More than two and a half thousand residents responded to our consultation ahead of this decision, and we want to thank everyone who took part.

“We’ve been listening to those views, and in the next few months, we’ll be improving collections from flats above shops and piloting our new mobile recycling centre which will bring the services we offer at Garth Road closer to you.”

The news follows on from the Cabinet decision in October 2022 not to renew its existing contract with Veolia (ES) UK Ltd when it expires in March 2025.

The contract, managed through the South London Waste Partnership comprising Merton, Kingston, Croydon and Sutton, currently delivers both services.