An ambitious plan to nurture civic pride, create a Borough of Sport and build a sustainable future for Merton has been drawn up by the council.
At a meeting on Monday 20 March, Cabinet agreed to approve the council plan, Building a Better Merton Together, which sets out the council’s ambitions up to 2026.
At its meeting on 19 April, full Council will be asked to adopt the plan, which is divided into three priority areas:
Nurturing Civic Pride
The council will support Merton’s fantastic charities and neighbourhood groups with a range of local projects through our Civic Pride Fund. We will also continue to support residents through the cost of living crisis in partnership with voluntary organisations and establish our award-winning libraries as community hubs on the high street. Another key priority is introducing a new waste and street cleaning service across the borough from 2025. We want to remain one of London’s safest boroughs and will roll out a £1m CCTV upgrade and implement a strategy to tackle and prevent violence against women and girls. We will also equip residents with the skills they need to find work or progress in their careers through adult education courses, continue to support businesses and draw up plan to revitalise Morden town centre.
Building a Sustainable Future
Increasing the supply of affordable and sustainable homes will include building 400 new homes – the first to be built on council land in a generation. The council will also oversee the ongoing regeneration of High Path, Eastfields and Ravensbury estates by Clarion. Empty properties will be used as accommodation and the council will take steps to improve living conditions for private tenants who live in shared homes.
Another priority will be to ensure that homes are as green as possible, with energy efficiency measures including retrofitting. This will help the council to reach net zero by 2030. Improving air quality will also be achieved by planting more trees and sustainable transport. There are plans to put 200 new electric charging points on lampposts and introduce e-scooters and e-bikes, particularly in areas which are not very well served by public transport. Active travel will also be encouraged – residents making more journeys by bike or on foot will also help to create a Borough of Sport.
Creating a Borough of Sport
Merton is synonymous with iconic sporting venues, including Mitcham Cricket Club, the All England Lawn Tennis Club and the Cherry Red Records Stadium in Plough Lane – home to AFC Wimbledon. We want these to help inspire residents to be more active and enjoy all the physical and mental health benefits that activity brings. We will be funding grassroots sport and refurbishing tennis courts and sports pitches. New, weekly activities will be offered to children aged between four and 16 and people aged 65 and over.
Council Leader, Councillor Ross Garrod said: “We have set out an ambitious agenda of how we will work hand in hand with residents, businesses, and our partner organisations during the next three years to build a better Merton together.
“We are focusing on three priorities – to nurture civic pride; to create a Borough of Sport and to build a sustainable future. We will be measuring our progress regularly against all three aims, as we want residents across the borough to be able to see and feel the positive changes that we will be making together to build a better Merton we can all take pride in.”