Coronavirus

Last updated: 29 May 2020

In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the health and wellbeing of our residents, staff and service users is our top priority. We are working hard to respond to the spread of the virus and to provide up to date information on council services as the situation develops.

On this page

Changes to council services

We have made the very difficult decision to change or close some of our services in line with government advice. We are working hard to provide vital services and to ensure our most vulnerable residents are supported.

Please use our website to access services if you can, instead of phoning us, as this gives us more capacity to speak to those who cannot access online services.

ServiceStatusLast updated
Deaf or hearing-impaired adultsOur drop in service is still open but not at the Civic Centre, please contact Mary Hicks 21 April 2020
Transport strategyWe have prepared an emergency transport response to the Coronavirus pandemic and to aid social distancing in the borough: see Transport Strategy7 May 2020
Planning enforcementEnforcement site visits are restricted. If you wish to report a planning breach please include as much detail and photographs if possible16 April 2020
CemeteriesWe have changed the opening hours for our cemeteries.24 April 2020
FuneralsChapel services are no longer available.
Attendees at grave side services are limited to 10 immediate family members.
26 May 2020
Adult social careCare services are running as normal.
Leyton Road Day Centre, All Saints Day Centre and Eastway Day Centre are closed.
Home-based care is still being provided as normal.
25 March 2020
Recycling and rubbishCollections are operating as normal.

Please put disposable paper masks in your general waste – not in your recycling – and tie the bag securely.

If you are self-isolating please see the guidance on putting out your rubbish and recycling for collection.

Visits to Garth Road reuse and recycling centre must be booked in advance.

Please do not leave items outside closed charity shops, or dispose of your household waste in bonfires or litter bins.

For further details and a PDF leaflet, see Coronavirus update: your rubbish and recycling service
11 May 2020
LibrariesLibrary branches are closed

We have introduced a temporary fine amnesty, automatic renewals and widened access to e-books and online resources.

Home visits library service is operating as normal to help support our vulnerable residents
25 March 2020
Civic centre, MordenClosed to the public
Alternative arrangements are in place for residents who require face to face services and we will provide further updates with details as soon as possible.
25 March 2020
Register a deathIf a death occurs in Merton please telephone 020 8274 5777 for an appointment. Please do not come to the office as all registrations will be conducted over the telephone.6 April 2020
ParkingEnforcement: We are doing everything possible to support NHS workers, care workers, NHS volunteers and Merton Voluntary Service Council (MVSC) volunteers who are working incredibly hard to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pay and display parking is suspended in bays near Wimbledon Common up to and including 28 April. Normal parking arrangements will be restored from 29 April.

Visitor scratchcard permits are temporarily unavailable, but visitor e-permits are still available.
14 May 2020
Road maintenanceWe have re-programmed our road maintenance works to minimise disruption to residential streets and focus on essential road works to keep the borough moving.20 April 2020
Wimbledon town centre improvementsPublic realm enhancements at Wimbledon Theatre and St Marks Place will start in the summer (pending any further changes due to Covid19).20 April 2020
Parks and green spacesPlease remain at least 2 metres apart from others at all times.

No barbecues in our parks. Please enjoy your food at home. Barbecues are temporarily banned in all of our parks until further notice.

Help us to keep everyone safe in our parks. 

Please keep your dog under control at all times and on a lead if necessary. Read our guidance on using parks safely.

All car parks in parks are now open.

Playgrounds and outdoor gyms in parks are temporarily closed.

Wimbledon Park: all enclosed areas have temporary been closed off for public safety
14 May 2020
EventsA number of events in our parks have been cancelled, including Rough-Runner and the Wimbledon Park Easter funfair, whilst others have been postponed. Please check with the event organiser using contact details on our events calendar.25 March 2020
ConsultationsConsultations about controlled parking zones, traffic and road safety schemes, and Morden regeneration have been suspended.20 April 2020
SchoolsClosed except to certain children as per government guidelines25 March 2020
Children’s centresChurch Road, Acacia, Steers Mead, Newminster and Lower Morden are open for health and midwifery services only.25 March 2020
School admissionsOperating as normal25 March 2020
Adult learning coursesFace to face learning has been suspended. Online courses are still available. You can also register an expression of interest for future courses.1 May 2020
Leisure centres and gymsClosed25 March 2020
Council meetingsCancelled until the end of April25 March 2020
Planning applicationsWe are continuing to register validate and consider planning applications which will be consulted on by letter.

Committee meetings will be taking place virtually.

A virtual  planning committee is planned for 14 May

More applications are being decided by senior officers temporarily.

Site visits are not taking place unless essential, and we are requesting photographic evidence instead.
21 April 2020
Hate crime advice surgeryCancelled until further notice.
Reporting services are still available.
25 March 2020
Domestic abuse one-stop shopSuspended. Other support services are still available.25 March 2020
Register officeMorden Park House is only accessible by appointment.

Weddings until the end of April have been cancelled.

We have suspended all citizenship ceremonies.
25 March 2020

What you need to do

Follow the guidance from the Government to protect yourself and others.

How to help your community

It’s important that we look out for the most vulnerable residents in the borough. Some of those who are most at risk will require some practical assistance so, if you are willing and able to help, here are some steps you can take to support those in need.

Help for residents

Employment and training

Financial support

  • Council Tax Support – You may be eligible if your income has been affected by COVID-19.
  • Local Welfare Support Scheme – We have a limited fund to support the most vulnerable Merton residents with short term severe financial difficulties.
  • Turn2Us – A national charity helping people when times get tough.

Families of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Young people

British Sign Language (BSL) users

Help for businesses and self-employed

Business Rates discounts

Grants and funding

  • Coronavirus grants for small businesses in receipt of small business rate relief
  • Coronavirus grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
  • Coronavirus discretionary business grants
  • Crowdfunder UK – Pay it Forward are offering 100% free crowd-funding for businesses, sports and social clubs throughout the crisis (i.e. you won’t pay any fees). They’ve also partnered up with Enterprise Nation, who will be providing access to free training and support for business with online sales, marketing and finance
  • Sport England – Community Emergency Fund is targeted at organisations, including those not currently supported by Sport England, who have a role in supporting the nation to be active. Grants of between £300 and £10,000 are available.
  • Arts Council England has announced a cash injection to help artists, venues and freelancers in the cultural sector, including individuals and organisations.
  • Spotify is working on a tool that will allow artists to fundraise on their Spotify artist profile pages. Artists can sign up to receive more info when it’s available.
  • Help Musicians has created a £5m Coronavirus Hardship Fund to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians (individuals) may be facing.
  • The Society of Authors – Authors Emergency Fund – Applications are open to all types of writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others for whom author-related activities make up a substantial amount of their annual income.
  • Newable is offering free business support to small businesses in Merton.

Advice, information, guidance and support

  • Job Centre Plus – Employer Help – Offers a range of advice to help businesses overcome challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Not Fur’ Long – A group of advertising professionals – from some of the best agencies in London – who’ve been furloughed are offering strategic and creative support, for a time-limeted period, to help keep small businesses alive and thriving.
  • Tutti – A portal for the creative industries including a list of free resources for freelancers.
  • Music-making services SoundBetterSoundtrap and Anchor’s Listener Support are offering discounts at the moment.
  • Culture at Risk – Businesses in the cultural sector, creative industries or night-time economy in London, can register their details for support, guidance and resources.
  • Information from central government
  • National Careers Service  run Skills Health checks of existing workforce, provide recommendations and support to Employers for future recruitment or training, including the provision of online learning.
  • The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is working with Merton DWP partner Reed in Partnership – as well as other national agencies – to connect community recruitment support that will enable employers access the local candidates to quickly fill vacancies.

More local business support

If you are a Merton-based business and you have an issue relating to coronavirus, please contact us via our Coronavirus Business Support form and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Financial support from central government

Find coronavirus financial support for your business

The Government Business Support website lists the full range of business support measures available to UK businesses and employees, including:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • Statutory Sick Pay relief for small and medium sized businesses
  • Business Rates holiday for retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • HMRC Time To Pay scheme

Other information from central government

Help for voluntary organisations

Support is available for civil society groups affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for voluntary organisations

Help for arts and culture

If you are an arts organisation, business or individual working in the cultural sector, creative industries or night-time economy in London, please visit the Mayor of London’s Culture at Risk page to register your details for support, guidance and resources.

Support for care homes – our response to Government

On 29 May 2020, in response to a request from the Government’s Minister for Care, the Council was asked to publish a full outline of the support provided to care homes during the pandemic. The outline response to the Government is below.

Letter to Minister of State for Care 29 May 2020 (PDF)