Concern over littering in Merton as Conservatives condemn council’s policies


The latest Annual Residents Survey shows many residents are not satisfied.


By Ellie Pipe

Merton residents are concerned about the amount of rubbish on their streets, according to results from a recent survey.

The latest Annual Residents Survey has been termed by the Conservatives a damning indictment of Labour’s street cleaning and rubbish disposal record.

Results of the survey show a 6% increase since 2012 in levels of concern about street litter and cleanliness, while only 54% of residents rated the council’s street cleaning service as good, putting Merton below the London average.

Some business owners in the borough share the council’s view. Mr Bathia who owns the Junction Box Shop and Post Office on Wimbledon Broadway, describes the council’s cleaning services as diabolical.

He has resorted to cleaning the street outside his business himself, finding it littered with vomit and debris from the local takeaways, especially on weekends.

“It’s an amazing sight,” said Mr Bathia.

“The estate agent next door had spew all over the doorstep the other morning.”

Merton Conservative Group Leader Cllr Oonagh Moulton said that Labour claimed to be the party that cared about recycling and the cleanliness of the streets.

“Merton’s taxpayers are paying over the odds for Labour’s failing policies and they deserve better,” she said.

This dissatisfaction is not shared by all residents – Lauren Lowe works in Wimbledon and compares the cleanliness of the streets favourably to other parts of London.

“Wimbledon is pretty good,” she said.

“At least there are plenty of bins here whereas in other areas there are hardly any bins on the streets.”

The council also dispute the Conservatives claims, saying the figures are actually consistent with results over the last four years and higher than in 2009. They are working to improve the cleanliness of Merton’s streets and have published a new anti-litter code which includes a commitment to clean town centre streets every day and ensure bins are emptied regularly and fines enforced.

As part of the council’s initiative to make the reporting of litter easier, they will be rolling out new litter apps over the next few months and investing in solar powered ‘smart bins.’

Residents are the eyes and ears of Merton, and if there is a problem, we want to hear about it so we can to do our best to resolve it,” said Merton Council cabinet member for environmental cleanliness, Councillor Judy Saunders

We are proud that our staff and services received the Best Achieving Council award and we want to build on this success to make Merton even better. Please help us and get behind the code.”  

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