Residents AIM high in a bid to improve Merton


Abbey Ward kicks off this year’s first Action in Merton scheme to great success.

By Walaa Khubieh

Merton residents’ concerns were targeted at the launch of this year’s ‘Action in Merton’ (AIM) event in Wimbledon’s Abbey Ward on Saturday.

AIM, an initiative run by Merton Council and partners including Merton Priory Homes, the Metropolitan Police and Sutton and Merton NHS, saw the first of five planned events take place on the High Path Estate.

Representatives from each institution worked collaboratively to ensure that residents were made aware of the different services available to them.

Environmental Regeneration Community Engagement Manager Pat Dejesus said: “This is a series of activities to address local concerns.

“It makes residents realise that there is someone they can talk to. We are not just sitting in a big ivory tower not caring what’s happening in the outside world.”

The AIM team visited the site, chosen from a shortlist by residents at the Wimbledon community forum, the week before to identify what action needed to be taken.

They painted over graffiti and remarked faded yellow lines on roads on Friday 21 May. Merton Abbey School students also helped with litter picking.

Residents in the area were invited to meet the team and discuss any concerns between 10am-2pm the next day.

Abbey Ward Councillor Andrew Judge said:  “Today is about demonstrating to local people what is going on.

“Very often people are busy and they don’t know who’s out there are what resources are available that will help them with any issues they have.”

Residents were encouraged to have their blood pressure and cholesterol tested by the primary care trust.

Pet owners were also invited to let the RSPCA, who were also at the site, install chips into their dogs.

Enyi Njoku, Merton Priory Homes Neighbourhood Wardens Supervisor, said: “We want to know who owns the dogs on this estate and dog chipping is a way of encouraging responsible dog ownership.

“Our presence here puts a face to all these services and allows people to talk to us face-to-face rather than phoning up.”

One resident, who had recently moved into the estate with her 8-year-old daughter, said: “This is a great way to get to know people from the community and to know what services are available if I ever need help.”

Mr Njoku said the main themes that were brought up by residents on Saturday were environmental and anti-social behaviour issues.

“This is one of the safest estates in Merton but what you may find in most estates is that there are still problems,” he explained.

Ms Dejesus said: “We are not labelling the estate and calling it grotty. We just want to give the residents here that little bit extra that we think they deserve.”

She added: “Everyone’s been really supportive and pleased to see us here.”

Further AIM events will take place throughout Merton including Morden’s Canterbury Road on 17-18 June and Shannon’s Corner in Raynes Park on 22-23 July.





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