Cross-party group blasts Merton’s ‘poor service’ after Sunday street cleaning cutbacks

Scrapping Merton’s Sunday street cleaning in a bid to save council cash while forking out almost £130,0000 on environment enforcement officers is receiving fierce cross-party criticism.  

The cuts are part of a money-saving plan following the council’s £1.2million overspend in the environment and regeneration department last year.

Council representatives originally planned to reinstate the service in January however there’s no indication this will happen.

Mitcham and Morden has been a safe Labour seat since 1997, however the cuts may prove to be a point of contention following the results of a recent council survey in which residents placed street cleanliness as their top priority.

Member for environmental cleanliness and parking, Councillor Judy Saunders, said that the money spent on four environmental areas is a good deal for residents.

She explained: “We focus much of our resources on cleaning up on Friday and Saturday nights in town centres where the need is greatest.”

Conservative candidate Paul Holmes told South West Londoner that members of the public had contacted him regarding litter.

He said: “In the last two months or so the number of complaints I’ve had about littering and rubbish has rocketed.

“In my view Labour Merton Council are letting residents down with poor services.”

Liberal Democrat candidate Diana Coman said: “I think Mitcham and Morden have suffered from long term neglect on street cleaning.”

UKIP candidate Richard Hilton said he disagreed with the decision to cancel Sunday street cleans.

He said: “As I’ve been out across Colliers Wood, Pollards Hill and St Helier Wards in the last three weeks I’ve been horrified by the amount of litter around Merton and it seems to be getting worse.

“I’ve been picking litter up myself and there have been organised litter picks by groups of residents which are very welcome.”

Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh said: “Fly tipping is a London-wide problem. The issue needs tough fines and prosecution.”

Picture courtesy of Garrett Coakley, with thanks

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