Held on 18 June 2022 – Colliers Wood Library

1. Welcome and introductions

Suzanne Gale, Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting in the library. This was a trial, holding the meeting on a Saturday morning, the library was available whereas St Joseph’s Church Hall and the Community Centre were not.

This was the first meeting for some time and the first face to face meeting for over two years.

2. Newly elected councillors – summary of plans Stuart Neaverson

Street cleaning and refuse collection was the number one issue both for local councillors and the new leader, Ross Garrard. Fly tipping reporting is being trialled here. Street cleaners have been reintroduced. Charles Baker, Waste Strategy and Commissioning Manager, would be visiting the ward on 12 July.

The two towers – The developer and planners continued to discuss the proposals.

More electric vehicle charging points were being introduced across the borough.

School streets zone outside Singlegate School delay was due to part of the road being owned by TfL. The council had got Leonie Cooper, London Assembly member for Wandsworth & Merton, involved.

Stuart has been appointed as Chair of the Sustainability Scrutiny Committee. He would be reviewing all areas with greater focus in more climate change.

Asked about TFL changes to the High Street, Stuart volunteered to find out what was happening. NB subsequently a link to the TfL consultation has been circulated on CW News & Views, this would also go out with the newsletter.

Caroline Cooper Marbiah was now Cabinet member for Sports and Heritage.

Caroline confirmed that she and fellow councillors had objected to the planning permission application for a larger replacement for the old telephone box in the High Street, which already causes an obstruction since the nursery and cafe railings encroached on the pavement.

Sporadic speed checks would be continued along Robinson Road. Residents were worried about other areas should let her know.

Libraries were diversifying, for example, with banking services. Caroline mentioned the trial to extend library opening hours without incurring staffing costs. It had proved tricky for people to get in, and there was a review currently looking at whether all the levels of security were necessary. Suzanne pointed out that it would be helpful if information could be fed through to the Association before a project starts, that way complaints could be pre-empted. Caroline would ask Anthony Hopkins,

Head of Library, Adult Education and Heritage Services, to attend to a Residents’ Association meeting.

Laxmi Attawar mentioned that there would be drop in advice sessions across the three main libraries to advise people who do not pay council tax by direct debit how to reclaim £150.

She also confirmed that the Street champion role would be resurrected soon.

Wandle Park – Laxmi had written to the Head of Safer Merton to enquire about Park rangers. She felt lights would be give a false sense of security and encourage more people into the park. Laxmi reminded people that it is not advisable to take short cuts at night.

College Road Bins – 6 people had responded to the consultation: 2 people opted for sacks 4 wanted to keep the bins. The resident who had raised the issue said that the results had not been fed back to residents. There was still a problem with bins on the road. Councillors agreed to find out what was happening.

MertonVision – would be moving out in September and work starts on the new Health Centre on 11 November. Tom S asked if there was a traffic plan for Clarendon Road when work starts.

Significant improvements were planned for the Recreation Ground were planned. The paddling pool was being renovated and a bee friendly bed would be planted up over the summer.

3. Local police (Colliers Wood Safer Neighbourhood) update

Two neighbourhood police officers, PC Ingrid Barbosa and PC Lewis Clarke, were welcomed to meeting. PCSO Dave Russell makes up the team.

The neighbourhood team can be contacted on collierswood@met.police.uk or via mobile phone 077681 78370 where you can speak to them or leave a message. For emergencies please call 999.

There are opportunities to join their community online sessions every Weds 5 -6pm. The Ward Panel, which links our community and the police, is chaired by Fiona Sydney and meets three times a year. If you are interested in joining the Ward panel or joining their mailing list, please email the Colliers Wood Safer Neighbourhood team directly.

4. Green Spaces update

Greenhouse – Christchurch Community Garden had identified a small space which could be used for a polytunnel or greenhouse. Only one greenhouse on the market was small enough to fit the space,it cost £800. The group wanted permission to ask Phil to run a crowdfunder and use some of their budget. Residents suggested other sources of funding, which may need to be applied for via Sustainable Merton as a charity. Tom Searle, Treasurer, believed that the Association itself could offer some funding.

Margaret gave an update on ongoing Green spaces activities: River cleaning, Gardening, litter picking continued. The group had taken a lot on and the numbers of people able to join in have dropped off since end of pandemic.

The National Trust have plans to work along Wandle, creating a green corridor. One micro project was at the Pickle Ditch “Pickle Park” They would be renovating the wall and planting up a little orchard. The Project Leader would be invited to the next meeting.

It was noted that the Acre Road planters needed a complete refresh.

5. Request for volunteers to help with running the Residents’ Association

Suzanne encouraged people to come forward – any skills for any amount of time would be very welcome. The Association would be particularly grateful for help with Website maintenance, Twitter and Instagram accounts

The newsletter has grown in subscriber numbers and items for the newsletter would also be welcome.

6.1 Any Other Business

6.2 Merton in Bloom would be happening this year.

6.3 Christmas Tree celebrations to be added to the agenda for the next meeting

6.4 The council would be launching a “Merton Local “ app to encourage people to use local businesses.

6.5 Suzanne recommended the Olio food app aimed at reducing food waste, it can be used to request or offer food.

7. Date & time of next meeting

In future (covid permitting) meetings will be quarterly and face to face. Saturday 24 September at 11am in the Colliers Wood Library