Thursday, February 04, 2010

Merton Full Council Meeting

Apart from the David Williams comment reported in my previous posting, the full Council meeting last night was one of the most successful for the Labour Party since 2006. We were successful in getting our parking motion passed in council which criticised the council's rise in parking charges last year for parking permits and visitor day permits. The Merton Park Residents', whose amendment we accepted and former Tory Councillor Angela Caldara supported our motion, and we won 31-28. This is an issue we'll be continuing to push in the run up to the election.

On the Tory Environment motion, we also managed to pass by 28-27 a Labour amendment to their motion. The amendment itself was proposed by former leader, Cllr Andrew Judge who pioneered the Merton Rule during his time as leader of the council.

Unfortunately, we lost the wheelie bin motion as the residents failed to support us on this issue. This is despite widespread support for our policy throughout the borough which has been shown through surveys conducted by the Council when Labour controlled and also by Mitcham and Morden MP Siobhain McDonagh. The Tories have refused to introduce them despite the clear evidence which shows how they would improve street cleanliness, stop bags being riped open by foxes which is a particular problem in my area, and also reduce litter. They have refused to consult on the issue of wheelie bins which is systematic of how they conduct consulation in Merton, certainly not 'Putting You First' which is the council strapline(and also from the last Tory manifesto). In boroughs where they have been introduced, it has made a real difference, and many of those boroughs have a higher recycling rate than Merton. This will be a Labour pledge in the forthcoming Merton election.

The council also passed unanimously a motion on the Holocaust Memorial Day. Having attended the service last Sunday at St Mary's Church Hall in Merton Park, it was a particular moving service as it was addressed by a Holocaust survivor. It is something we should never forgot along with other more recent genocides including Darfur, Rwanda and Bosnia and it is right the we commemorate it each year.

A petition was also submitted supporting the Waitrose proposal for a supermarket at the old B&Q site in Wimbledon. A few months ago, the leader David Williams and local councillor said "the views of residents don't matter" in opposing the proposal. On the Labour side we believe people's views do count and that a Waitrose would be a great bonus for Wimbledon, along with creating jobs in a site that is currently direlect. They are also just the type of business we should be encouraging and having one in Wimbledon would be a real bonus.


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