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January 2015

Dear friend,


Hello again, and Happy New Year! Welcome back to more on the latest news and events here in Mitcham and Morden as 2015 gets under way.


This will be an exciting year with less than 4 months to go until the General Election.  As expected there will be loads happening and this is the first of a series of newsletters that will keep you up to date and let you know what’s going on in the constituency.


Christmas Tree Collection


Merton Council is once again collecting Christmas trees for composting.  This popular local service was started many years ago by Labour.  They will collect real trees for free up until 25th January 2015.  In order to have your tree collected just remove the decorations and place it at the front of your property where it can be clearly seen from the road, but not on the pavement. If your tree has not been collected by the 26th January then you can let Merton know by completing the missed collection form or calling the refuse team on 020 8274 4902.


If you have transport and prefer to do so you can take your Christmas tree to the Garth Road Refuse and Recycling Centre, and place it in the green waste for composting.


You can also use the missed collection form throughout the year if your household rubbish or recycling is not collected on the day it should be.


Problems with street cleaning and fly-tipping


Over recent weeks there have been problems with the street sweeping in parts of Mitcham and Morden.  If your street has not been swept or you are concerned about the amount of litter or fly-tipping in your road you can call the street sweeping team on 020 8274 4902 to report the problem.  There is also an ‘app’ you can download if you have a ‘smart’ phone.  It’s called Love Clean Streets and is free to download onto your phone.  If we keep up the pressure we will see cleaner streets for our community.


Time for Wheelie Bins in Merton?


Are you as fed-up as I am with seeing burst black bags on our streets, and rubbish strewn across the pavements? I speak to residents on a daily basis who tell me that they are sick of seeing some of our streets in such a dirty state, and I agree with them.


That is why I am going to work with Merton’s Labour Council to try and introduce Wheelie Bins across the borough. This will not be easy since the government have already forced the Council to make over £70 million worth of savings since 2010, with a further £32 million of cuts on the way. But working with other local councils across South London I think we can make this work.


I am going to be hosting a coffee morning with Leader of the Council Stephen Alambritis on Saturday 31st January at 10.30am-11.30am.  Please come along to the Lavender Steers Mead Children’s Centre, Lavender Avenue, Mitcham, CR4 3HL (see map here).  Many people have strong and differing opinions and I know Stephen Alambritis wants to hear them all so please come along and let us know what you think.


Employment and Training Opportunities


Circle Housing Merton Priory is offering a range of free courses and training to all Merton residents through their Routes2Work Programme.


Since 2012 Routes2Work has supported over 250 people into employment and apprenticeships, 840 into further education, and the start-up of 70 small businesses


The courses on offer include Construction, Customer Service, Health and Social Care, Security and Starting Your Own Business.  They also run a Job Club.  Take a look at their website – there are plenty of exciting free opportunities.  On their website it’s easy to register your interest for the courses on offer.


John Edmonds, co-author of Man-Made, to give an exclusive preview talk!


On Thursday 22nd January John Edmonds, former General Secretary of the GMB Union for 13 years, will be giving a free talk on the topic of his forthcoming book Man-Made, co-authored with Eva Tutchell.


The book, to be published in March 2015, looks to explain why so few women hold positions of power in Britain.  It is based on interviews with over one-hundred successful women.


In John’s own words, “the book is called Man-Made because men have made the rules in our country and women must do their best to fit in”.


The talk will take place on Thursday 22nd January at 8pm at Merton Vision, 67 Clarendon Road, Colliers Wood, London, SW19 2DX (see map here). Please do come along and join what promises to be a fascinating evening of discussion on a very important and emotive issue.


Are you paying too much for your cable TV and internet?


I have been contacted by a local resident who for many years has had her TV and internet service provided by Virgin Media.  Her contract was originally taken out with ‘Telewest’ so the TV decoder box and modem were old so she called Virgin to see if she could have new equipment only to discover that she has been overpaying by £15 per month for years.  Apparently Virgin Media don’t seem to tell you if you could be on a better deal!  If you are a long standing customer it may be worth contacting Virgin Media on 0800 953 9500 to see if they can offer you a cheaper deal.


AFC Wimbledon


AFC Wimbledon have submitted their planning application to Merton for a new stadium close to their roots on Plough Lane.  You can see more about their plans on their website -  Take a look.  I have written to the Council supporting the application because I believe their return to the borough will benefit the wider community in Merton.


2015 Community Calendars


You may well have received my 2015 Community Calendar in the last couple of months. I hope you will find it helpful and will enjoy seeing some of the great community organisations and volunteers that make Mitcham and Morden such a wonderful place to live.


If you didn’t get one and you would like one, or even if you did get one and would like another – I have plenty of spares in my Morden office (1 Crown Road, Morden, SM4 5DD map).  Please pop in one day and pick one up for you or your family if you would like one.  The office is open every day from 10am-6pm so there will always be a friendly face whether you are coming in for a calendar or for any other reason.



Thanks for all you do to make Mitcham and Morden such a strong community – and remember if there’s anything you want included in next month’s email please get in touch – you can email me at


My very best wishes,