Call For 24/7 Noise Patrols In Merton

Service now only operates on part-time basis

Local councillors are calling for action to step up the out-of-hours noise patrol operated by Merton Council.

In 2012, there were 2,467 complaints about noise in Merton, compared with 1,794 in Sutton, 1,578 in Kingston and 1,329 in Richmond.

The noise control service now operating in Merton runs from 11pm-4am on Fridays from June-early September and on Saturdays through the year - but not Christmas and New Year.

Conservative councillors calling for a 24/7 out-of-hours service took the matter to the council's cross-party Overview and Scrutiny Commission (OSC).

Councillor Suzanne Grocott said: "The clamour of residents complaining about noise nuisance in Merton is getting louder yet Labour still refuse to listen.

"Reports of unacceptable noise levels caused by inconsiderate neighbours or businesses have risen by a massive 45% since 2009 and that's just on the one night a week when the service is operational all year round."  

But the OSC deferred the decison on the possible implemention of a 24/7 noise patrol until April 2014. The council is currently investigating sharing a service with Croydon and Richmond councils and a report to the OSC said the progress is "protracted".

Councillor Grocott added: "Residents deserve to live in peace in their own homes. That means taking action against the perpetrators of noise nuisance not kicking the issue into the long grass."

But UKIP Councillor Suzanne Evans said the Tories should not be claiming credit for calling for the increase in anti-noise patrols.

She said: "I'm amazed the Tories are claiming credit for this when it was my initiative to suggest the Overview and Scrutiny Commission should investigate our current hopelessly inadequate out-of-hours noise patrol service and push for a 24/7 service residents could rely on. The Tories conspired to throw all Ukip and Merton Coalition Councillors off all scrutiny panels, so I had to ask for permission to address the Commission on this matter at the meeting and guess what? They tried to stop me speaking at all.

"The truth is, were it not for my presentation, I suspect the Tories would simply have nodded the report through and nothing further would have happened. Now they are trying to claim the credit." 

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October 4, 2013