Chance for the community to talk
Colliers Wood residents will get chance to talk about how they were affected by the local disturbances on Monday (August 8) at a special meeting.
Keith Spears, Chair of the Colliers Wood Residents Association and founder of Making Colliers Wood Happy group, has organised the meeting at the Community Centre in the High Street from 2.30pm-4.30pm on Saturday (August 13).
He has met with Siobhain McDonagh, Mitcham and Morden MP, Merton Council leader Stephen Alambritis and local councillors Nick Draper and Laxmi Attawar.
The group surveyed the damage at the Tandem Centre and after speaking to store managers, staff and the police, decided there was a need to reassure local residents about what was being done to protect the community.
Saturday's meeting will discuss how people were affected by the unrest as well as what the community can do to prevent it happening again.
Mr Spears said: "I hope that local people, local businesses and leaders of all of our community groups will come along and use this opportunity to make a positive contribution to making Colliers Wood a better place for all of us to live and work in."
Meanwhile local police, fire officers and council employees have been praised for their round-the-clock work in keeping residents safe. The fire crews dealt with 26 incidents in Merton on Monday night.
Central to the police response were council employees in Merton's transport team. Drivers were drafted in to transport police officers around the borough to wherever they needed. The council contributed five of its minibuses (see left) to help with police operations and supplied extra CCTV coverage.
Merton Council Leader Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: "I want to thank the many brave officers in the emergency services and our own council officers who have provided the police with transport. We have also seen council employees involved in the clean-up operations following the outbreaks of violence.
"In addition to those on the front line, I know there are council staff who have been working tirelessly to ensure that, if necessary, we were able to look after the more vulnerable in our community.
"I want to reassure residents that we are continuing to be vigilant and have put in place plans to deal with any more trouble should it arise.
"It is worth remembering that the violence we have seen on the television is being perpetrated by a minority of people who are out for their own personal gain and to cause trouble. There is no excuse for it and it is totally unacceptable.
"With our partners at Merton Chamber of Commerce, we have been in regular contact with our businesses who have taken the brunt of the violence. They have taken action to protect their premises, knowing that the police are there to support them."
The council are publishing updates on their Emergency Planning Page. They are asking if anyone hears anything about future disturbances or any hear rumours about possible future incidents, to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photograph above shows (left to right): Bernard Frost, Leader Councillor Stephen Alambritis, Stan Parker, Merton Police Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Dick Wolfenden, Ian Hand and Francis Spear.
August 11, 2011