Vote ahead at Merton council meeting
Conservative councillors are calling on key local assets to be officially protected for current and future generations.
The Localism Bill enables locally important community assets to be listed, meaning they can't be sold off for another use without the community being consulted and given the chance to buy them.
Conservative councillors in Merton point out that pubs including the Morden Tavern in St Helier, The Grove Tavern in South Wimbledon and the Emma Hamilton in Wimbledon Chase have recently been lost to residential and retail developments.
There were also reported fears for the future of Wimbledon Theatre car park and Wimbledon Library.
Now the Conservative group is calling on the council to actively encourage and support residents and community groups to come forward with proposals for key local assets which should be protected.
They are putting a motion forward at the next full council meeting on Thursday (September 11) which will call on the following:
• For the Council to actively encourage and support residents and community groups from across the borough to come forward with proposals for key local assets which should be protected.
• For greater transparency by enabling councillors from all parties, and members of the public, to take part in the discussion on whether to add these assets to a protected list.
• To take advantage of the government’s Localism Act by giving local residents and community groups extra time and support to put together a bid for an asset if the existing owner plans to sell it.
• That any future decisions by the Council to dispose of public assets should be taken by all councillors and not just a small group of them.
Councillor Henry Nelless (left), Merton Conservatives’ Community Engagement Spokesman said: "For too long Labour in Merton has been happy to let vibrant local assets that could have a bright future be sold off without caring what impact this would have on the local community. Conservatives want to give residents in Merton the chance to protect these assets and even take over running them."
September 6, 2013