Residents' survey shows people more worried about litter than crime
The biggest concern of residents in Merton remains litter and dirt in the streets, according to the borough council's annual residents' survey.
More than 1,000 people were surveyed for the 2014 report, with 34% including it as one of their top three issues of concern. This compares with 30% in the previous year.
The second level of concern as crime, with 28% of respondents naming this area as one of their three main issues. This was a fall of 2% on the previous year.
Concern about litter is more of a worry to Merton residents than people living elsewhere in London, according to similar surveys carried out across the capital. Across London, it was one of the top three concerns of 30% of those asked.
Councillor Oonagh Moulton, Leader of Merton Conservative Group said: "Labour are failing in their duty to keep our streets clean and tidy.
"Their decisions to slash the street cleaning budget, close Weir Road, scrap the free garden waste service and get rid of road sweeping on the same day as rubbish collections have resulted in a 10% increase in concern about dirty streets over the last two years. Over a third of Merton residents now cite this as their top concern – the highest level for a decade."
Merton Council points out that the survey shows more residents than ever before think the council is efficient and well run (72%) and gives good value for money (57%).
The number of people who say the level of council tax is in their top three concerns is at all all-time low. Library users have also given Merton all-time high satisfaction levels, at 82%. And 78% of respondents think the borough's parks, playgrounds and open spaces are 'good to excellent' - the highest rating since tracking began in 1995.
The survey of young people shows they have similar concerns to adults. Eighty-nine % of young people agreed that Merton is a good place to live and most young people feel they get the services they need from the council and that the council does enough to protect them. The effects of people littering is their top concern too.
Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: "What residents are telling us reflects our determination to run the council in a businesslike way, and to keep council tax down. People recognise we are having to make tough choices in order to offer good value, and we have announced proposals to freeze Council Tax for a record fifth year.
"We face ever-tightening financial constraints but despite the huge cuts already imposed we have continued to improve. We will step up our fight against those few people who drop litter and spoil our great borough for the majority. We will strengthen enforcement and work with community groups and schools to keep the streets clean."January 13, 2015