Crime Is Top Worry For Merton Residents

Results for borough's annual survey revealed

Crime is still the top concern for residents in Merton, according to the annual survey carried out by the council.

The 2010 survey saw more than 1,000 people interviewed and 37% of the respondents said crime was their main area of concern - this was a 1% fall on the 2009 survey.

The survey also revealed 48% of residents were worried about anti-social behaviour, but this dropped from 55% in 2009.

The results also showed 78% of residents think the council is doing a good job and most figures indicate locals are happier with how the council is addressing their main worries.

Satisfaction with the cleanliness of the streets has increased with 57% of the respondents rating street cleaning as good to excellent - a 7% increase on 2009. But cleaner streets remain one of the top four areas of concern for Merton's residents.

The survey has also seen a fall in residents' concerns about the level of council tax alongside a 10% increase in the number of people agreeing that the council provides value for money for the council tax they pay. However, the level of council tax is still the second biggest concern for people living in the borough.

Traffic congestion is another area that has seen small decreases in concern but is still third highest on the list for Merton's residents.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis (left), Merton Council leader, said: "It is encouraging to see residents' appreciation of our services going up in the majority of cases.

"It is also helpful for us to see areas of concern, especially where it is consistently expressed over a longer period of time like with traffic congestion, as this helps us focus our planning as much as possible to try and address these issues."

Councillor Debbie Shears, leader of Merton Conservative group, said: "These results are a clear justification of the policies pursued by the previous Conservative administration over the last four years. Under our leadership, overall resident satisfaction with the Council’s performance rose year on year.

"In particular, the 2010 survey shows increased levels of satisfaction on council tax, which we reduced by 1.4% last year; on educational standards, which have risen by almost 30% at GCSE since 2006, and on street cleaning, which we invested in whilst cracking down on litter and fly tipping.

"Four years ago we inherited a poorly performing borough from Labour. Under a Conservative council, residents’ satisfaction across the board improved.  We have left the minority Labour administration a strong legacy and we need to ensure they protect it."

To see the full results of the survey, in which 1,025 adults and 255 young people aged 11-17 were interviewed, go to:

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January 18, 2011