Chairman's Blog - May 2014


Merton goes to the polls again on 22nd May to elect Councillors for the next four years. London Borough Councils cover the whole range of public services, including education, social services, and housing, as well as transport, planning, and rubbish collection. So it’s very important that we get people who are genuinely interested in representing the wishes and needs of local residents 

Back in the 1950’s our Residents’ Association used to put up candidates for the Council, and we had our own distinct rosettes and election colour. These days are long gone. We are now strictly a non- party political organisation, and will not endorse any particular candidate. 

All we would say is that you should vote, since it’s important; and you should choose the people who will, you think, best represent your interests as a local resident.  


We have written to the Chief Executive and the Director of Planning in Merton protesting at the continued delay by Bellway to find a tenant for the sports ground at the former LESSA ground, and urging them to take action.  The planning inspector only gave permission for housing to be built on this land, which had been laid out and used for sporting purposes for very many years, on the basis that the rest of the ground should be retainedfor use for football, cricket, and rugby for children under 14.  If the land were leased by a private school or club, it was to be made available to the general public for certain periods. 

The housing has been completed and occupied for some years now, and the tennis club has relocated there since last year. 

We understand that Bellway have turned down expressions of interest from suitable schools and clubs, and they have given no explanation as to why they have not proceeded to let the land, as was always intended.   

The land only has planning permission for this purpose. 

We deplore the fact that the public has been deprived of the benefit of using the ground, when there is such a shortage of pitches available locally. We regard the failure to complete a lease as a blatant failure to observe the terms of the planning consent. 


You can now access thousands of photographs covering 150 years of Merton’s history through a project launched by the Library Service, and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The photos belong to the Merton Library and Heritage Service, and have been scanned and catalogued by a number of voluntary groups so that they are freelyavailable on the internet. To find out more, go to 


Yes, it’s that time of year again when our hard working team of road stewards will be asking for you to renew your subscriptions as Members of the Association for the coming year. The price has been retained at £3 a household, which enables us to pay for the costs involved in carrying on the work of the Association, and to produce the Guide each month. 

Everyone who works for the Association is a volunteer, and none of us receives any funds out of your subscriptions. 

We hope you agree that the cost is well spent, and that you will rejoin again. Thank you for your support. 

John Elvidge 

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