Below is our proposed amendment to the Merton Borough Council budget.
This will be presented at the Budget Council Meeting being held on Wednesday 2nd March 22.
AMENDMENT – AGENDA ITEM 4.
Amend recommendation 1A by adding the following wording: “subject to the following amendment:
i) The application of £500,000.00 from the Outstanding Council Programme Board Reserve to create a £250,000.00 Community and High Street Safety Recovery Fund to be spent on funding for items such as park lighting, green walls, city trees and town centre planting. In addition, the creation of a £250,000.00 Youth and Children Recovery Fund to be spent on funding for community organisations such as for Merton Music Foundation, Little Leagues, Deen City Farm, children’s sport programmes and youth club funding.
ii) Remove saving ENV2022-23 03 Deen City Farm – reduction in budget by 50% from the Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy.
After Recommendation 1F to add:
The Council encourages the Cabinet to embrace a new ambitious vision for Merton that addresses the recovery from the pandemic and future challenges:
- To continue to provide funding for the Community and High Street Safety Recovery Fund and the Youth and Children Recovery Fund;
- To confirm that the Emission Based Parking Charges will not be implemented in the 2022-26 municipal period;
- That it is a clear record that only the Conservative group opposed the introduction of the Future Wimbledon Masterplan and Local Plan which has led to increased height development in Merton such as at St George’s East which broke the council’s own development policies. Therefore council calls upon cabinet to develop new planning policy that local residents can have confidence in;
- To prioritise and ensure the successful management of regeneration opportunities and projects in Morden, Mitcham and Wimbledon, for town centres, green spaces and housing;
- To look into establishing a scheme to incentivise and lessen the financial and administrative license burdens for the operation of pop-up and street market offerings, including considering the suspension of street licence charges for a period;
- Increase support for apprenticeships and encourage businesses to hire new apprentices by actively promoting government apprenticeship support schemes;
- Investing in greener, low carbon and well-designed community infrastructure to improve amenity, green spaces, wellbeing and air quality within the borough;
- Ensuring the council prioritises sustainable travel and safe cycling by recognising the need for low carbon provision in future development plans;
- Invest in innovative technology-based solutions to combat the climate emergency and the pollution crisis in Merton, such as green walls and city trees, and also increase funding and take opportunities within new developments to deliver significantly higher levels of tree planting across the borough;
- Accelerate the introduction of electric transport infrastructure (including fast charging) for residents and those visiting the town centres;
- Invest in children’s active sport and fitness and consider opportunities for further use of the borough’s greenspace to achieve this goal;
- Focus on children’s wellbeing and mental health impacts caused by the Covid19 pandemic and work towards preventative mental health schemes available for all children in Merton;
And a review of strategic objectives by:
- Ensuring that the financial strategy is explicit about how it supports strategic priorities vs balancing the council’s budget to ensure that resources are in the right place to exploit the opportunities, and meet needs;
- Developing a clear narrative that describes strategic vision to create clarity for planning across the departments;
- Constantly reviewing risk appetite to ensure opportunities that can deliver a transformative council with a wider range of benefits are not missed.”