Christmas and New Year Message from Merton Council
5:00am Saturday 28th December 2013 in News
We would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year from all the staff at Merton Council.
The past 12 months have been financially challenging for many of you and for us. Changes in our funding have meant we must continually review how we deliver our services.
Many of you have played a key role in ensuring we deliver excellent services, including our award-winning libraries, the dignity in care scheme and the new Citizens Advice Bureau information centres, to name a few.
Our work with residents who want to help their local communities and with the voluntary sector so ably led by Chris Frost, the Chief Executive of the Merton Voluntary Service Council, who we sadly lost earlier this year, has led in no small part to our winning a national local government industry award, the MJ Best Achieving Council, Merton is a place to be proud of, with residents who care about where they live and our diverse communities.
It was great to see our very own Leisure Manager Christine Parsloe named Public Servant of the Year by the national Guardian newspaper in November.
The award recognised Christine’s work in making London 2012 happen in Merton and the Olympic legacy left as a result including Mitcham's BMX track, Wimbledon Park's two beach volleyball courts and how 116,000 children have tried out activities at our watersports centre since the Olympics.
Other sporting highlights from this year of course include Andy Murray’s brilliant win at the Wimbledon Championships, making him the first British man to be crowned champion in 77 years. His victory set the borough alive with a fantastic atmosphere especially in Wimbledon town centre where a new spectators' area was set up at the Piazza by Love Wimbledon.Next summer, we will have the Wimbledon Championships to look to forward to again as Murray fights to retain his title, as well as the Prudential Ride London cycling festival which will come through our streets of Wimbledon and Raynes Park in August.
Our town centres have had an exciting year too. Plans are set in place to Rediscover Mitcham and we’ll be seeing the benefits of the town centre’sredevelopment in 2014. We’ll also be involving you in our proposals for Mordenand Colliers Wood town centres too.
It was great to celebrate our many businesses in Merton on Small Business Saturday earlier in December. Businesses and the residents’ associations made huge contributions to the Christmas celebrations in our town centres, which saw communities come together. This year we saw the launch of the Merton Business Loan Fund and the Merton Business Support Service which will provide our local businesses with great support and advice for years to come.
This year will certainly hold challenges for us. But there is plenty still to look forward to. 2014 promises improvements to our town centres, a range of top class events in the borough throughout the year, the launch of our heritage project Merton Memories, increased library opening hours and to top that all off, Wimbledon Library is set to start 2014 looking great following the refurbishment it is undergoing. We also have our fingers crossed that our bid for mini-Hollands funding in the borough will be successful, which will help to massively improve cycling facilities in Merton.
We would like to thank all those residents and businesses who have been in touch with us about our services this year. We value all compliments and complaints and take them into consideration when making the decisions which affect you in the borough.
Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis Chief Executive of Merton Council Ged Curran
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