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Get involved in Merton

When you think of politics and democracy, what comes into your mind? Elections, voting, decisions, power, MPs, Councillors, laws, arguing, parties, citizens, debate …

How do you see yourself fitting into all this?

Almost everything is affected by decisions taken by politicians, but there is more to local democracy than meetings held in the Council Chamber. By making sure that politicians and other decision-makers know what you think about the things that affect you and your neighbourhood, you can influence what happens in your community. You can do this in a number of ways, from voting in local, London and national elections, to speaking up at community forum meetings, to challenging local decision-makers on their decisions.

In this section

So, how can you get involved?

  • Take part in council consultations: The council regularly consults local people about the services it provides. You can view a list of planned or current consultations or find out about previous consultations that have taken place. You can also view current and recent school consultations.
  • Register for Alerts: New consultations are published on our website on a regular basis. You can register to receive email alerts when new consultations are added that may be of interest to you.
  • Get in touch with your ward councillor: Each council ward has three councillors and your ward councillors can help you with any difficulties you are experiencing with local services. Find out who your local councillor is.
  • Attend your local Community Forums: You can get your voice heard and challenge local public services at your local Community Forum. The five Community Forums help people who live, work and learn in Merton make sure that the Council and other agencies in the borough know about their concerns and aspirations for their community.
  • Attend public meetings: You can attend local community or public meetings to find out about what’s new and share your views. You can attend many council meetings.and some Merton Partnership meetings.
  • Ask a question at the next council meeting: Residents and business rate payers are invited to put forward questions at full council. If you would like to submit a question, please send it to or call 020 8545 3616. Your question should be no longer than 50 words and must relate to a matter for which the council has a responsibility or which affects the borough.
  • Public Transport Liaison Committee: This is an annual public meeting with representatives from Transport for London. There is an opportunity to raise concerns about bus, train, tube and tram services in Merton.
  • Register to vote: Make sure you are able to vote. The annual voter registration canvass takes place in September and October. A form is delivered to every household so that you can confirm that the details are correct and update them if necessary. If you are new to the borough or have moved you can register at your new address at any time.
  • Become a councillor: You may want to represent your local community by standing for election as a Merton councillor yourself.
  • Take part in Local Democracy Week: Local Democracy Week takes place every October. We organise a series of events during the week to highlight the ways that local people can get involved in democracy and politics.
  • Get involved in scrutiny: The involvement of local residents, community organisations and partners is an important part of the scrutiny process and councillors are committed to responding to the views and concerns of residents. Getting involved in scrutiny is one of the best ways to influence the decisions made at the Council as councillors will hear your experiences first hand.
  • Healthwatch Merton: Have your say on health and social care services in the borough by contacting Healthwatch Merton.
  • Sustainable Communities Act: You could put forward new thinking on how to meet the challenges of sustainability and local wellbeing in your community and even submit your idea to the Government.
  • Merton Neighbourhood Watch Find out how you can be involved in neighbourhood watch schemes in your area.
  • Volunteering in Merton Find out about how to become a volunteer.
  • Speak on a planning application: Residents, applicants and agents can speak on planning applications considered by the Planning Applications Committee. Requests to speak at Planning Applications Committee must be made to the Development Control section by 12 Noon on the day before the meeting. Please phone 020 8545 3445 or 020 8545 3448, or email For more information see the Planning applications web page.
  • Speak at Licensing Sub-Committees: You can speak at licensing hearings if you are registered as a party to the hearing. See licensing pages or contact for more information.

This page was last updated on Monday 21 November 2016

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