Merton Council

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Always Listening

We’re always listening

We value what our residents and businesses think about the services we deliver. We use a variety of ways to engage with them and always listen and consider what they say.

Here’s a list of the number of ways in which we engage with residents and businesses in Merton:

Merton’s approach to using Twitter (Council amendment- 18 Nov)

Merton Council listens to residents and resolves to engage with their concerns in better ways than just Twitter #Mertonlistens

Council notes the significant investment Merton is making into listening and responding to our residents as part of the new Customer Contact Programme which is focused on offering our customers quick and easy access to information and services online, providing a more efficient and responsive service for residents.

Merton’s website is being redesigned so it is much easier for residents to “report”, “say”, “pay” and “apply” for Merton’s services. In addition, residents will be able to set up their own website “personal account” which will be personalised to their (or their households) interests, bringing together, into one place, all of their interactions with the council. As a result of this project, the council will:

  • be able to keep residents informed of the progress being made with their enquiry
  • have more time to spend with customers who need specialist, expert advice
  • waste less time responding to complaints or repeat requests for services

Council notes that Merton also listens to residents via regular consultations including the Annual Residents Survey, strategic and budget consultations, traffic and parking consultations and consultations via area forums. The council also offers a dedicated contact centre for telephone enquiries and the Love Clean Streets smart phone app to allow easier reporting of street scene issues.

Council further notes that local authorities have spent millions on social media since the start of the government's austerity programme. However social media networks, such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, may not always be the most efficient or effective method of interacting with residents and not all councils would want to spend precious resources employing officers specifically to monitor and respond to social media.  In a time of government cuts, councils such as Merton have endeavoured to focus spending on front line services, including refuse collection and social services, rather than on staff employed to monitor social media, and to invest in comprehensive online customer relationship management (CRM) solutions that can be used more effectively and efficiently to give a consistent service to residents without impacting on the frontline.

Council therefore agrees to continue to use Twitter where it is appropriate, but to direct residents to more effective and efficient methods which will ensure their issues are comprehensively addressed.

This page was last updated on Monday 7 November 2016

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