London Borough of Merton
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Created||1 April 1965|
|Admin HQ||Civic Centre|
|• Type||London borough council|
|• Body||Merton London Borough Council|
|• Leadership||Ross Garrod (Labour)|
|• Mayor||Joan Henry|
|• London Assembly||Leonie Cooper (Lab) AM for Merton and Wandsworth|
|• MPs||Stephen Hammond (Conservative) |
Siobhain McDonagh (Lab)
|• Total||14.52 sq mi (37.61 km2)|
|• Rank||287th (of 314)|
|• Rank||85th (of 314)|
|• Density||15,000/sq mi (5,700/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC (GMT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
The London Borough of Merton (/ /(listen)) is a borough in Southwest London, England.
The borough was formed under the London Government Act 1963 in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Mitcham, the Municipal Borough of Wimbledon and the Merton and Morden Urban District, all formerly within Surrey. The main commercial centres in Merton are Mitcham, Morden and Wimbledon, of which Wimbledon is the largest. Other smaller centres include Raynes Park, Colliers Wood, South Wimbledon, Wimbledon Park and Tooting Broadway. The borough is the host of the Wimbledon tournament, one of tennis's Grand Slam competitions.
The borough derives its name from the historic parish of Merton which was centred on the area now known as South Wimbledon. Merton was chosen as an acceptable compromise, following a dispute between Wimbledon and Mitcham over the new borough's name. The local authority is Merton London Borough Council, which is based in Morden.
For detailed histories of the four historic parishes covered by the borough, see Merton, Mitcham, Morden, and Wimbledon. For history of the council's establishment, see Merton London Borough Council#History.
Main article: Merton London Borough Council
The May 2022 local government elections saw the Labour Party win an overall majority. The current council has a Labour majority and its composition is:
At the Annual Council Meeting, a ceremonial mayor is elected to serve for a year. At the same time, it elects a deputy mayor to serve alongside the mayor. The first female Mayor of Merton, Vera Maud Bonner, served from 1973 to 1974. Since 1978, each Mayor must also be an elected councillor. Gill Manley who is a councillor for Cricket Green ward is currently the Mayor.
A lot of filming for former ITV police drama The Bill took place in Merton, particularly in the districts of Mitcham and Colliers Wood. The set of Sun Hill police station was also located in the Borough. Ray Austin, born at 9 Abbey Rd Merton on the 5 December 1932, is an English television and film director, television writer, novelist and former stunt performer and actor who worked in both the United Kingdom and the United States. He filmed episodes of The Avengers and The Saint in and around Merton. He served as director on episodes of some 150 programs between 1968 and 2010.
The main local newspaper in Merton is the Wimbledon Times (recently changed name from Wimbledon Guardian). This newspaper was founded in 1977 by a former Conservative councillor on Merton Council, but since then the paper has been sold on and it is now widely published in different editions across South London. The newspaper is available free, though there is a charge if bought from a newsagent. It is published each Friday.
Notable businesses with their headquarters in Merton including:
Main article: List of schools in Merton
London's Poverty Profile (a 2017 report by Trust for London and the New Policy Institute) found that 40% of Merton's 19-year-olds lack level 3 qualifications. This is the 5th worst figure out of 32 London boroughs.
Merton is served by a wide range of National Rail stations across the borough, as well as the southern tip of London Underground's Northern line and the District line on the Wimbledon branch. The borough is also served by several Tramlink stops from Wimbledon, that goes to Croydon, New Addington, Elmers End and Beckenham. It is the only London Borough which has tube, rail and tram services.
London Underground stations
National Rail stations
In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: driving a car or van, 19.2% of all residents aged 16–74; underground, metro, light rail, tram, 13.0%; train, 13.0%; bus, minibus or coach, 7.5%; on foot, 5.0%; work mainly at or from home, 3.4%; bicycle, 2.4%.
Each year The Championships, Wimbledon, better known as simply Wimbledon, one of the four tennis Grand Slam tournaments (along with the US, French and Australian Opens) is held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Church Road Wimbledon. The event takes place over a fortnight at the end of June and beginning of July and is the largest annual sporting event to take place in the United Kingdom with over 200,000 visitors during the Wimbledon fortnight.
The borough gained a football team in 1889 when Wimbledon Old Centrals were founded, and were soon a member of the local football leagues. The club later adopted the title Wimbledon FC and moved into a new stadium at Plough Lane in 1912, where it would spend the next 79 years. As the 20th century wore on, the club enjoyed considerable success in non-league football. The club was elected to the Football League in 1977 and enjoyed a great run of success when began in 1983 with the Fourth Division title, and saw them reach the First Division in 1986 – a mere nine years after joining the Football League. They quickly established themselves in the highest division of English football, and as clear underdogs, pulled off a shock win in the 1988 FA Cup Final against Liverpool, England's most successful and dominant club side in Europe during that era. They were founder members of the FA Premier League in 1992 and survived at that level until 2000, before relocating to Milton Keynes, some 70 miles away in Buckinghamshire, in a controversial move in 2003, being rebranded as Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. The club had left its Plough Lane stadium in 1991 to ground-share with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, with numerous plans to build a new stadium in a number of different locations (including back in London and even in Dublin or Cardiff) being considered over the following decade before the club's owners chose Milton Keynes as their destination.
However, a new Wimbledon club – AFC Wimbledon – was formed to represent the local area in 2002 by fans of the original club after the move to Milton Keynes was given the go-ahead. The new Wimbledon club's progress was rapid, and after just nine years in existence they won promotion to the Football League in 2011. The club gained permission in 2016 it to build a new stadium back on Plough Lane, using the former Greyhound Stadium around a hundred yards from its old stadium site and still within in the London Borough of Merton. In 2018 the final agreements were signed off and demolition work started on the site (for both stadium and 600 flats) in April 2018. Building was completed for the 2020–21 season. The first competitive game in front of fans was played on 14 August 2021, a 3–3 draw against Bolton Wanderers.
The borough also has five non-League football clubs: Colliers Wood United F.C. who play at Wibbandune Sports Ground; Raynes Park Vale F.C. who play at Prince George's Fields; Tooting & Mitcham United F.C. who play at Imperial Fields, Morden; and Merton Forest F.C who also play at Prince George's Fields and a Celebrity Fundraising Football team – Celeb FC who play all over the UK without charge for small UK charities.
The Talkback Thames television studio on Deer Park Road was used as Sun Hill Police Station in the ITV police drama The Bill from its inception in 1984 until it was axed in 2010.
The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Merton.