About Willow Lane Action Group (WAG)
The Willow Action Group (WAG) has been in operation since January 2003 and was formed by companies that operate from the estate to address common issues such as fly tipping, crime and the general decline in standards. During this period, significant improvements have been made to the Willow Lane Trading Estate, for the benefit of the companies and their employees who work here.
A survey of all the businesses on the estate was carried out by the Co-Ordinator soon after his appointment, to consult and identify any issues or problem areas. Objectives were set and the following positive results have been achieved as a direct result of the survey:
- Lobbied the council for the resurfacing of the entrance road onto the estate, costing £300k.
- Additional new Post Box installed by the estate exit
- New signage for the entrance to the estate
- Cleaning schedule for the roads around the estate was introduced, as well as trees pruned and waste bins installed
- Following a match funded grant from Made In London and a donation from LB Merton, CCTV was installed at a cost of £40k. The CCTV covers 60% of the main roads around the estate and this was to address some of the crime concerns identified in the survey. The CCTV system has a capacity for 16 cameras, currently we have 10 in operation which digitally record so that images can be used as evidence in a police prosecution. The camers at the entrance and exits to the estate also have number plate recognition which can assist in the detection of crime.
- Monthly newsletters are issued to all companies on the estate and other interested parties and are created with considerable Police input, making all businesses on the estate aware of current crime issues, as well as offering crime prevention advice to business premises.
The WAG Committee is proud to work in partnership with the local Police. Willow Lane Trading Estate is part of a Police reassurance ward that is covered by a dedicated team, comprising 1 Police Sergeant, 2 Police Officers and 3 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). These officers provide a visible presence around the estate as well as providing a strong, effective link between businesses situated on the trading estate and the local Police.
Maurice O’Connell, the WAG Co-Ordinator, is now the Chair of the Cricket Green Ward Safer Neighbourhood Committee, also as the representative for the Willow Lane Estate.
On behalf of the businesses on the estate, WAG has established contacts with the local Member of Parliament, The Mayor, Councillors, Council Officers, the Police, South London Partnership, Merton Chamber of Commerce, Sweltrac, Tramtrack and Transport for London.