The Changing Places facilities at the new Morden Leisure Centre almost never happened.
The Labour run Merton Council Cabinet decided to remove the facilities that were promoted heavily in the planning application, see the 43 page Disabled Access Statement.16P0882 Disabled Access Statement
When this reversal was discovered on the 6th June 2018 many in the community set about to correct the selfish decision and allow our disabled community to have equal access to the borough’s new leisure facilities.
Central to campaigning was Merton CIL (Centre for Independent Living) who are a user-led disabled people’s organisation. A statement made by them at the time said “We are calling on Merton Council to “put it back” and to give us “incLOOsion” in Merton by including a Changing Places facility in the new Morden Leisure Centre before it opens.“.
Support for inclusion of the Changing Places facilities quickly grew, local press started asking awkward question that the council refused to answer, South London Press decided to publish the details without the usual response from both sides of the story. This forced the council’s hand and 15 days after the initial public knowledge of the plans to disadvantage our disabled community, the Cabinet Member for Community & Culture, Cllr Nick Draper admitted to the Sustainable Communities Overview & Scrutiny Panel that the Labour cabinet had made a mistake, and that the Changing Places facilities would be reinstated.
Read Merton CIL’s reposne to the good news here.
Merton TV on behalf of Merton CIL took the first look at the new facilities, explore the room below.