Lib Dems call for urgent local response after death of Sarah Everard
Merton Council is taking the unusual step of holding an extraordinary council meeting to look at the local response on the issue of the safety of women and girls.
The call for the special meeting, which takes place on April 21, was made by Merton Lib Dems.
They wanted to discuss the issue of the safety of local women, following the death of Sarah Everard after she went missing near Clapham Common.
Merton Council's original April meeting was to have the theme of 'Safer and Stronger Communities' and Lib Dem Councillors saw it a timely opportunity to discuss the local response to violence against women and girls.
But, with the election for the London Mayor and Assembly coming up, Merton Council had taken the decision to cancel most meetings in the run-up to the May 6 vote.
However, the Lib Dems said there was no legal reason for this and put in a request for an extraordinary meeting, which has been granted.
The Lib Dems said in a statement: "We have all been moved by the awful news of Sarah Everard and send our heartfelt sympathies to her family and friends.
"For some, it has triggered painful memories. For others, it has given some awareness about how their behaviour may impact those around them.
"The theme of the April meeting of the council was "Stronger and Safer Communities", and was therefore an opportunity to look at the local response to this, and the safety of women and girls.
"But local Labour councillors have cancelled nearly all council and committee meetings between now and the London elections. There's no legal reason to do this, and many other councils are not."
The agenda for the meeting has yet to be published, but the Lib Dems say it will look at the local response to violence against women and girls.
"We are working to ensure women and girls of all backgrounds have the freedom to feel safe in their communities, to focus on the issues and bring the relevant organisations togther", they added in their statement.
Twitter user Margaret Halliday said via @MargaretRHallid: "Using the safety of women and girls for political point scoring is quite frankly distasteful!"
March 28, 2021