How the MPWRA was born

Merton Park Ward Residents Association (MPWRA) was formed in 1989, as a result of dissatisfaction with local councillors who did not always listen or respond to the views of residents. The critical issue was the proposed extension of the A24 relief road through Merton Park. You can read more about the controversial relief road here.

There are more articles about how and why MPWRA was formed in our 2009 Anniversary edition of FORUM.


When it was founded, MPWRA was able to sponsor our Independent Resident Councillors directly, but changes in legislation required our candidates to be members of a registered political party. As MPWRA had other functions, it seemed inappropriate for a Residents Association to register as a political party (even with a small ‘p’) so Merton Park Ward Independent Residents (MPWIR) was set up as the political party, but is still sponsored by MPWRA.

Our Councillors

Over the years the ward has been lucky enough to enjoy consistency and longevity from our councillors, exemplifying their hard work and effectiveness. Equally we have held the balance of power a number of times and our councillors have also held the office of mayor and deputy mayor.

Oct 1989 – May 1990 Bridget Smith
1990 – 1994 Bridget Smith Dese Child Neville Beddoe
1994 – 1998 Bridget Smith Dese Child Neville Beddoe
1998 – 2002 Bridget Smith Dese Child John Nelson-Jones
2002 – 2006 John Nelson-Jones Jillian Aston Peter Southgate
2006 – 2010 Peter Southgate Karin Forbes Krysia Williams
2010 – 2014 Peter Southgate Karin Forbes John Sargeant
2014 – 2018 Peter Southgate Edward Foley John Sargeant
2018 – 2022 Peter Southgate Edward Foley Dickie Wilkinson

2022 –                                        Edward Foley                      Stephen Mercer

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