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Living in Abbey most of his life, Mike was born at Nelson Hospital and is a former Leader of the Council. Schooled locally, his family connection with South Wimbledon dates back over 120 years, his Grandparents being born in Abbey Road.
He is passionate about the environment and education. As a local councillor from 1990 to 2002 and again since 2016, he has served various roles on the council including as Cabinet Member for the environment. Regularly seen walking around the ward, Mike is committed to improving accessible public transport and gave up his car eight years ago. He knows the ward well and wants to work with the local community and businesses to tackle the problem of fly tipping.
Mike has experience in the public, private and voluntary sector including as a teacher and as a health program manager for the Donald Woods Foundation in South Africa.
A sports enthusiast and charity campaigner, he is a season ticket holder at AFC Wimbledon and recently took part in the sleep out in November 2021 which raised over £44,000 for The Dons Local Action Group.
Karen has raised her family in Wimbledon, and her children all attended state schools in the borough.
Karen started her career as a Housing Officer and used her experiences when working for the housing charity Shelter. She went on to set up a housing project to help older people across London. Alongside her career in local and central government, she used her spare time to be actively involved in groups within our community.
She sits on the board of AFC Wimbledon Foundation – the club’s Charity. During the Covid -19 pandemic Karen supported Merton residents by helping to set up local charitable initiatives combatting food and digital poverty.
She is a governor at Ursuline High School, with responsibility for safeguarding and has long been active in Merton schools both as a school governor and as a parent. Beyond education, Karen’s long held interests are social housing and social care, and she has written reports for Shelter, Department of Health, and the Nuffield Research Foundation.
At the age of 20, Zak is a young and energetic candidate currently in his second year studying Law at UCL.
Zak became closely linked to Abbey during the pandemic when he set up Merton Mutual Aid, a local group providing groceries and prescriptions to those vulnerable or self-isolating. The group also targeted furniture poverty in Merton from its base in Station Road at the old Eddie Catz site. His efforts were highlighted by the Mayor of London and he was given a Points of Light Award by the Prime Minister in 2020.
His work with residents in the High Path estate has led to his focus on improving local housing and how important good housing conditions are.
As a young person, the climate crisis and environment is a key concern for Zak. When he’s not campaigning, Zak can be found enjoying a bite to eat in Aya Lebanese restaurant.