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Typical larger homes in Pollards Hill, Merton
|Population||10,287 (2011 Census. Ward)|
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Pollards Hill is a small residential district straddling south London boroughs of Croydon and Merton between Mitcham and Norbury. The boundary of the two boroughs is a street named Recreation Way. No roads directly cross the Croydon and Merton divide, and streets were planned according to borough, leading to differing architectural or building schemes. It lends its name to a ward of the London Borough of Merton.
Mitcham Borough Council (MBC) dissolved in 1965 on incorporation into London. It helped to meet the post-World War II housing shortage, wrought by the London Blitz, by building prefabricated ‘Arcon’ bungalows at Pollards Hill. The first were ready by January 1946, meant to last about 10 years. Many remained until the mid-1960s. The pre-fabs were mostly demolished in the 1960s, to make way for a new, high density, low-rise scheme that was constructed by Merton London Borough Council and Wimpey Homes between 1967 and 1971.
Separately, four landmark maisonette blocks were built by MBC in the 1950s on Yorkshire Road: Westmorland Square (1950), Bovingdon Square (1956) and between those years Hertford Square and Berkshire Square.
A branch library and community centre were built, which received a design award.[further explanation needed]
Both sides of Pollards Hill elected Labour Party councillors at the last Council elections in May 2018. At present in the local government re-warding process used nationally for the regular election of a delegation of councillors, it lends its name to a ward of the Merton.
UK elections (general elections and by-elections)
East and west have, since 1992 and 1997, respectively seen their relevant two seats in London, locally dependent wholly on borough, return Labour MPs. The seats are Croydon North and Mitcham and Morden. The narrower majority, narrowly, is in the latter; at all elections since 1997 the two seats have seen a greater than 28% Labour majority.
To the west (in Merton), at the foot of the hill, is the Pollards Hill estate stretching to Mitcham Common. A section of the estate was put under the authority of MOAT housing association in 1998, which has since demolished four maisonette blocks dating from the 1950s.
Covering the crown of the hill is Pollards Hill Park, an open area of 7.75 acres (3.14 hectares), managed by Croydon Council.
In September 2006, Harris Academy Merton opened on the former site of Tamworth Manor High School. The academy is on the Merton side but right on the Croydon border. Tamworth Manor High School was originally Pollards Hill Secondary Modern School built in the 1950s, which became a comprehensive school, Pollards Hill High School, in 1968.
Pollards Hill is home to one of the largest Ghanaian British communities in the UK on the Merton side according to the 2011 census, with 6% of the population and over 600 people born in Ghana. It also has a large Asian British population on the Croydon side, and the area is home to many other different nationalities. The non-white British population of both parts has grown considerably in recent years, with very little inter-community tension.
Culture and community
Pollards Hill on the Merton side also contains a wide range of community facilities including a library, community centre, youth centre and a neighbourhood police station, the first in Merton.
In 2005, a community cycling club was set up with help from the Commonside Trust. It now has over 550 members from all over South London, and had won the London Cycling Campaigns' award for Best Community Cycling Initiative in 2006.
In 2007 the Pollards Hill Poker Club was founded on Wide Way. It began life as a group of poker players who met weekly but soon expanded to include other games (chess, backgammon, and "euro" board games) and also began fundraising for children's charity The Evelina Family Trust. It has since grown to over 300 members and boasts five star reviews on gaming sites. In 2009 the club relocated to the Streatham and Tooting border, but it has retained the name Pollards Hill Poker Club to reflect its origins as a poker club and its roots in the area.
- "Merton Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 October 2016.