Council gives go-ahead to cuts in libraries budget

Despite 17,450 people signing petitions against the Council’s plans to stop funding for seven of our 13 libraries, the Cabinet approved the plans at its meeting on Tuesday evening. As a result, these seven libraries will now see the loss of their professional librarians and become either community managed or community supported. West Ealing Library has had expressions of interest from groups willing to take on its running. The next step is for these groups to work up a business plan and then the Council will decide which group will be chosen.

It’s not yet clear what the full costs will be to run West Ealing Library as the Council has yet to decide on the rental cost of the back room office area. However, it is clear that whichever group takes it on will have to find the full running costs once the initial start up phase is over. The Council will give some financial support in the start up phase. If, for whatever reason, the group fails then the Council will look for another group or close the library.

Stop The Towers campaign launches website

The Stop The Towers campaign was launched to campaign against the proposed 25 and 26-storey towers next to and opposite West Ealing station. The campaign is neither against development in this area nor against building much needed truly affordable social housing. What it is against is the scale and, in particular, the height of these two towers.

Whilst the campaign has only been going for a few weeks it has already reached many hundreds of residents with information about the plans and the campaign. Now it has just launched its website and this is the place to keep up with the latest news about the campaign.

Help save our libraries march on Saturday 13th July

The campaign to save seven of Ealing’s libraries from possible closure continues this Saturday with a march from Hanwell Library to West Ealing Library.

Join us outside Hanwell Library in Cherington Road at 10.30am. This is almost our last chance to show the Council that we oppose their plans to make these seven libraries, including West Ealing, community managed or close them down.

West Ealing Neighbours AGM on Wednesday 10th July from 7.30pm at the Welshore Hub

Wednesday 10th July at the Welshore Community Hub, 99 Broadway, West Ealing W13 9BP starting at 7.30pm

 
This is to give formal notice that the Annual General Meeting of West Ealing Neighbours will be held on Wednesday 10th July at the Welshore Community Hub, 99 Broadway (next to the old Bensons for Beds shop on corner with St James Ave) starting at 7.30pm.
 
Topics for the meeting will include:

  • The campaign to save West Ealing’s Library
  • The plans for the towers near West Ealing station

In addition to the above, there will be a short report on our activities in 2018 and on our finances followed by elections for the following named posts:

  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair
  • Treasurer

All of the above posts can be held either singly or jointly. If jointly, two members, can between them, organise how the responsibilities of that post are to be carried out.
 
In addition, there is a minimum of two and a maximum of 12 members’ posts available for election to the Management Committee.  Some of the areas where we welcome help include: 

  • Publicity, including social media
  • Writing for and managing the WEN blog – http://www.westealingneighbours.org.uk/
  • Designing and writing for our newsletter
  • Attending local meetings
  • Helping set up local events such as the annual SoundBite Festival and Christmas Fair

If you would like to put your name forward for any of these posts you can either contact WEN by email at westealingneighbours@gmail.com or come along to our AGM and put your name forward there.  If there are more names than available posts then election shall be by ballot.

26-storey tower planned next to West Ealing station

No sooner had we heard the news of A2Dominon’s planned 25-storey tower opposite West Ealing station than we next hear of plans for a 26-storey tower next to West Ealing station.

The 26-storey tower with 149 homes is called by the developers ‘the UK’s tallest fully-affordable tower’. The developers are Southern Grove and Thames Valley Metropolitan Housing (TVMH) who are also the team developing So Resi the 136 homes building on the old BHS site in West Ealing.

The development will replace the row of shops by the station and go into Manor Road. What exactly constitutes affordable in West Ealing is open to debate. Nevertheless, the 149 homes will be split between 65% shared ownership and 35% rented at the London Living Rent – a new scheme from the London Mayor which sets rents at a third of average local earnings. Other criteria include a maximum gross joint income of £60,000 for those wanting to buy through shared ownership.

There’s no question West Ealing needs more homes, especially ones that are affordable by local people. The concerns expressed by many local residents on the newly set up Facebook page about both towers centre on the height and appropriateness for this area.

There is a public exhibition of these plans on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th June downstairs at the Drayton Court Hotel 3-8pm. There is a website for this development

Come and support ‘Save Ealing Libraries’ campaign – Town Hall Tuesday 6pm

Supporters of the ‘Save Ealing Libraries’ campaign will be gathering outside the Town Hall this coming Tuesday 11 June from 6pm. There is a meeting of the full Council that evening at 7pm. The Council will not allow the petitions to save Ealing’s libraries to be presented at the meeting. Please come along beforehand to show them your support for the continued funding of West Ealing, Hanwell, Northfields, Perivale, Pitshanger, Greenford and Wood End libraries.

For details of how to support the campaign and local actions, email: saveourseven.ealing@gmail.com or follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter

Shock at plans for 25-storey tower block opposite West Ealing station

Our Facebook page was very busy indeed with reaction to A2Dominion’s exhibition this week about its plans for a 25-storey tower block on the Majestic Wine and Halfords site opposite West Ealing station.

The common thread was undoubtedly that 25 storeys is just too tall and out of keeping with what is primarily a residential area. A2Dominion’s plan is to build about 183 homes on this site. Of the 183 homes 35% will be affordable and of these 60% will be affordable rent and 40% shared ownership. The full plans can be found here. The closing date for comments is 3rd June. Sometime after that A2Dominion will put in a formal planning proposal when there will be another chance to comment.

However, we should not see this development in isolation. This area around West Ealing station is certain to see a lot more development. The question for the local community is what sort of new community would we like to see created as a result of the inevitable development and how do we go about trying to influence the development process? What seems to be happening is a rapid increase in the height of planned and proposed developments. We started with the original eight storeys at Green Man Lane, then very recently the Council approved 15-storeys for A2Dominion’s plans for the old Woolworths site. Now, A2Dominion are back asking for 25-storeys.

Undoubtedly, we need more homes but at what price and for whom? Are these developments really tackling our housing shortage when many are marketed in the Far East as investment properties?

West Ealing Neighbours’ response to these plans:

At present the tallest buldings in this area are the 8-storey Luminosity Court next to the station and the 11-storey Dominion  House, also an A2Dominion building, next to the Drayton Court Hotel. We have four specific objections:

  1. 25-storeys is far higher than any building in this area and is completely out of keeping with what is primarily a residential area.
  2. It will set a precedent for the other developments around the station that we feel are sure to come forward over the next few years
  3. It does very little to address the serious shortage of truly affordable housing
  4. Only seven of the homes are 3-bedroom which does little to meet the need for family homes

A2Dominion’s consultation is open until 3rd June and you can see their plans and give your comments on their special website.

A new Facebook page has been set up by local residents opposed to this 25-storey tower.


Greenford march on Saturday to save Ealing’s libraries

The Save Ealing Libraries campaign will be holding a March for Ealing Libraries on Saturday 25th May assembling outside Greenford Hall at 11.00am.

There is a pre-march meeting taking place on Wednesday 22nd May at Greenford Community Centre (170 Oldfield Lane South UB6 9JS) where we will be able to meet each other and prepare banners and placards. Children are welcome.

For details of how to support the campaign and local actions, email: saveourseven.ealing@gmail.com

Route of the March:

Set off from Greenford Hall at 11.30am, down Greenford Road towards the A40. Turn left into Cowgate Lane before Greenford roundabout and then left again up Oldfield Lane South past the park and the library, returning to Greenford Hall.