Why do people shop in West Ealing? A recent survey gives some answers

‘Why do people shop in West Ealing?’ is the title of a survey late last year of 400 shoppers carried out by Brunel University on behalf of Ealing Council.  The answer – buying food is the main reason people come to shop in West Ealing, but there’s a good deal more valuable information in the results of this survey than  this one answer.

The final report is 20 pages long but here are some of the key findings from this survey:

What’s good about shopping in West Ealing:

1. Buying food was the main reason for people shopping in West Ealing.

2. Buying specific non-food items came second

3. Eating and socialising ranked third as a reason to come to West Ealing

Overall, West Ealing is liked for its varied, multi-cultural location that is good for food shopping, pubs, eating and socialising.

What needs to be improved about shopping in West

1. Better shop fronts

2. Improved cleanliness

3. Better safety and security

Interestingly, in an entry last December in his shopping blog (www.soultsretailview.co.uk/2010/12),  expert retail analyst Graham Soult sees independent shops as West Ealing’s brightest hope. He writes:

‘Arguably, it’s West Ealing’s independent shops that give it the
brightest hope for the future. Walking through, despite the visible problems,
the area has a cosmopolitan and colourful feel, with ethnic food shops
displaying their wares in the street. The West Ealing weekly farmers’ market
in  Leeland Road – which seemed to be well advertised when I visited – also adds to the area’s reputation as a mecca for foodies, and is apparently its trump card in attracting shoppers from other parts of London.’

WEN has been arguing for some years that West Ealing is a great place for food shopping and that we need to build on this strength as a central part of any plan to regenerate the high street. We’d love to hear your views about our shops.  Use our forum to tell us where locally you like to buy your food, why and what you’d recommend others to try out.

David Highton

Join us for the 1st West Ealing Neighbours Tweetup and Meetup – Wednesday, 29 June

Want to get to know your neighbours and your community? West Ealing Neighbours in partnership with West Ealing’s newest gastro pub, The Star and Anchor is holding West Ealing’s first Tweetup on Wednesday, June 29th from 8pm.

It’s a chance to have a drink and a chat with your neighbours in West Ealing, meet some new people, and maybe even make a connection or two! We’re inviting local tweeters, bloggers, foodies, councillors and personalities. There will be locals to talk to about the arts in Ealing, including local film, reading and music. Or, if you’re interested in the bricks and mortar of our community, you can talk to people about local planning issues and regeneration. Maybe there’s a fantastic local restaurant you want to tell everyone about?

So come on down to the Star and Anchor (there will probably be nibbles!)- it would be great to see you there and have a drink with you!

West Ealing Neighbours Tweetup and Meetup

Date: Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Time: From 8pm til late

Where: The Star and Anchor, 94 Uxbridge Road, West Ealing, London, W13 8RA

The pub is situated next to Ealing Job Centre and can be reached by all Uxbridge Road buses (except 607) at the Dane Road stops (83,207,427,E2,E7,E8,E11)

Who’ll be there: Most of the WEN Committee and some other locals with an interest in the community

Click here to RSVP.


West Ealing garden designer helps win gold medal at Chelsea Flower Show

I have to declare a personal interest in this as my wife Elizabeth also had a small role in this story. West Ealing garden designer Lesley Faux of Designed Gardens played a key role in Korean designer Jihae Hwang’s Hae-woo-so (Emptying one’s mind) garden which not only won a gold medal but also was voted best garden in the Artisan garden category at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

Lesley has spent the past few months busily sourcing a wide range of unusual plants for this garden and then, with a little help and moral support from my wife, spent a good deal of last week laying out and planting this unusual garden which has as its central feature a Korean toilet. The RHS website describes the garden as follows:

‘Hae-woo-so is the Korean word for the traditional Korean
toilet. The inspiration behind the garden is that for centuries the Korean
people believed that going to the toilet was a cathartic experience and
considered it to be highly spiritual.

The wild flowers and vintage look of the toilet building are key
elements of this predominantly green-toned garden. The pathway to the toilet
from the garden’s entrance is also a significant feature; the process of
emptying one’s mind takes place on the walk through the centre of the peaceful
garden, enjoying the beauty of nature.’

Congratulations to Lesley. Oh, and somehow or other we’ve ended up with about 12 tea plants so watch out for West Ealing grown tea at some future date!

David Highton

Ealing’s targets for affordable and socially rented homes are unlikely to be met

Vice Chair of West Ealing Neighbours, Eric Leach, looks at the housing situation in Ealing and finds few reasons to be cheerful about the future.

Recent research by the School of Medicine at University College London suggests that apart from smoking, the principal sources of avoidable illness and premature death are overcrowding, homelessness, a poor standard of housing and insecurity in housing. (Hansard HC Deb, 5 May 2011). These findings should leave no-one in any doubt as to the gravity of anyone not having a home.

The numbers of Rough Sleepers in London is on the rise. There were 3,673 in London in 2009/10 – an annual increase of 6%. (Crisis CHAIN database). This is the first uplift in the figures since 2002. Rough Sleepers life expectancy is 42 years. (Crisis).

Historically homes for the poor were described as Council Housing. Prime Minister Thatcher began the phasing out of Council House building in 1979. By also allowing Council House tenants to buy their homes that further depleted the stock of homes for the poor. Successive Governments have continued this policy of not building Council Housing. As of now there are three working definitions of housing stock for households whose needs are not met by the market.

  • Affordable Housing -Affordable Housing includes Social Rented Housing and Intermediate Affordable Housing.
  • Social Rented Housing – Owned and managed by Local Authorities and Registered Social Landlords (eg Housing Associations) at rents below market rates and determined by the national rent regime.
  • Intermediate Affordable Housing – Housing at prices and rents above those of Social Rented Housing but below market prices and rents.

The size of the ‘unhoused’ in England and Ealing can be summed up in a string of facts which include:

There are 1.8 million people on Council Housing Waiting Lists in England. There are 17,000 on Ealing Council’s Housing List (Ealing Council, February 2011). Affordable Housing needs in Ealing are estimated at 3,213 homes (Shelter England). The building of Social Rented homes in Ealing is inadequate – only 126 of them were built last year (Ealing Council Annual Monitoring Report 2010). The cost of renting is 51% higher in London than the rest of the country (GLA report).

Government Proposals and Ramifications

The Government is cutting 65% off the budget for Social Home building. The poor are now to be asked to fund the building of new social housing. Rents on new Social Rented Homes (typically built by Housing Associations and by property developers) are to be increased from 40% of market rates to 80% of market rates. The cash raised from the increased rents is to be used to fund the building of new social housing. This initiative pretty much removes the distinction between Social Rented Housing and Intermediate Affordable Housing. If the former is to be 80% of market rents, and the latter (say) 90% of market rents there’s barely any difference between the two categories. I wonder which category will be ‘disappeared’ by the Government.

Many Housing Associations are wary about being able to achieve this uplift in social rents. They may well conclude that taking on the building of new social rented homes is too much of a financial hill to climb and may concentrate in the future on building homes for sale and/or acting as Registered Social Landlords. Family Mosaic, a well respected large Housing Association, has stated that ‘setting rents of 80% of market rent would increase our clients’ requirements for Housing Benefit by 151%.’ (Hansard HC Deb, 5 May 2011). Housing Benefits reform proposals will cost people living in social housing an additional £728/year. (National Housing Federation).

London Proposals

Social Rented Home building starts in London:

  • 2010-11: 2,000 units (estimate)
  • 2011-12: 2,000 units (estimate)
  • 2012-13: 0 units (estimate)
  • 2013-14: 0 units (estimate)

Source: Government’s Homes & Communities Agency

These numbers are pretty scary and seem quite unintelligible.

Ealing Proposals

2011-2026: 14,000 homes to be built of which 50% will be Affordable Housing units (7,000) and of which 60% will be Social Rented (4,200). (Draft LDF Core Strategy, September 2010

Likely outcomes for Ealing

Some people and families in central London boroughs will not be able to afford to live there and will move to cheaper boroughs which will include Ealing. Similarly people in Ealing may also move out to cheaper boroughs to the west, north and south.

Rough sleeping in Ealing is likely to increase.

The number of new social rented homes built over the next few years will be very small:

  • The recently approved Planning Application for Westel House in Ealing centre for example boasts only 33 Affordable Rent units against a total of 225 private sale flats and hotel rooms to be built. (The number of social rent housing units in this 33 figure is unspecified in the Planning Application).
  • The Green Man Lane Estate redevelopment will actually, over a five year period, reduce the number of Social Rented Housing units from 391 to 338. That is of course assuming that money from the heavily slashed social housing fund will be found to fund this social home building.
  • The Dickens Yard development will include the building of 207 Affordable Rent housing units over the next five years. (The number of social rented housing units in this 207 figure is unspecified in the Planning Application).
  • The largest planned housing development is Southall Gas Works where 1,125 Affordable Rent housing units will be built over the next ten years. I can’t find any information on how many of these 1,125 housing units will be Social Rental Homes.

It’s hard to see how and where the 4,200 new Social Rented Homes or the 7,000 new Affordable Homes will be achieved in Ealing by 2026.

Is drug dealing a problem in West Ealing? Tell us what you think.

The post on the Ealing Today website about blatant drug dealing on the streets of West Ealing has set us thinking again about how to tackle this problem. I’m told the CCTV cameras along the Uxbridge Road have simply pushed the drug dealing onto the side streets.

We’re interested to know what people  think so that we can take this up again with our local Safer Neighbourhood police teams.  Please leave a comment to let us know your thoughts and experiences.


David Highton

Origins of some West Ealing street names

Local historian David Shailes writes that when the streets of Ealing were originally laid out the landowners and property developer got to choose the names, so the reasons for their choices are generally not recorded and are lost in the mist of time. Researching street names is interesting for lots of reasons as some have names of local historical interest, others have no local connections and some are linked to events in history.

The length of this article (published in our May newsletter) means that we can only scratch the surface of the 200 odd roads that have a W13 post code.

A set of my personal favourites are the Australian named roads: Adelaide Road, Brisbane Road, Sydney Road and Melbourne Avenue and these were all on land developed by the Steel family and it is known that Charles Steel whose market garden at one stage made him the largest rate payer in Ealing, went to Australia to see how they did things down under. So this may be the reason they have such names.

Loveday Road takes it name from William Lockyer Loveday, who owned land in Ealing, but lived in Devon, which he left in 1860 to start a new life in the State of Illinos in the USA. His son eventually became the owner of what was called the Loveday Estates and these were sold in 1896 for £60,000, a considerable sum of money. The St Kilda and Marder Estates, have also given their names to two roads.

Horticulture gave us Leeland Road andTerrace, as these stand on part of the land that once was part of Charles Lee & son’s Ealing nursery, they had other nurseries in Hammersmith (The Olympia Exhibition hall stands on the site), Feltham, Isleworth and Hounslow. They used the site to grow fruit trees, roses and shrubs.

As a child I lived in Green Avenue and never gave the street name a second thought as there are no other streets named after colours nearby. It appears that the name relates to a H.C. Green who was the very first mayor of the Borough of Ealing in 1901/2. Next to this road is Cranmer Avenue that runs up to St Paul’s Church and on the opposite side is Ridley Avenue, which take their names from two Protestant Martyrs burnt at the stake by Mary Tudor (Queen 1553 to 1558).

The 1777 parish map reveals that North Field Lane (now Northfield Avenue) and Mattock Lane have been with us for over 200 years. My mother who lived in Ealing right up until her death in 1983 always referred to going shopping as up the “lane” meaning Northfield Avenue. Drayton Green existed as a small community on this map, which gave its names to several nearby roads.

Green Man Lane took its name from an old coaching inn on the Uxbridge Road, the second world war damaged pub being rebuilt in the 1950’s was demolished in 1981 and replaced by the block which Iceland is now in. The inn existed on the 1777 map and was an important stabling facility for over 100 horses on the London to Oxford road and on further west to Fishguard  (No A40 in those days!).

(to be continued)

David Shailes

There are more articles about West Ealing’s history in our bi-monthly newsletters. You will get these automatically emailed to you if you become a member of WEN. It’s free to join and details of how to join are on our website. Or visit our website and you’ll find links to the last few newsletters on our home page – www.westealingneighbours.org.uk


West Ealing – hub for car accessory shops

It hadn’t occurred to me until Desire Motorsport opened last week (where Hewden Tool Hire used to be) that this end of West Ealing near the junction with Eccleston Road has a cluster of tyre and car accessory shops. There’s Ealing Tyres in Eccleston Road itself, Kieran’s tyre, MOT and accessory shop in the Uxbridge Road, Kwik-Fit on the corner of the Uxbridge Road and Coldershaw Road, Cartronic Centre in Coldershaw Road and now Desire Motorsport tyre and alloy wheel hub shop has joined them.

I spoke to the owner of Desire Motorsport who lives in Hanwell and has worked locally for many years. He realised the value of being part of a cluster of car-related shops.

Good luck to him and I hope all these shops and businesses, and West Ealing, benefit from being near one another.

David Highton

Newly opened Desite Motorsport joins the cluster of car tyre and accessory shops in West Ealing

Duck waiting patiently outside Sainsbury’s

Just as I came out of Sainsbury’s this morning I heard this quacking noise and there waiting patiently near the front door was a Mallard duck.  Maybe its mate had gone in to shop!  After a while it gave up waiting, quacked loudly and flew off.

That’s by no means the first time I’ve seen ducks around that area. I’ve seen and heard them walking the streets around Melbourne Ave and St James Ave a few times over the last couple of years. I do wonder where they come from? Maybe they are based in one of the ponds at Walpole Park and come to visit West Ealing a few times each year.

If anyone else sees them please do let us know.

David Highton