FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER 2016
Making Dean Gardens safer
It’s been a while since our last newsletter but the silence has not meant inactivity. Far from it, WEN has been working hard with others to tackle some of the long-running problems of anti-social behaviour in and around Dean Gardens, especially at night.
What set us off on this path was the cancellation of September’s Soundbite Festival. After months of hard work and planning, we arrived at Dean Gardens very early on a September Saturday morning to find the park taped off by police as a crime scene following an assault. We waited and hoped but by 9.30am, after discussions with the police, we had to cancel the event. The park wasn’t re-opened until around 3pm that afternoon – far, far too late for us to put on any sort of event.
This incident was yet one more of a number of such incidents of violent and anti-social behaviour that have happened in and around Dean Gardens over the past years. On this occasion the attack spoilt an event that had been planned for many months. On other occasions street traders setting up the weekly farmers’ market in Leeland Road have been harassed, residents of nearby homes have been disturbed by rowdy behaviour in the early hours or had to put up with people urinating and defecating near their homes. None of this is acceptable behaviour.
Following on from the cancellation of Soundbite WEN, along with a number of others decided we needed to do something about this. We knew we couldn’t tackle this problem alone so we have been gathering together an increasing number of representatives from local faith groups, community groups, local housing associations, local councillors, Ealing Council and more. We have met the police and stressed the importance of their taking pro-active steps to tackle the problem. They listened to our concerns and some arrests were made and, vitally, they have helped bring about reviews of two alcohol licences of nearby shops (see article below for full details).
Over and above what the police have been doing, our aim is to work together to come up with some agreed ideas on how to make Dean Gardens safer and then work with the Council to find the resources to implement as many of these ideas as possible.
Having a park right in the middle of West Ealing is a fabulous community asset. We want to see it loved and used at all times and not a no-go area at night.
10 minutes of your time to help make West Ealing a safer place
One of WEN’s biggest concerns for West Ealing for quite some time has been the anti-social behaviour related to alcohol. We see two aspects to this behaviour. The first is groups of street drinkers who are often in and around Dean Gardens, Melbourne Ave and other regular spots. We have no problem with RISE and the essential addiction recovery services it runs, but groups of street drinkers can intimidate and upset residents and shoppers. The second is the more serious problem of occasional violent behaviour by young men, often on a Friday night/Saturday morning. The latter group have harassed traders at the weekly farmers’ market and disturbed residents of homes close to Dean Gardens.
WEN is very active in working with local faith groups, the police, community groups, businesses, councillors and Ealing Council to tackle these issues. There is now a major opportunity for you to help us tackle one of the key causes of this anti-social behaviour – the availability of alcohol in West Ealing any time of day or night. The licences of two off licences are up for review following work by the police to gather evidence of alcohol being sold to a minor, the storage of non-duty paid goods, the sale of alcohol to intoxicated people and the employment of illegal immigrants. The two licences are those of Cudi and Broadway International, both very close to Dean Gardens. Cudi’s licence is currently from 8am to midnight and Broadway International’s is 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
WEN and other groups will be responding to these licence consultations. If you have been affected by alcohol-induced anti-social behaviour we hope you will take a few minutes to respond to this consultation. To object you need to do so under one of four specific headings:
- Prevention of crime and disorder
- Public safety
- Prevention of public nuisance
- Protection of children from harm
If you have specific instances of anti-social behaviour it would be good to include these in your comments.
Walpole Ward Forum Monday 8th February 7-9pm
If you’re interested in some key local issues such as Dean Gardens, proposed changes to stop and shop parking and more, then do please come to this meeting with your local councillors. Full details can be found undr the Walpole Ward section at www.ealing.gov.uk/wardforum
Central Ealing’s new plan to go out to consultation
Local democracy has taken a step forward in Central Ealing, with the start of public consultation on a draft plan for the Ealing Broadway area.
The Central Ealing Neighbourhood Forum, the body jointly representing businesses and residents, has been working on the details on a Neighbourhood Plan which will influence development in the town centre over the next 10 years.
The Forum’s Plan concentrates on four sets of issues. These cover the future of Ealing’s economy (shops, offices and jobs); its heritage of architecture and green space; transport and the public realm; and cultural and community facilities.
Reactions are now being invited from all interested parties to the 19 policies and 13 ‘recommended actions’ that have been produced from contributions following an earlier general consultation. A final plan will then be submitted by Ealing Council to an independent Examiner to ensure it meets statutory requirements, before it is put to a local referendum, probably in the summer.
If approved, the proposals will then be adopted as part of Ealing’s official Local Plan.
The Ealing Music & Film Festival
10th- 14th February
The Festival returns in 2016 with a programme of events to reflect the rich and varied music and film heritage of one of London’s most culturally enriched Boroughs. This year the festival welcomes new artists while continuing to explore the wealth of creative talent on our very own doorstep.
The festival will take place from 10 – 14 February in and around central Ealing and is proud to continue its close association with the University of West London and other major venues including the Town Hall, the Church of St Barnabas, The Red Room (formerly The Ealing Club) and St Mary’s Church.
There will be an array of orchestral concerts, commencing with the world’s most recorded chamber orchestra, the Ealing based English Chamber Orchestra, which performs with renowned pianist Emilie Capulet in a stylish rendition of Schubert’s Trout Quintet in the very beautiful St Mary’s Church on 10 February.
The English Chamber Orchestra can be heard performing a full programme the following evening, which includes Barber’s intense Adagio (used in the film Gallipoli) and features Egypt’s foremost classical artist, pianist Ramzi Yassa.
The Ealing Youth Orchestra will play Sibelius’ ever-popular overture Finlandia and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at An Exhibition in its 1922 orchestration by Maurice Ravel, with a rare performance of William Walton’s grand oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast, joined by a hundred singers from the London Oriana Choir and the London College of Music Chorus. EYO players have been coached by top professionals from the English Chamber Orchestra, who will also perform at the concert.
The film programme offers a superb range of screenings with links to the area and includes short films by young directors and feature film Desire by Acton-based director Gareth Jones. There will be a double-bill screening of classic Ealing Studios films and a film by internationally acclaimed local director Gurinder Chadha presented in partnership with the Ealing Classic Cinema Club.
The festival features a vast range of music including boogie pianist Ben Walters and blues guitarist Ramon Goose performing at renowned Ealing venue The Red Room, where so many international artists – including the Rolling Stones – started their careers.
All this and much more can be enjoyed at The Ealing Music & Film Festival.
Car parking in West Ealing
In 2011 we lost our multi-storey car park in Singapore Road. For years this car park’s facilities, management and security had been allowed to deteriorate. It makes one think that the London Borough of Ealing (LBE) ‘encouraged’ this decline – so that the Green Man Lane development could pack in even more flats for sale.
The Green Man Lane development along with the Sherwood Close development and others to come will inevitably bring more vehicles into the centre – whether their drivers and passengers are residents, traders or visitors. Logic might then lead us to increase general car parking provision, but sadly the opposite appears to be happening.
Take Dean Gardens car park on Leeland Terrace. Suddenly in January the coin machines stopped working and signs went up announcing telephone parking only. 20 of the 39 general parking slots have been ‘bought’ by the new Holiday Inn Express hotel from 4pm to 8am. There has been no prior warning about this and no public consultation.
Also rumours, maybe even facts, are circulating about on-street parking in suburban retail strips like Northfield Avenue and The Avenue. For quite some time we have all been able to park close to these shops for free without any hassle for half an hour. Apparently this will soon end. Free parking (and paid parking) will only be available by mobile telephone. And unless you already live in a CPZ in Ealing you will have to register yourselves and your car. If you don’t register or you live outside Ealing you’ll have to pay to park. Apparently LBE thinks it will make £75,000 annually from non-registered Ealing resident drivers and non-Ealing resident drivers.
For those who do not use a mobile phone or who do not want to embrace electronic payment your days of parking close to suburban shops throughout Ealing are about to come to an end. Traders are up in arms about this. Petitions are springing up in shops. Some traders are convinced that their sales will go down as many would-be shoppers will find it inconvenient to fiddle around with their mobile phones and drive further to a large supermarket where parking is free and hassle-free.
A bizarre twist to this parking saga is that apparently one retail strip will be exempt from this trader unfriendly parking policy. That strip is the award winning Pitshanger Lane. How is it remotely possible or fair that the policy does not apply to all suburban retail strips? This is just awfully divisive. One Northfield Avenue trader surmises that he might lose sales to a Pitshanger trader just because parking in Pitshanger is hassle free.
Stop Press. ‘Ealing Today’ on 1 February 2016 revealed that LBE has apparently changed its mind about this new car parking regime. According to ‘Ealing Today’ (clearly a preferred LBE story delivery mechanism to LBE’s web site) LBE will now ‘review’ car parking arrangements. Cynics might suggest that LBE will go through some semblance of a consultation and then implement some version of telephone parking which raises more revenue than Stop and Shop car parking does now.
‘18 brilliant years’ as Darch and Duff closes its doors
After what Mary Darch describes as ’18 brilliant years’ the two Darch and Duff shops on Northfield Avenue closed their doors on Saturday.
Mary Darch and Helen Duff have been good friends ever since they met at art college 37 years ago. They both studied fashion and had very successful careers within the industry working their way up to senior levels.
In 1991 Mary, who still has her own kiln at home, started her own china business and was later joined by Helen. At the outset they stocked mostly their own products such as ceramics and greetings cards but as the business grew they bought in more goods. Their two shops were widely loved icons of Northfield Avenue’s strength as a home of independent shops. However, times have changed and the world of retail has been turned upside down by the rapid growth of online shopping. This change in shopping habits has coincided with their children growing up and their desire to return to their roots in art and design.
Darch and Duff is just one example of how we are now shopping very differently and how these changes are affecting our high streets. People lead very busy lives and the convenience of being able to shop online, often buying at a lower price than in our local shops and of having the goods delivered to our home or to a nearby agency has had a major impact on the economic viability of many high street shops. Mary and Helen have noticed the drop in footfall along Northfield Avenue and where once people came in to buy goods and presents from their shop they now come in for cards and gift wrapping having bought the goods online. So, it’s not greedy landlords raising rents that is changing the shape of our high street, it’s us and how we shop. The impact of Amazon Prime, for example, with its one-day delivery and, for some items, even a same day delivery service seems unstoppable. And where Amazon goes others will surely follow.
Mary and Helen
ave loved their 18 years on Northfield Avenue and they have contributed greatly to its vibrancy. They will be much missed but it’s now time for them to follow their own passions and, hopefully, we will all continue to enjoy their creativity in other activities.
Afternoon Tea at the West London Islamic Centre on Sunday 7th February 12-5pm
What, where and WEN
WEN is a group of some 400 strong made up of West Ealing residents, workers and visitors who want their town to be better for everyone.
Membership is free and available to anyone in the West Ealing community, irrespective of background, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, political orientation, faith/non-faith, or gender.
WEN was formed in November 2005. The group is run by volunteer locals, elected annually by WEN members. The group’s committee is made up of
Chair: David Highton
Treasurer: Andrew Cazalet
Vice-Chair: Eric Leach
Web Site: http://www.westealingneighbours.org.uk
WEN blog: http://www.westealingneighbours.org.uk/WEN-blog
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/groups/124290860921562/
Postal Address: 32 Regina Road, London W13 9EF
Copyright: West Ealing Neighbours, 2016