How you can help save the Victoria Hall

Ealing Council wants to hand over Victoria Hall and the Princes Hall to a developer. See our story of December 2nd for full details of the Council’s plans for the Town Hall.

There are several things you can do.

!. Object to the Council scheme, now published by the Charity Commission (details at Since our last e-news, the Friends of Victoria Hall have suggested how best to comment.  You can find out more on through these links to the Friends web site:
What’s wrong with the deal
What Ealing is saying
How to object

There is more background in a video at

The Charity Commission allowed only 30 days over the Christmas period for the consultation, but after the Friends objected this has been extended to Monday 6 January 2020. Please find time to submit your views, ideally in your own words but based on the reasons set out in the Friends’ summary. Please do it as soon as possible.

2. Sign the petition on

3. Join the Friends by using the form at

Thanks to the Campaign for an Ealing Performance & Arts Centre for this information.

Ealing CVS is successful in bid to take over West Ealing Library

Ealing Community and Voluntary Service (CVS), currently based at the Lido building, has been successful with its bid to take over West Ealing Library and run it as a community managed library. It seems Ealing Law Centre has been successful in its bid for Hanwell Library

West Ealing Library is due to shut after tomorrow in preparation for the handover to Ealing CVS. You can find out all about Ealing CVS and what is does here.

Residents urged to reject latest scheme for Victoria Hall sell off

1 December 2019 — Ealing residents have been urged to reject the scheme proposed by the Charity Commission that would allow Ealing Council to sell off the Victoria Hall as part of its Town Hall deal with a hotel operator.

The Victoria Hall was built next to Ealing Town Hall with money raised through a Victorian crowdfunding campaign. It is owned by a charitable Trust set up in 1893 to run the Victoria Hall for the benefit of local people. The Hall has hosted countless meetings, entertainments and exhibitions over the years.

However, for nearly two years the Council has been trying to persuade the Charity Commission to allow it to amend the Trust rules so that the Victoria Hall can be included in a £2.5m sell-off of the Town Hall site.

The Commission has just published the draft of a Scheme that would clear the way for this to happen, subject to the result of a public consultation that is due to end on 26 December 2019.

Roger Green, chair of The Friends of the Victoria Hall (FoVH), said: “Even a cursory look at the Charity Commission proposal shows that this would be a very poor deal indeed for Ealing residents. They’d likely lose affordable access to facilities that have been serving the community for 126 years.

 “The prospect of losing the Borough’s largest indoor community space to a private company is bad enough, but the terms under which it would happen are just too soft. Incredibly, the Council seems to be prepared to let the whole of the Town Hall and Victoria Hall go for less than the price of a three-bedroom flat in Dickens Yard. That can’t be right.”

A  FoVH team is going through the fine detail of the Charity Commission’s draft Victoria Hall Trust Scheme in order to lodge detailed objections. FoVH has requested an extension to the consultation period which it believes is absurdly short in the run-up to the Christmas break.

Why is Ealing Council so keen on tower blocks?

Find out why and much more in the November issue of the Ealing Matters newsletter

Ealing is becoming one of the most over-developed boroughs in London. Ealing Matters research has found that 85 tower blocks over 10 storeys were built in the borough recently, are being built or are in the pipeline. Of these towers, 26 are 20 storeys or higher and eight are 30 storeys or more. Why has Ealing, traditonally a low-rise residential borough, been singled out for such treatment when seven London boroughs have no high-rise towers and have no plans to build any?

Some 38,000 new homes (virtually all flats) will be crammed into Ealing over the next 10 years. If all the flats are sold/rented/occupied the borough will be home to 76,000 new residents. There is no joined-up planning. Against this populaHon growth, we suffer two to three week waitng times to see our GP, continued financial and service cuts at Ealing Hospital, all our Primary and Secondary Schools are at full capacity, town halls and other civic buildings are being sold off, two children centres are being closed, seven Council Libraries downgraded and Ealing and Southall Police Stations have closed.

opposition to this extreme form of town cramming is growing, and with it mounting criticism of the Council leadership driving it. However, we can look forward to a pause now to further schemes being announced for the next couple of months lest it affects our voting decisions at the upcoming elecHon. But once the elections are over expect things to revert to their current course unless there’s a serious property crash.


tiith 27 tower blocks over 10 storeys, 13 of these with 30 or more storeys and 7 with 40 storeys or more, North Acton looks like becoming the UK’s densest suburb by 2030. There will be some 5,000 new flats and almost 2,000 new student flats. If all occupied the 12,000 residents will flood the streets, buses, tube and rail staHon during term time.


Acton Arts Project (AAP) has been trying to take over the repurposing and management of this massively unused asset since 2014. AAP is a group of trustees formed to create a cinema and a creaHve working space in Acton. On 15 October Ealing Council Cabinet approved the selection of AAP as the preferred occupant. Provided AAP passes financial and non-financial assessments they will be given a 24 year lease.

AAP has set a funding target of £100,000. Over £46,000 has already been raised. Crowdfunding at:


Ealing Council and its development partner Mastcraft still continue to behave as though nothing is amiss in their plans to convert most of Ealing Town Hall into a hotel. The Council wants to ‘gift’ Victoria Hall, Prince’s Hall and some adjoining rooms to Mastcraft. However these facilities are not owned by the Council but by a Charitable Trust established in 1893. Over two years ago the Council applied to the Charity Commission for permission to change the ‘objects’ of the Trust in order to facilitate disposal to Mastcraft. In spite of expensive legal acHon by the Council and Save Ealing Centre and other community groups, the Commission has yet to announce its decision.

Whatever the Commission decides, local community groups have got together and formed a new group called ‘Friends of The Victoria Hall’. FoVH will campaign to save the hall for the community as a performing

arts, exhibition and meeting space. The founding groups are Central Ealing Neighbourhood Forum, Campaign for an Ealing Performance & Arts Centre, Central Ealing Residents’ Association, Ealing Arts & Leisure, Ealing Civic Society, Save Ealing’s Centre and West Ealing Neighbours. An informal public launch of the group will take place at 7:30 pm at ‘The Forester’ pub, 2 Leighton Road, W13 9EP on Thursday 14 November 2019.


612 new homes are being promised by Ealing Council on protected Metropolitan Open Land currently occupied by the Gurnell Leisure Centre (swimming pool largely), its car park, the skateboard park and public green space. Six residential tower blocks have been proposed – 17, 15, 15, 13, 10 and 6 storeys.


Wyncote Farm, owned by the Earl of Jersey in the 19th Century, has been owned by Mr Kashmit Chand Tack since 1990. It was for many decades a wooded area of many acres. To the north and east the land is bounded by the Grand Union Canal and to the south by the Brentford Branch Line single track railway and the M4. It has been designated MOL and Public Open Space for years but has been fenced off and used for a range of unapproved purposes for many years. In recent years large amounts of soil have been excavated and piled tens of metres high on the west bank of the canal. Ealing Council issued an Enforcement noHce on 15 March 2017 but for some reason this has sHll not been prosecuted.


In 2017 Ealing announced plans to redevelop its Perceval House Council offices by building 471 new flats withthe tallest 20 storeys high. By the start of 2019 the number of homes had increased to 500 and the tallest tower to 26 storeys. Now we hear there will be 510 homes with a tower of 28 storeys. Who knows where it will end? That’ll be up to the Council as the planning authority to decide, acting as they do both as judge and jury.

The Council’s development partner Galliford Try promise to consult on their plans in January 2020, acer all the details are fixed. The current development ‘menu’ includes a new Public Library (no bigger than the current one in Ealing Broadway Centre), new Council Offices (50% of the existing floor space) and a first floor Customer Centre which hopefully will have step-free access.


The Planning Users Group is the only chance local people have to find out how planning is done in Ealing. Its latest meeting took place on Wednesday 9 October 2019. Unfortunately the Ealing Council Officers running the PUG had failed to produce minutes of the previous 4 June 2019 meeting and they only distributed their agenda 24 hours before our meeting. A familiar story of failed Council Officer actions peppered the meeting. Users in previous meetings had flagged up a range of planning process changes and web site changes which were needed. None of the changes had been made. Some users became quite upset about this. The day after the meeting the PUG Chair, Chief Planning Officer David Scourfield announced that some users’ behaviour had been unprofessional and he was minded to put the next PUG meeting on hold.


Goes from strength to strength to bring you on the spot video reports about the latest developments across the Borough. Check out all the broadcasts at h:ps:// .

Ward Forums to end

It is quite likely that many readers of this have never been to a ward forum. Whatever their drawbacks, and there are most defintely some, they do at least give residents a public forum at which to question their local councillors. The Council has decided to stop these from next April as part of the next round of budget cuts. Just how residents can ask questions, find out what’s going on locally and hold their councillors to account has yet to be decided. In addition, the ward forum budgets which fund a myriad of big and little projects across the borough will cease and the money put in to a central pot with the exact details to be decided.

West Ealing Neighbours is typical of many local groups in having had funding from ward forums. The annual SoundBite Festival and Christmas Fair have both received funding from ward forums. Ward forums have helped fund projects to spruce up patches of waste ground, traffic calming measures, help small community groups and much, much more. We shall have to wait and see what the Council proposes.

You can see what you’ve been missing by dipping in to a video of part of the recent Walpole Ward Forum here.

Yet more high rise coming to West Ealing

A development of 53 homes up to 9-storeys high is set to replace part of an uninspiring row of shops at 72-76 Broadway in West Ealing. I this whole run of shops up to Green Man Lane was once home to the department store FH Rowse. This store was sold in the 1980s and a low rise development of shops replaced it.

The plan submitted to the Council is to demolish some of these shops, including Carphone Warehouse and the Card Factory and replace them with a 9-storey, part 4-storey and part 3-storey development. The new development will retain commercial space on the ground floor.

This proposed development is hardly a surprise given the high rise developments alongside including the old BHS and Woolworth’s sites.

The application number is 193500FUL and the deadline for comments is 1st November 2019.

Deadline of 13th September for comments on Heathrow’s planning application for expansion

There’s an awful lot going on with Heathrow at the moment with its plans to build a third runway and changes to flight paths. This consultation is about its plans to build a third runway. If you want to find out exactly what is being planned and make your views known on these plans visit their website.

If you want to raise objections one useful site is from the No 3rd Runway Coalition Another useful site is that of HACAN which campaigns for people living under the Heathrow flightpaths.

Film about Ealing Club on Sky on Sunday 8th September

It’s taken a while but the locally made film about the important role played by The Ealing Club in this country’s rhythm and blues music history finally hits our TV screens this Sunday on Sky Arts at 10pm. ‘Suburban Steps to Rockland’ tells the story of how this tiny basement club saw the Rolling Stones start their career and gave inspiration to many of this country’s most famous musicians of the 1960s.

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.