New St John’s Primary School officially opens

It almost didn’t happen. The original plans for the redevelopment of the Green Man Lane Estate did not include a new school for St John’s even though the school was built as part of the original estate in the 1970s which was deemed no longer fit for purpose. At the time, WEN commented on this and proposed that this was the ideal opportunity to build a new school as there was already great pressure on primary school places.

Luckily, good sense won the day and the plans were amended to include a new school and to build houses along Felix Road on the original site of the school.

The new school which officially opens today (19th June) can take over 600 pupils along with some 100 in its new nursery. All in all, a welcome addition to the primary schools in West Ealing.

Is this the end for West Ealing’s Poundworld?

Poundworld has appointed receivers for its nationwide chain of discount stores. The chain is just one of a number of high street retailers which have suffered over recent months – House of Fraser, Maplin and Toys ‘R’ Us being just a few. Its collapse puts at risk over 5,000 jobs nationwide.

The West Ealing branch is in the old Woolworth’s store and would probably have had to move with the site’s likely redevelopment(see story below).

The receivers Deloitte’s seem hopeful that some or all of the Poundworld stores will be bought.

West Ealing successful in bid for TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhood fund

Some of you may remember filling out a brief online questionnaire from Ealing Council a few weeks ago which asked questions about what would make West Ealing a better place in which to live. The survey was in aid of a Council bid for significant funds from TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhood Fund.

Good news is West Ealing is one of the seven winners of the first round of funding, Ealing Council has secured funding to further develop its proposals.  These proposals include better conditions for walking and cycling, changes to the town centre to make it more attractive and less dominated by cars.  Also included in the Council’s bid is a plan to redesign Dean Gardens  – using the exact same plan that was produced as the result of a concerted effort by a group of local stakeholders including West Ealing Neighbours and other residents’ groups, faith groups, West Ealing BID, Clarion and other local housing associations, the Council, the police and others.  This is the plan that can be seen here. 

Congratulations to Ealing Council for all their hard work and I very much hope that for this next stage the proposal will be developed with the local community so that it will be one which truly represents the wishes of local people. We want to see a plan we can all  fully support as it has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for many, many West Ealing residents.


Making Melbourne Avenue a nicer place for the community

A big thanks to Dean from Jeff’s Flower stall.  Dean spent Sunday morning cleaning out all the rubbish from the circular planter/bench by his stall at the top of Melbourne Ave. It was full of discarded cans, food wrappers and more and looked very sorry for itself. It’s been transformed with a some hard work and bags of bark (WEN paid for the bark) and now looks much better and so much more pleasant for the many, many people who sit there throughout the day.

Our aim is to work with the Council to revive all the planting in the benches in Melbourne Ave in time for our Christmas Fair on Saturday 9th December. We may need some help from the community to do this. We’ll let you know more as soon as we can.

Give your views and help secure funding for a healthier and more attractive West Ealing

The Council wants to hear your views in support of a bid for funds from TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme. The scheme is about delivering attractive and healthy neighbourhoods for residents -in this case residents of West Ealing. It includes improving conditions for walking, cycling and leisure with the aim of improving local air quality and the social and economic vitality of West Ealing.

This is a great opportunity for West Ealing and fits really well with the plan WEN and other local stakeholders helped to draw up to improve Dean Gardens – the plan is  here

Dean Gardens is just one aspect of the improvements that could be made if this bid is successful. Time is a bit short as the deadline is Friday 6th October so the more people who complete the online questionnaire the more helpful it is for the Council in its bid. The questionnaire is available here


Drop in centre for people experiencing mental ill health reopens in purpose built premises in West Ealing

West Ealing Neighbours is delighted that the Solace Centre, the new purpose built drop-in centre for people who have experienced mental ill health, has now re-opened. At one point the centre, the only one of its kind in the borough,  was threatened with closure. But a vigorous campaign by the Centre’s users and others persuaded the Council to change its mind. Credit to the Council for listening and being prepared to involve the Centre’s users in creating the new purpose built premises.


Popular Melbourne Ave seating under threat

For a while there have been rumours that the circular seat at the top of Melbourne Ave near the flower stall is to be taken away by the Council. I sincerely hope this rumour isn’t true and I’ve asked our Walpole councillors to investigate this urgently. I’m flagging this up now so local people are aware of this possibility just in case the rumour turns out to be true.

I first became aware of this some months ago and thought I had managed to stop it happening but seems I may be mistaken. The apparent reason for taking the seat away is that is is a gathering place for street drinkers. This used to be true but I haven’t seen many street drinkers here since the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was introduced in early April. The PSPO gives the police greater powers to move people on and I think the situation has improved since April – although I know there still are problems with street drinkers in West Ealing.

I feel this matters because this seat is very well used by local people, especially elderly residents of the sheltered accommodation in O’Grady Court (opp Sainsburys) and by many people waiting for buses. It seems quite wrong to penalise the majority for a problem created by a small minority. What is more, I think the problem of street drinkers gathering there has greatly diminished and, if there is still a problem, surely the whole point of the PSPO is to enable police to move on people behaving in an anti-social manner?

As I said at the start, I hope the rumour isn’t true. If it is I hope you can join WEN in opposing the seat’s removal. I will post more about this as soon as I hear back from our councillors.

St James Ave ready for makeover to revitalise a ‘dead space’ in West Ealing



It’s taken a while but the redesign of the pedestrian area of St James Ave looks like it’s about to start.  It’s the pedestrian section between the Uxbridge Rd and Canberra Rd which is currently a bit of a dead space and, until very recently, had become a bit of a gathering place for street drinkers and RISE clients.  Though, in fairness, this seems to have lessened with the new PSPO and police powers to move people on if they gather in large groups.

The plan is to redesign the space so it can be used for all manner of outdoor events and activities. This ties in with the work being done on St James House to become home to the new co-working hub which will include studio space for artists and creative industries.

I’d love to see the space used for exhibitions of work of artists and craftspeople from the hub as well as live music, maybe outdoor cinema in the summer as well as occasional markets, bike doctors, temporary health clinics and more. Even better if we could have an independent cafe with outdoor seating there as well.  You never know…it would all help revitalise this part of West Ealing.


Ealing Works – the West Ealing Workspace Hub is taking shape

The new co-working hub in West Ealing now has a name – Ealing Works – and the designers Project Office are working on plans for the two floors with the aim of opening early summer.

Project Office are very keen to hear from anyone involved in the creative industries interested in using the facilities at Ealing Works or renting space there. What would you like there to be in this space?  There’s a simple online form you can use to give your thoughts.

Following a round of formal and informal consultation Project Office have come up with a 10-point manifesto which will underpin the plans for Ealing Works


You can keep in touch with developments on the Ealing Workspace website

Have your say on new plans to tackle anti-social behaviour in West Ealing

Ealing Council wants to hear your views on its plan to create a West Ealing ‘protected zone’ (Public Space Protection Order) as one of its steps to tackle anti-social behaviour associated with street drinking and drug use in West Ealing and Hanwell.  We’ve written about these problems a lot over the past few years and this could be a good step in the right direction. There’s a more detailed story about this on the ealingnewsextra website and the actual consultation page of the Council’s website is here. 

This could be a really useful step in tackling the problems we are all too familiar with in West Ealing so WEN encourages as many people as possible to respond to this consultation.