Local libraries saved from closure

At last night’s meeting (14th June) hard work and people power helped persuade  the Ealing Labour group not to recommend closure of four libraries – Hanwell, Northfields, Northolt and Perivale.

Petitions signed by over 8,000 residents were presented to the meeting and a packed gallery listened to the debate. At the end of the debate Cllr Dheer made his announcement which will go for approval to full cabinet on July 5th.

One service that will be lost is the mobile library service and changes do lie ahead as the Council wants volunteers to play a key part in providing future library services.

Congratulations to everyone who signed the petitions, the councillors who helped organise some of the petitions and  who fought hard and the residents groups who worked tirelessly to save these libraries.

David Highton

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

Car accident in West Ealing causes traffic chaos

If you were caught up in yesterday’s (Wednesday) traffic chaos at lunchtime on the Uxbridge Road in West Ealing and Ealing Broadway and wondering what happened, I can tell you as I happened to be there at the time.

I was volunteering at OPEN Ealing, the new community arts centre for West Ealing, and a few of us were talking when we heard the unmistakable sound of a car accident. We rushed out and almost in front of our office at 113  Uxbridge Road a car trying to turn right into Culmington Road had collided with one coming along the Uxbridge Road.  There was a large eastbound lorry stopped at the accident so may have had a part in it.

I rang 999 to report the accident, though the odd thing was that no-one seemed to come out to look from the fire station which was 50 yards from the accident. Some minutes later a fire engine turned on its siren and rolled out the 50 yards to the accident scene. In fairness though it probably had to be called in once the police assessed the situation. As it turned out the fire engine was vital as one of the drivers had to be cut out of their car. The other driver was able to get out and she seemed unharmed.

It took quite some time for the driver to be released from his car and I hope he or she soon recovers. It must have been at least an hour for the road to be re-opened.

David Highton

Jacob’s Ladder to close Monday 9 May to Wednesday 11 May

Signs by Jacob’s Ladder (the ancient footbridge over the railway linking Green Man Lane Estate with Drayton Green) inform us all that the footbridge will close at 9:00am Monday 9 May and re-open at 5:00pm on Wednesday 11 May. The signs don’t tell us why.

It’s unlikely that the works to be undertaken will be the much needed rust proofing and painting of the bridge, as this would surely take more than two days.

Sadly the closure won’t be in order to install a new, improved lighting system on the bridge. Although this work was agreed with Network Rail in Summer 2010 Ealing Council has been unsuccessfully wrestling with bureaucrats and lawyers at Network Rail for eight months. However the Council has still not been able to obtain a licence from Network Rail to carry out the lighting works.

Eric Leach