Local police priorities are dealing with drug-dealing anti-social behaviour and burglaries

Sergeant Pinder Chana of the Walpole Safer Neighborhood Team and Patrick Chapman, of Walpole Residents’ Association discuss local policing priorities in the wake of concerns about drug-dealing anti-social behaviour in West Ealing

Many people are unsure how our Safer Neighbourhoods Teams (SNTs) fit in with the other police teams – and who to contact for assistance or support.

The SNT are working closely with the Council and local community to tackle problems in Walpole. Ealing Police take drug dealing as a serious issue and we would encourage members of the public who witness any drug related activity to call on 0300 123 1212 and ask to be put through to the SNT – or to call 999 if there is a need for an emergency response. Alternatively if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Continue reading “Local police priorities are dealing with drug-dealing anti-social behaviour and burglaries”

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.

Cinema comes back to Ealing but not as we know it…

city lights postermetropolis posterCharlie Chaplin? Metropolis? Ivan the Terrible? They’re classic films and deservedly great -best of all you see them locally at Ealing town hall on a Friday night. Put City Lghts in your diary for Friday May 13th, Metropolis for May 20th and Ivan the Terrible for May 27th – 7pm Ealing Town Hall, £7.50. You need to be a member so for membership and information : classiccinemaclub@hotmail.co.uk 020 8579 4925

Would you like to volunteer for Elderflower picking?

Diane, Gill and some volunteers from West Ealing Neighbours’ Abundance project plan to pick several hundred elderflower heads on Saturday morning, May 14th – weather permitting at a location in West Ealing. We might do a repeat ‘pick’ on Saturday morning, May 21. We’ve found a location where they’re quite prolific, in the ‘fields’ beyond Elthorne Park, although you’d need wellies to wade through nettles in some places, and a crooked stick to pull down the high branches.

We’ll be following the recipe on the WEN Abundance blog http://westealingabundancew13.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/292/ which we used last year to produce the cordial which went down very well at Hanwell Carnival and will will be selling again at this years Carnival on the 18th June, as well as Pitshanger Party in the Park on the 26th June.

Anyone who is interested in knowing more, or getting involved, please email wenabundance@gmail.com.

Cheers for now – Gill and Diane.

About the West Ealing Neighbours Book Group

If you’ve been thinking of joining a book group, you’d be welcome to join WEN’s reading group .  We meet in The Star and Anchor at 7.30pm.  We’re a friendly bunch, made up of local people who like reading or want to get into reading regularly and enjoy talking about it.

If you have any questions, contact me, Lucy at wenreadinggroup@live.co.uk

2019

  • 30 Oct – The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
  • 25 Sep – Lullaby by Leila Slimani
  • 28 Aug – The Beekeeper of Sinjar by Dunya Mikhail
  • 31 Jul – changed to: The Best of Saki published by Picador in 1976
  • 26 Jun – A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall
  • 29 May – The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
  • 24 Apr –  The Vegetarian by Han Kang
  • 27 Mar – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • 27 Feb – Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • 30 Jan – Vanity Fair by William Thackeray

2018

  • Dec – no book
  • 28 Nov – Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • 31 Oct – Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
  • 26 Sep – 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet
  • 29 Aug – My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
  • 25 Jul – Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd
  • 27 Jun – The Warden by Anthony Trollope
  • 30 May – Good Morning Midnight by Jean Rhys
  • 25 Apr – Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • 28 Mar – Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • 28 Feb – Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • 31 Jan – Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

2017

  • Dec – no book
  • 29 Nov – Carol by Patricia Highsmith
  • 25 Oct – Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
  • 27 Sept – Watching the English by Kate Fox
  • 30 Aug – Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • 26 Jul – Closed Circle by Jonathan Coe
  • 28 Jun – End of the Affair by Graham Greene
  • 31 May – On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  • 26 Apr – Any Human Heart by William Boyd
  • 29 Mar – Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
  • 22 Feb – Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann
  • 25 Jan – The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

2016

  • Dec – no book
  • 30 Nov – Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  • 26 Oct – The Rotter’s Club by Jonathan Coe
  • 28 Sep – The Latecomers by Anita Brookner
  • 31 Aug – Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • 27 Jul – Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
  • 29 Jun – The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis
  • 25 May – Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • 27 Apr – The Circle by David Eggers
  • 23 Mar – Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym
  • 24 Feb – Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland
  • 27 Jan – Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirowsky

2015

  • 25 November – The Bees by Laline Paull
  • 28 October – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  • 30 September – Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
  • 26 August – Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
  • 29 July – Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears
  • 24 June – Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
  • 27 May – The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • 29 April – Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  • 25 March – Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy
  • 25 February – Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
  • 28 January – In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

2014

  • 26 November – Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
  • 29 October – Stoner by John Williams
  • 24 September – Wise Women by Angela Carter
  • 27 August – Longbourn by Jo Baker
  • 30 July – The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
  • 17 June – trip to the Bush Theatre to see ‘Incognito’.
  • 28 May – Book thief by Markus Zusak
  • 30 April – Room of lost things by Stella Duffy
  • 26 March – Bring a poem you love or loathe
  • 26 February – The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  • 29 January – A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

2013

  • 4 December – Murder in Peking by Paul French
  • 30 October – The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
  • 25th September – The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds
  • 28th August  – The Education of Hyman Kaplan by Leo Rosten
  • 31 July – The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist by Robert Tressell
  • 19 June –  Disgraced at the Bush Theatre. 
  • 29 May – Stuart: A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters
  • 24th April – A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks
  • 27th March – Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H Lawrence
  • 27th February – The Dinner by Herman Koch.
  • 23rd January – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

2012

  • 6th December – Baghdad Sketches by Freya Stark at the Persian Palace (Nov & Dec meeting combined).
  • 24th October – Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
  • 26th September – The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz by Denis Avey
  • 29th August – Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
  • 25th July – Dissolution by CJ Sansom
  • 27th June – Birthday by Joe Penhall at the Royal Court Theatre
  • 30th May – The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • 25th April – This is How it Ends by Kathleen MacMahon (copies with Sarah – title not yet published)
  • 28th March – The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  • 29th February – Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  • 25th January – The Tenth Man by Graham Greene

2011

  • 7th December – Christmas Social. Aunts aren’t Gentleman by PG Wodehouse
  • 16th November – Jumpy by April de Angelis, play at the Royal Court
  • 26th October – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • 28th September – Life by Keith Richards
  • 31st August – Starter for Ten by David Nicholls
  • 26th July – Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain/Samuel Clements
  • 28th June – The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov (at the National)
  • May – The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
  • April – A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  • March – The Settler’s Cookbook by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
  • February – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Saffran Foer

2010

  • December/January – ‘We are all made of glue’  by Marine Lewyca
  • November – ‘Oryx and Crake’ by Margaret Atwood
  • September – ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ by Mitch Albom
  • August – ‘The Bell’ by Iris Murdoch
  • July – ‘If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things’ by Jon McGregor
  • June -‘The Pregnant Widow’ by Martin Amis
  • May – ‘The Siege of Krishnapur’ by JG Farrell
  • April – ‘Saturday’ by Ian McEwan
  • March – ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  • February – ‘Loving Frank’ by Nancy Horan
  • January – ‘Water for Elephants’ by Sara Gruen

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West Ealing’s independent shops give hope for the future

Chair of WEN, David Highton has spotted an interesting blog on shopping in West Ealing.

A shopping blog by North East retail expert Graham Soult finds hope for West Ealing’s shopping centre in its food and independent traders.

He writes:

Even before the loss of Woolworths, West Ealing’s high street had seen significant change in recent decades, with the departure of Marks & Spencer in the late 1990s widely seen as an important loss. That site, next to the old Woolworths building, has subsequently been redeveloped and is now occupied by Wilkinson.

Nevertheless, it would be wrong to see West Ealing as a retail centre in terminal decline. It’s true that on my walk along Uxbridge Road and Broadway I noted a lot of vacant shops – including the ubiquitous closed-down Ethel Austin – and cheap-looking discount stores. However, there are plenty of bright spots.

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.

Continue reading “West Ealing’s independent shops give hope for the future”

21 storey tower set to dominate West Ealing centre skyline

Vice Chair of WEN Eric Leach reports on a new development in West Ealing.

Just 12 months after National Government said ‘No’ to a 26 storey residential building overlooking Haven Green, plans have been submitted for a 21 storey residential building which will overlook Walpole Park.

The plan is to demolish the old Westel/TVU mini-Centre Point lookalike building on the corner of Craven Road and the Uxbridge Road on the eastern borders of West Ealing. In its place is planned to build three new buildings – a hotel, a flats for sale block and an Affordable Rents flat block.

Continue reading “21 storey tower set to dominate West Ealing centre skyline”

WEN public meeting – What future for West Ealing? Monday 22nd November, Dean Hall, 7.30pm

It may sound dull but the Council’s current consultation over the Local Development Framework, which is the basis for planning the future of Ealing from 2011 to 2026, will affect all of us and have a profound impact on the future of West Ealing. For example, the plans show:

  • Shops and businesses along the Uxbridge Road corridor demolished to make way for some 1,245 new homes and 3,500 new residents
  • But the plans do not mention how the infrastructure will be put in place to cope with this increase in population:
  • No plans for new schools
  • No plans for new healthcare facilities
  • No alternative strategies to ‘densifying’ the housing along the Uxbridge Road corridor

Because we feel it is so important that as many residents as possible have the chance to hear about and comment upon  the Council’s plans for West Ealing from 2011-2026, we have organized a public meeting. The meeting will take place at 7:30pm on Monday 22nd November, 2010. It will be held at Dean Hall on Singapore Road.

At this meeting West Ealing Neighbours will provide an overview on how future plans for Ealing will directly affect West Ealing. Specific Council policies to be discussed include proposed developments in West Ealing centre including extensive building of blocks of flats, and 50 or more shop demolitions. The meeting will also discuss what is missing in the plans – including the lack of new educational and healthcare facilities to support the 3,500 new residents in the 1,245 new homes. Attendees will also be shown how to register their objections to the plans.

At this meeting West Ealing Neighbours will provide an overview on how future plans for Ealing will directly affect West Ealing. Specific Council policies to be discussed include proposed developments in West Ealing centre including extensive building of blocks of flats, and 50 or more shop demolitions. The meeting will also discuss what is missing in the plans – including the lack of new educational and healthcare facilities to support the 3,500 new residents in the 1,245 new homes. Attendees will also be shown how to register their objections to the plans.

Please come along and make your views on West Ealing’s future heard

Reminder: It’s West Ealing Family day tomorrow!

Just a reminder about the first ever West Ealing Family Day this Saturday.  There’s something for everyone from facepainting for kids, food, music and dance in Melbourne Avenue; 100 varieties of apple at the farmers’ market in
Leeland Road; or freshly pressed local apple juice, local crafts and more in St James Avenue. Do please drop in and join us in celebrating everything that’s good about living in West Ealing.
Just a taste of some of what’s happening in each of the three streets:
Leeland Road – will have an apple themed farmers’ market celebrating National Apple Day (October 21st) with:
  • over 100 rare and different varieties of apple on display
  • cider tasting
  • the longest peel competition
  • apple and spoon race
Melbourne Avenue
  • facepainting and other activities for children
  • Dr Bike to help you get the most from your cycle
  • food stalls
  • an exciting line up of music and dance including a steel band, Sri Lankan dancing, punk/folk with King Ralph, indie/rock with The Grifters, Bhangra dancing and much, much more from 10am to 4pm
St James Avenue
  • WEN’s Abundance stall pressing and selling apple and pear juice from local fruit along with home-made toffee apples
  • a craft market selling locally made goods
  • a cafe in St James Church
  • art exhibition in St James Church
  • a blank canvas for you to paint on to produce a totally unique artwork for the day
  • activities for children
  • WEN stall about the future of West Ealing 2011-2026
We hope to see you there.