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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Confirmation that Four of Ealing Libraries Are to be Saved‏

At the main Council meeting last night after a lot of pressure from residents' groups and ourselves, the Labour council reversed its decisions to close Perivale, Hanwell, Northfields and Northolt libraries. They will be shutting the mobile library. This is a significant victory for all of us and we need to tell people how we played our part in it. On this night Councillor Nigel Bakhai made a speech welcoming the U-turn on libraries.

Earlier on in the evening Councillor Andrew Steed asked a question about the Thames Tunnel project which will improve the water quality in London (by reducing sewage in the Thames). The problem in Acton and Chiswick is that the council have appeared to accept one proposed site (near Acton Vale) which would probably mean some compulsary purchasing of homes. Andrew invited the Labour councillor and officer to attend a local meeting so they can hear the issues.

A large petition from a resident prompted Councillor Harvey Rose to make a speech about a building in Acton next to Springbridge Park which might be knocked down for flats. The issue is whether the Council should enforce a so-called covenant (used to protect land from being used in certain ways eg to keep land for parkland). The council declined to make a decision so we await a swift action from the Leader of the Council who promised to ensure that a decision would be made (to enforce the covenent or amend it to allow some development).

Later in the evening there was a speech on what the Council calls its Corporate Plan. It is a "motherhood and apple-pie" document where I gave an appraisal of Labour's last year in power (in the form of a head-teacher). I creditted them for some actions but attacked them for some of their budget savings (cuts). Councillor Jon Ball followed up with a more detailed criticism of the Council for not supporting a borough Arts Centre, leading the charge for a proper Transport Interchange and giving about 90 members of Council staff florescent uniforms (and then saying they have more uniformed staff!)

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