Tonight's cabinet meeting went along very quickly. Only lasted about an hour which is half the normal length.
The two main items were Gunnersbury Park and an agreeable budget saving:
1/ Ealing Council is to pay about £5 million pounds and Hounslow only 10 percent of that to help fund Gunnersbury Park. The hope is that two bids totalling around £10 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable a lot of the regeneration of the buildings in the park as well as improve them so that the park can become a real tourist hot spot.
When I asked the Leader of the Council about Hounslow Council and their lack of finance for the project he said that it would be expected that they pay the larger slice of the second part of monies for the regeneration. I am not exactly won over by this but when I asked for a guarantee that under the current administration housing would not be built on Gunnersbury Park, that was given.
2/ About 9 months ago Ealing Council had the idea of saving money by reducing the size of desks that some council staff used. This meant that you could fit more desks and staff into the main council buildings and so reduce the overall rent bill that Ealing Council pays for some of its other buildings.
To me and the Liberal Democrats this saving is sensible and paintless. It saves about a million pounds. Weirdly the Conservatives in Ealing have stuck to their past record of objecting to pretty much all budgetary reductions without making much efforts to say where their savings would come from. I believe a party is only credible if they are consistent and able to support good ideas and object to the poor decisions. That is what the Ealing Liberal Democrats are going.
We do not complain at all the cuts but the ones that negatively affect the vulnerable. We also are happy to praise the council when they do something good.
If you have any questions please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or using @CllrGaryMalcolm on Twitter.