At the Liberal Democrats regualar meetings with the CEO of Ealing Council a number of issues were discussed: Council cuts; regeneration in Southall, Ealing and Acton; the Ealing Riots; Libraries and Legal advice in the eastern end of the borough.
Coming to the cuts it appears after six months of only a few proposals on how Ealing Council needs to reduce its spending it will be announcing a longer list of cuts. My party will be scrutinising them to see how many of them will leave people more vulnerable or in need.
I asked about the topic of a £5.5 million car park in Southall and was told that most of that money has not been spent (as they do not know where the car park will be sited!) and so could be reallocated to other areas of Council spend where the need is greater.
On the issue of riots Lib Dem Councillors asked about how local businesses are still being affected and about the police response during the riots. The Riot Panel chairman, Darra Singh, was the previous CEO of Ealing Council and so understands some of the issues during his national panel's activities trying to make recommendations to reduce the chance of future riots. It appears that because the riot in Tottenham was not quelled or avoided it gave troublemakers elsewhere to use it as an excuse to loot and take advantage of the police who did not appear to be flexible or quick in moving their resources around London.
A lot of local businesses had received monies from the government / Ealing Council to help them make the repairs to the shops that were damaged. I know that a number of local Liberal Democrat councillors in Ealing have made great efforts to shop or visit restaurants in Ealing to support them.
Lastly we discussed the lack of legal advice in the East end of Ealing (including Acton and part of Chiswick). The Council seemed hopeful that a service offering forms of legal advice could be set up.
If you have any comments or thoughts on Ealing Council email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @CllrGaryMalcolm