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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Gunnersbury Park, Non Waste collection statement - Council's Cabinet meeting last night

Here is a summary of last night's Cabinet meeting in Ealing...

Non collection of Waste
The meeting started off with the Labour Councillor responsible for waste and recycling, giving a statement (apology) about the weeks of non-collections of household waste and recyclables. Although the contractor's performance has improved, it clearly isn't up to scratch.

They have been using lots of temporary staff to collect the waste. We await to see some perfection which we are told should be the norm!

Ealing Council is holding a meeting in Early May dedicated to this one subject. We think a proper and public review needs happen so that the Council officers whose job it is to manage the contractor explain why the contractor was allowed to mess up so badly. It appears no-one took the necessary actions to predict this when some things could have been avoidable.

Sign our petition calling for a full investigation into why this was allowed to happen: Sign the petition!

Same old faces, different jobs
In what appears to be an attempt to show Leadership (when he has been criticised publicly in recent weeks) the Conservative opposition Leader has reshuffled his political pack. It appears that their financial spokesperson has been moved to a less contentious area. Like most reshuffled they bring forward few new ideas. The same people in different roles.

Gunnersbury Park
The Liberal Democrats have been the only party over the past ten years to campaign on this issue. In recent times the Council have made commitments to invest in the Park so the buildings can be preserved. As part of this process the Labour-run Council is looking at leasing out the Small Mansion and Stables. My group feel that  although this may bring in money it may also allow for uses which are not positive to park users.

I gained a commitment from the Leader of the Council to ensure that a representative of all three political parties in Ealing can discuss the possible leasing arrangements before the Cabinet makes a decision on this very important location. Councillor Jon Ball has been an active campaigner on this and he is looking forward to seeing how the park can be renovated without any harm being done to the land or trees.

Childrens Centres
The Council is to put some money into Children Centres (a lot is coming from the coalition government) which is a good use of money. The Conservatives were verbally attacked as a number of Tory Councils have closed Childrens Centres, as they did not see them as a priority sadly.

Perivale and Hanwell Libraries
A year after the Liberal Democrat Group budgeted for funding to renovate these two libraries (the Labour-run Ealing Council was to close them). Since then with residents support the Council made a u-turn and has now finally pledged the money to get the renovation work done. Good news.

The bad news will be that the libraries are likely to be closed for about six months each (from the end of this year). I understand that officers are looking at what can be done to reduce the time where the libraries are closed.

Blue Badges 
After years Ealing blue badge holders might now not have to hide their blue badges when they park their vehicles overnight. When they did this their badge was safe but lots of residents got parking fines as the rules said they needed the badge to be placed in the window.

The council are to create a new permit which will cost no more than the cheapest permit (it is said to be charged so that it only covers the admin fees). No exact price is known yet. If you bought the permit then you would place the permit in the window of your designated car. This way thefts should be reduced.

Lighting for crime hotspots
The Council last year promised to upgrade the lighting in places where crime was high. They said they would upgrade lighting at three locations. The report last night, covering this years lighting, will improve six areas.

One area is Warple Way which is the road between Acton and Chiswick. There was an attack a few months ago and the Southfield ward Liberal Democrats agreed to fund lighting for the alleyway and get the overgrowth cur down to reduce the crime levels and the fear of crime. This additional money is welcomed. I look forward to the scheme being introduced.

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