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Monday, 27 August 2012

Make sure you have your say on your local hospital - and stop them being downgraded

A short while ago I wrote about the need to protect our local hospitals. For me I see this as four local hospitals:

  • Ealing
  • Charing Cross
  • Hammersmith
  • Central Middlesex
All could be downgraded and the current consultation gives a possible chance to save some of our local hospitals.

Councillor Andrew Steed campaigning against hospital downgrades
Check out the consultation where you can read “Shaping a healthier future for North West London”. You can phone them on 0800 881 5209 and ask for a copy of the consultation document.

Their preferred option is to downgrade hospitals to only a “local hospital”. That means closing the Accident and Emergency, Maternity and Children’s wards. Only Option C in the consultation keeps our hospitals as major hospitals.

Please fill in the consultation and let the NHS know what your views are. You can also see a related post to this where you can download save our hospital posters, petition forms etc.

To sign the petition click here.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

More than 500 police petition signatures collected, more to come?

With the Met discussing the way it may rearrange the way they are to provide the local SNT (Safer Neighbourhood Teams), it is uncertain as to how Sergeants, PCs and PCSOs will be allocated across Southfield and the other wards across Ealing.

When I saw that our Southfield police team has only about 4 members (two short of where we should be) I decided to set up a petition to get the Met to give us the police we need to reduce burglary, vehicle crime and robbery in the area.

We have collected over 500 and aim to get as many as we can in the next couple of weeks...

Southfield Councillor Andrew Steed
We have been collecting signatures by knocking on doors in the area and also using our online petition.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Myself and Councillor Nigel Bakhai met Ealing Council's officer in charge of getting our streets clean

Myself, Councillor Nigel Bakhai and other Councillors in Ealing have had many reports of the poor quality of service by the Council's contractor who is responsible for sweeping our streets and collecting our household waste and recyclables.

Tonight myself and Councillor Nigel Bakhai met with one of Ealing Council's managers who is responsible for monitoring Enterprise, the contractor, to get them to do what they signed up for in the £20 million a year contract.

A street sweeper
After a failure to collect our waste and recyclables from April there are still problems. A number of points were uncovered:
  • Although Enterprise now have all the new recycling vehicles (that arrived late) they are less efficient than planned and so they have now had to alter again the collection rounds so there are more of them but each one is smaller.
  • Because Enterprise are still not completing their daily collection of waste until sometimes after 5pm it means that many of the street sweepers and litter pickers are doing this BEFORE the waste is collected - and so lots of litter is left for up to a week. The Council have asked that by the end of August they sort the issue out to stop this from happening
  • We looked at the system by which the Council tracks checks that Enterprise have cleaned our streets. We suggested a few alterations which may highlight roads that are not checked frequently - as the checks are mainly done on a random basis.
  • Roads that have been graded as not being clean and then have been improved and rechecked go down as being clean. This means that the previous inspection which highlighted the road was not clean is not traceable and so will distort the figures that are reported to members of the public.
  • Glass if reported should be removed within an hour of being reports. So if you see any glass (which could cut children's legs if near to a playground for example) should be reported at any time to 020-8825-6000.
Clearly Ealing Council wants to do better but it appears that Enterprise are struggling with getting to grips with the contract it won. I say the Council needs to be tougher and ensure that fines or rebates to the Council are issued. Money speaks volumes.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Pics and Video Clips from the Olympic Basketball Men's Semi-final

Last night (Friday 11th August) I went to see the Olympics men's basketball semi-final. Spain and Russia are probably about equal in skill levels - perhaps Spain were the favourites. I therefore supported the Russians!

Both teams warming up

When the game started Russia appeared to want the win more. The first two quarters were won relatively easily by Russia 12 - 9 and 19 - 11 giving them an advantage of 11 points.

Russia now on the attack

As the third quarter began it looked as if the Spain coach had spotted that they needed to pass the ball around before shooting to tire the Russians out more and also unlock easier shots on the basket.

Russia score to stay ahead, but the margin is now decreasing...

And after the third quarter the scores are dead level 46 - 46. Looks like Spain had the momentum and were destined to win the crucial Olympic game.

With Spain now ahead, Russian are fading. The free shots continue for Spain who are pocketing about 80% of them. A clip of a Spain free throw...

After a frenetic fourth quarter and some Spanish tactical time-wasting they win 67 - 59. The Spanish started off slow but when they went into their fourth gear they really played a lot better than the Russians. Another factor that might have helped the Spanish at half time was their more vocal fan base. There were much more Spanish flags...

The Spanish fans were more visual and vocal!!!

But have a look at this one last moment of comedy during an interval event...

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Olympics is about learning new or rediscovering new sports

Recently I went to see the fencing at the ExCel centre, in East London. I had once played the Epee type of fencing and it was great to see fencing live as part of the London Olympics.

I had tickets to see the men's team Sabre quarter finals and the play off matches to decide the ranking of the 5th to 8th ranked teams. In the team competitions each team has three members, each playing in round-robin matches, the team aim is to get to 45 points.
  • Epee is often slower as the opponents can score points off the whole body so each fencer has to (like a boxer) anticipate an attack.
  • Sabre is pretty quick and the rules are more complex as to who scores points.
  • Foil forces fencers to defend and attack the body. This can lead to periods of fast action and also time where opponents consider their tactics
If you have seen clips of fencing on TV but are not sure of the rules please check out this wiki page which gives a lot of useful info. This page gives more details about the Sabre type of fencing.

At the fencing four matches take place simultaneously

A mid duel shot

At the end of the Belarus vs. Italy duel, the Italian thought he had won the match but he had not....yet. The score was 44 - 44! Belarus had been 44 to 40 ahead and the video shows the Italian Sabre fencer giving it all to persuade the judge he deserved a point to win the match.

The Italian did win the point later and the Belarusian team must have been devastated to lose a close match that they were odds on to win when leading 44 - 40.

Overall the fencing was an amazing afternoon. I might even check to see where the most local place to start to learn this great sport.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Lib Dems Fully Behind Saving Local Hospitals

Last night I attended a meeting of those who in Ealing are active in stopping the proposals to close the four local hospitals served by residents in the area: Ealing, Central Middlesex, Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals.

The group is made of people who are from the main political parties. Click here to sign the petition.

There are many residents who are not aware of the plans to close these four hospitals and so that is why it is VITAL that you do what you can to inform people you know in the area.

From the Liberal Democrats Hanwell Councillor Nigel Bakhai is our spokesperson and he has been very active on this subject. Some of the key items discussed were:
  • A march will take place on 15th September and is is expected to end on Ealing Common with a rally. Put the date in your diary!
  • It is planned to hand in the petition to Downing Street in early October
  • Ealing Council is to make an official response on this crucial local issue which will be stating why the hospital services are needed.

A lot of campaigning materials can be downloaded including posters, paper based petitions (for those who are not online) etc.

Please feel free to circulate them to as many people as you can...

Ealing Common Lib Dem Councillor Jon Ball at Ealing Hospital