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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Southfield Ward Forum - what happened...

At the Carlton Road Day Centre the Southfield Ward Forum took place last night where are range of local issues were discussed:
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Litter, recycling and street sweeping
  • Controlled Parking Zones 
Before the meeting I had been sent a petition that related to a local laundry which was causing a great deal of noise pollution and disturbance to residents in Chiswick. I formally accepted the petition and the Council are taking legal action against the noisy business. Personally I hope they can be shut down ASAP, as they clearly appear to want to operate pretty much 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without give a damn about local residents.

Litter that is seen more commonly  now
The first two items involved Council officers we had invited so they could give details of what they do and answer questions from residents.

1. Enviro-crime officer: Jim, who covers Southfield ward, spoke about a number of activities that he had been involved in over the past month or two.  He had investigated lots of complaints of flytipping and taken action to ensure the person who dumped the waste was uncovered. He also ensured that legal action was taken against the owners of vehicles who damaged pavements or had no tax to be parked were they were. When Jim had answered questions from residents I comments that over the past three or four months he had really made a positive difference to Chiswick and Acton. Residents gave clapped him as he sat down.

2. Anti-social Behaviour officer: Paul went through the range of actions the Council, in cooperation with the police, can take to stop incidences of anti social behaviour - mediation, warnings, Anti social behaviour orders, housing injunctions. He sited some examples of work his team had done and agreed to keep in contact with the ward forum so that residents can ensure they know who to call about the different anti social behaviour issues. Paul also kindly stayed to answer questions from residents. When he sat down he was also clapped.

Anti-social behaviour
3. Closure of Accident and Emergency wards to Charing Cross hospitals:
Southfield Councillor Andrew Steed spoke about the NHS North West's plans to close a number of local hospital's A&E and Maternity units. This would mean that people would have to travel longer distances to receive treatment. There are lives at stake given that fast treatment is crucial when a number of cases of 999 are called.

Sadly the consultation has not been publicised to an acceptable level - many people in the meeting did not know about the possible changes to local hospitals. Also the questions they ask force you to select one local hospital against another. If you choose Option B then Charing Cross is retained but others are downgraded. Liberal Democrats believe that the process of changing out health services is so crucial that it should not be left to people choosing which hospital is the one they wish to be retained. With a larger birth rate and population there is an argument that none of the hospitals should be downgraded. So when the Liberal Democrats complete the consultation form (before the deadline of October 8th) we will state this.

Check out the rally to protect our local hospitals that myself and Councillor Andrew Steed attended. You can also hear the speech on You Tube, I made to the large number of concerned residents at the rally.

4. Ward Budget:
There were a number of items we discussed relating to the ward budget we have access to which is nearly £40,000 annually...

  • Agreed to set up a consultation in January to measure whether the addition of lighting to Southfield Rec has been successful. It will look to see whether people feel safer now and whether they are using the Rec more in the early mornings and later evenings.
  • There were a number of possible plans to add or upgrade cycle parking around the area. We are to get more details about these so that we can say Yes or No to them at the next meeting.
  • We agreed to spend £330 to help a local social club which assists elderly residents.
  • We agreed to a consultation to see whether a proposed 20 mph zone could be introduced to some roads near Larden Road in Acton. This area borders Hammersmith Council and some of there roads have a 20 mph limit so this may help to reduce accidents and bring a consistent speed limit to the area.
  • Agreed to introduce changes to Bedford Corner at no cost to the ward, which will hopefully reduce the number of times vehicles have damaged the kerbing and railings in this area. The plan essentially moves back the current railings.

5. Discussing the Council's approach to Recycling and Road Sweeping:
A resident asked a few questions about the problems they were having about their roads not being swept properly as well as whether items are being recycled. One resident reported that the pre-separated recycleable waste in her street was being chucked into a vehicle so that it got mixed up.

I suggested that we invite someone from the recycling team to deal with some of these questions at the next meeting. People were in agreement to the idea.

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