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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Ealing residents should not be treated like a problem by Ealing Council

Over the past couple of months my Council colleagues and I, have noticed a large increase in the number of vulnerable residents calling to ask for help with matters that relate to services which Ealing Council provide.

Activities such as renewing parking permits and buying visitors’ vouchers, for some, have become impossible. If they go to Ealing Town Hall they are turned away. If they phone up they are not given assistance. When they write they do not get a letter or a call from Ealing Council.

Many elderly or vulnerable residents do not find it easy to access the Council’s internet forms to gain the services they are entitled to. It has come to something when I have to print out forms for residents when Ealing Council would not send them to residents! Ealing Council should be providing a better and more accessible service to these residents.

Three years ago Ealing Liberal Democrats persuaded Ealing Council to adopt a Customer Care Charter so their residents can get a better service. Since then, the number of residents reporting customer service problems has increased massively. Last night, one resident recounted an example of where an Ealing Council member of staff hung up the phone.

The Council assumes everyone can do everything on line! Clearly this is not the case. The Council has paid lip service to their own charter. By giving vulnerable residents a ‘bad deal’ they are being treated with no respect.

By all means encourage residents to use additional on line methods but we should not be stopping methods, whether they be face-to-face or via the telephone, which many residents need from the Council.
In the run up to the local elections which take place in 2014 the Liberal Democrats will continue to press Ealing Council to make improvements for residents including:

  • Answering telephone calls more quickly. Currently many people hang up due to the long wait
  • Ensuring that services offered to vulnerable residents are not reduced further
  • When residents call Ealing Council they are offered help and advice instead of being told they must use an internet based services

Sadly we have seen Labour-run Ealing Council shut many and about to close more day centres. This will have a negative effect on many vulnerable, whether they are elderly or disabled.

Liberal Democrats will not treat the vulnerable as a difficulty. They have every right to a good customer service from Ealing Council and a Liberal Democrat run Ealing Council will provide a good customer experience for them.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Write-up of the Southfield Ward Forum meeting (11th Sept)

At today's meeting in the Carlton Road Day Centre a number of important local matters were discussed including the Piccadilly Line at Turnham Green consultation and a range of items funded by the ward forum's budget.

I chaired the meeting alongside Liberal Democrat councillors Andrew Steed and Harvey Rose. First of all I indicated that residents who wanted Piccadilly line tubes to stop at Turnham Green should fill in the two minute consultation which can be found here.

Also the police have a ward wide AGM that takes place on 25th September at the Carlton Road Day centre from 6.30pm. At the meeting you will have a chance to see the police showing a Taser gun (used to essentially stun people the police are after). Come along to hear the latest crime figures for our part of Chiswick and Acton and a chance to ask the local police team questions.

Following a site visit I announced a number of improvements that will be made to the railway bridge from Chiswick to South Acton. These should make the area safer, as it currently is not very inviting for residents to go between Chiswick and South Acton.

These include new lights in Acton and Chiswick around the bridge, paint which will brighten the area across the bridge, the trimming of trees so that people can see across the bridge seeing the other side of the bridge, the domed mirror has been repaired, police on both sides of the bridge to patrol more often!

Later we agreed to spend some of the ward funds on the following items:
  • Yellow lines on Multiway to ensure that emergency vehicles can gain access (currently ambulances are stopped by parked vehicles)
  • Street signage for Evershed Walk, W4
  • New lighting for Fishers Lane
  • Landscape improvements for the Southfield Recreation Grounds to encourage dog owners to walk around the areas where the children at Southfield Primary School play each week.
  • Install two new items of gym equipment on Southfield Rec (Triple pull ups & Sit up benches)
  • Wildflower seeding on the triangle area adjacent to the 94 bus terminus, Acton Green to make the area look prettier
  • Agreement of works to convert the Larden Road area into a 20 mph scheme
  • Two additional bins for Acton Green to reduce the litter

If you have any ideas about how to improve the Southfield area of Chiswick let me know via email at: