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Friday, 20 December 2013

High Court sees off Councillor Dennehy's challenge

Some good pre-Christmas news to report...

Councillor Benjamin Dennehy has been refused permission to proceed with his judicial review challenge of the Standards Committee decision, by the High Court, which found he had breached Ealing Council's Code of Conduct for Councillors and had not treated others with respect.

Myself happy with the High Court's decision
My complaint stemmed from a blog post that Councillor Benjamin Dennehy wrote where he wrote comments about Indians and those living in Southall. Councillor Dennehy referred to Southall being the “home to the worst concentration of illegal immigrants in the UK”. Councillor Dennehy then referred to gambling, drinking, drug, prostitution and crime issues “unlike many other parts of London” and asserted that it is “a largely Indian community who say they deplore this behavior but yet it is that very community that harbors and exploits their own people in squalid third world living conditions”.

Part of the documentation read: "There appears to me to be no justification for such a sweeping statement, which would be likely to cause legitimate indignation and serious offence to those members of the group referred to who have no involvement with illegal immigration or any other form of criminality. Furthermore, I find it hard to accept that any reasonable Councillor could have believed that such a sweeping statement was justified."

Another section of the legal documentation read: "…I am satisfied that the tone, style and choice of wording in the post was written in such a way that it did cause offence to some residents and councillor Dennehy could reasonably have expected that to be the case had he reflected on the particular way in which he chose to raise the issues.”

In this type of litigation case the loser is likely to pay the costs and this will be worked out in the future.

Thank you to all those who have given me the support to take up the initial case against Councillor Dennehy.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Success at last for the Piccadilly Line to stop at Turnham Green

The Mayor of London announced some good news earler today (at the Mayor’s Question Time) that Piccadilly line trains will stop properly at Turnham Green once modernisation work is complete. Although this may be a number of years off, he did make a commitment that tubes will stop all night when the Piccadilly line becomes part of the “Night Tube” in 2015.

Lib Dems back in 2010 at a demonstration
The Liberal Democrats have campaigned for ten years to get this good news for residents. It may not be happening straight away but we will be counting down until the tubes stop all day at Turnham Green station. Thank you to all the residents who completed the consultation forms on this subject or filled in our petitions. A nice end to the year!

So much work has been done by Caroline Pidgeon over the last number of years. We thank her very much. She has been in attendance for many meetings either at City Hall or more locally, where these issues have been discussed.

Some comments on Twitter I read gave thanks for the hard work that the team has spend over many years, some behind the scenes in meetings with Transport for London officials showing them the many reasons why this service will improve things for residents in Chiswick, Acton and the neighbouring areas.

“Well done to @CllrGaryMalcolm, who campaigned for the pic line trains to stop at Turnham Green all-day.”

“Pic Line to stop all day at Turnham Green tube station once line is upgraded. Well done to local campaigners especially @CllrGaryMalcolm”

As mentioned, the campaign has gone on for about ten years. Lots of residents have helped the campaign. Recently others have joined our growing band waggon. Thank you to all who have helped the campaign.

Monday, 9 December 2013

With Christmas approaching how you can avoid being the victim of crime

Over the Christmas period it will be a great time for many residents and their children, when they open their presents.

But this is also a time when many criminals plan how to relieve us of some of our new belongings.
Liberal Democrats know that there will be many vulnerable residents who might not be visited as often over the festive period.

So if you know of someone who might be vulnerable give them a knock over Christmas to check they are okay. December is a time when a lot of boilers break down so better to be safe and sorry.

Over this period I also like to practice my baking and cooking and drop by some food based Christmas presents – including scones, biscuits and fruit breads.

Liaising with the local police over the past ten years or so, I have learned a lot of what I call “Top tips” in reducing being a victim of crime over the New Year period.

  • In the run up to Christmas make sure you do not leave any bills or banking documents in your waste. Shred them so criminals are less able to commit identity theft.
  • When you have unwrapped valuable items like plasma TVs remember not to leave the box easily visible to those walking by. It will highlight you have some items that a criminal could break in and steal.
  • If you have cash which you are to take with you to pay for Christmas presents, ensure it is in a safe or out of reach of anyone peering in through your windows or letter box.
  • When you leave your vehicle ensure you have not left any items in the car. This is because a jumper on the back seat may encourage a villain to break in and will cause you hassle even if they do not steal the jumper.
  • Recently a lot of people are reporting callers allegedly collecting for charities. If you are unsure then do not open the door and ask they to leave a leaflet so you can research the charity later.
  • Lastly if you are shopping in the January sales then make sure your bag or handbags are zipped shut. Anyone in a busy clothes shop could be walking around to steal a purse or wallet, and is not interested in clothing.

I hope all of us in Ealing are going to have a fun and safe festive period, away from work and spending time with family and friends. If you have any crime tips please let me know them by emailing me at

The Mayor needs to check his rise in travelcards

We get annoyed at this time of the year when Transport for London, run by Mayor Boris, puts up the price of many travel tickets.

It was good to see Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, welcoming the news that from January 2014 the average regulated train fare will now go up by only 3.1% instead of the planned 4.1%. Certainly Caroline Pigeon and the Liberal Democrats have campaigned for prices to be held down when other household bills are rising.

Councillor Andrew Steed campaigning for better services
For many years London residents who rely on train services, along with many commuters from outer London, have faced incredibly painful  fare rises. At a time when people’s finances are under so much pressure even a rise by the rate of inflation is still hard for people to deal with, but it is at least a step in the right direction.

After this check on regulated train fares the Mayor must now explain why he is boasting about ‘freezing’ fares when in reality on Tuesday he pushed up the price of travelcards by inflation plus 1 per cent from next year. This is disingenuous.

Following Coalition Government intervention, Boris Johnson must now bring down Travelcard fare rises to no more than inflation!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

When Ealing Council Does not clean our streets...

The Southfield Liberal Democrats have never been impressed by Ealing Council and their contractor Enterprise.

I was joined by Councillor Andrew Steed and Gary Busuttil to help clean up some of Speldhurst Road when the Council has failed to do so!

One resident thought that Andrew was an actual street sweeper (his bright jacket gives that impression). Taking turns, we collected bags of swept leaves, which because we had no car, we took back to our homes.

Sadly Ealing Council has not, so far, had the gumption to get the huge amount of compensation that Enterprise owes Ealing Council for the many missed collections, unswept and uncleansed streets.

You can see two videos of us cleaning up Speldhurst Road.

Many residents on Speldhurst Road were complementary of the Liberal Democrat attitute of taking action. Action is much better than words.

This road is like most of Southfield ward. Unswept.

Quite clearly this lack of street sweeping will become more serious if it rained or becomes icy. Any residents who fall down will be able to take legal action against Ealing Council.

So Ealing Council, get the money that Enterprise owes you. Be tough. Not weak.