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Friday, 25 July 2014

Southfield ward forum update - 25th July

Yesterday was the first Southfield ward forum since the local elections where the Liberal Democrats were re-elected.

The meeting took place in the Acton Green church hall, on Cunnington Street. New councillor, Gary Busuttil, was present and re-elected Councillor Andrew Steed chaired the meeting. A range of interesting topics were discussed...
Councillor Gary Busuttil

St. Albans Church
Since the campaign to stop the site being converted into ten flats, local Liberal Democrats have been working with residents and church authorities to make use of the chuch.

We were lucky to have Reverend Richard Moy and Rev Mike Tufnell present at the ward forum who also answered questions from residents. From what Reverend Moy said, it was clear it will not be quick for the church to take full ownership and management of the site but that they have lots of activities that will be run at the church including a theatre show in Autumn and a ward forum meeting next February.

So much progress has been made and where the community come together pretty much anything is possible. Well done to all those who helped get this project this far.

Councillor Gary Malcolm helping to clean up dumped waste
around St Albans church
Prevention of Crime
One of Ealing Council's Safer Community officers, Joseph Lazone, spoke about crime in the area. The good news was that generally crime in Southfield is lower than all of the local areas and most of the borough. He did say that in January through March this year that the number of burglaries had been higher than average. A campaign by the police has since reduced them after a number of arrests.

He also mentioned that a number of crimes could have been easily prevented including people who had left items in view on car seats and those who had left expensive looking tablets on view through their windows.

Ward budget update
The ward forum has about £45,000 to spend on local projects. During the meeting a number of possible spends were mentioned including:

  • Cycle racks outside Lavelli's Bakery, St. Albans Avenue
  • Trees for The Vale, Seymour Road, Valetta Road and Cunnington Street
  • Recycling bins for Acton Green to help reduce litter and improve recycling rates
  • Literature to promote the ward forum
  • Improvements to the small grassy area near to the 94 bus terminus and the Beaconsfield estate
  • Improvements to the area near adjacent to the path to Hounslow via Hardwicke Road

If you have any other suggestions please get in touch or suggest an idea on this blog.

Other topics discussed

  1. CPZ (zone R): It was announced that the changes to the times of operation to the CPZ (zone R) would come into effect on 1st September. Councillor Andrew Steed said that notices had gone out to residents recently. The changes will mean a cheaper annual permit fee, the need for fewer visitor's vouchers.
  2. Southfield 20 mph zone update: It was announced that the signs for the 20 mph zone would be installed in September / October this year. Other good news was that Council officers were planning to move the position of the centre lines of the following streets: Southfield Road, The Avenue, Acton Lane, South Parade and Beaconsfield Road.
  3. Planning Application: It was mentioned that a planning application had been lodged for two towers (seven and eight stories high) sited at Empire House (near Sainsbury's). It is likely that these proposals if agreed by Hounslow's Planning Committee would overshadow properties in Southfield.

Future meetings
The remaining three Southfield ward forum meetings take place at 7.30 on:

  • Thursday 11th September at the Carlton Road Day Centre, Carlton Road, W4
  • Thursday 13th November at the Scout Hut, off Rugby Road, W4
  • Thursday 19th February at St Albans Church, South Parade, W4.

If you have an item you would like to have added to the agenda please let us know by emailing

Everyone is welcome to the meeting!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Apprenticeships give young people a chance to shine

I had the privilege of attending an Apprenticeship Dinner organised by Ealing Council recently. The event was attended by a mixture of current and past apprentices and employers who are thinking of taking on apprentices.

Quite simply an apprenticeship gives a young person the chance to shine whilst working for Ealing Council or many other companies based in and around the borough. As part of the apprenticeships, which last two years, training is given ‘on the job’ as well as some employers giving time off so apprentices can take up academic qualifications which will help them in their chosen field.

Lib Dem Gary Malcolm: supporting apprenticeships
The range of jobs that Ealing’s apprenticeships take up is very diverse. Some are office based. Others are in the building sector and some in local engineering firms.

On average, apprentices earn £100,000 more over their career than less qualified workers. They also help businesses. Over 80% of businesses who employ apprentices agree they make their workforce more productive.

Liberal Democrats have been at the fore-front of promoting apprenticeships, locally and nationally. We have helped create 1.8 million apprenticeships since the election in 2010. There are now more apprentices than ever before and 86% more than under Labour.

We are giving 40,000 businesses grants of £1,500 for each young unemployed person they take on as an apprentice and awarding £550m to colleges to improve their facilities for apprentices.

Employers have access to funding to cover training costs for apprentices. This is paid directly to the organisation that provides and supports the apprenticeship - in most cases the learning provider. Employers must make sure they pay apprentices at least the current minimum wage rate.

If an apprentice is 19 or over, and have completed their first year, they are entitled to the worker rate for their age. Over the past few years I have seen a number of apprentices who have gone on to do some wonderful work. Most are very hard working and really put in 100% Listening to their stories is very inspirational.

Ealing Council with the help of the coalition government is making a positive impact on giving young people more opportunities for them to do well in the work place so they can better themselves in life generally.

The Liberal Democrats support getting more apprenticeships started. Lots of employers have already provided apprenticeships. If you are an employer or you would like to become an apprentice see how you can started...

  • Ealing Council is looking for business owners and managers who can offer apprenticeships to 16-24 year olds.
  • If you are 16-24 years old and you do not have a degree or level 4 qualifications, you can apply to become an apprentice.

I hope you can see that becoming an apprentice would be beneficial to your future prospects as well as the local economy. If you can provide an apprenticeship then please do so. Everyone will benefit!