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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Ealing’s Wheelie bin madness

In early June, Ealing will see most of borough covered with wheelie bins. Many rural boroughs make use of wheelie bins. Many urban places do not, and for a number of good reasons.

The main reason is the lack of space. When questioned, Labour-run Ealing Council, stated that only 2% of people would be exempt from having wheelie bins but in many wards, including Southfield, the figure is over 10%

Wheelie bins: eyesores
The Council is wrong in its basic assumptions.

When Councils want to make controversial changes, they should consult. Sutton Council did this and people accepted the result as the Council was up-front and honest – even if the decision is not what some residents wanted.

Previously, Ealing Council did consult, and most wards did not want wheelie bins. People were happy because the ones who wanted bins got them, and those that didn’t, did not.

Liberal Democrats say residents should have been consulted, but the Labour party arrogantly think they know best!

In 2014 all the political parties in Ealing were against them. But as soon as the election took place they moved to change their policy. It gives a very poor view of Labour who keep making u-turn after u-turn.

No wonder people distrust politicians.

We now know more about the details of what people will be forced to accept:

  • The cost of the wheelie bin will be over £3 million!
  • Too many homes have too small a front garden or area to house the two wheelie bins. Many people will not be able to store their garden waste bag and kitchen waste bin.
  • Many residents have told me to they will have to pavement over their garden as those collecting the bins will stamp on their flower bed.
  • One resident said he will need to sell his child’s bike and get rid of a small shed!
  • The smaller bin is the same height as the larger one which means they will still cause an eyesore.
  • Some people want a smaller recyclables bin but the Council will not allow this.
  • Your old bins will not be taken away by the Council.
  • When people challenge the decision they arrogantly get an auto reply email essentially saying ‘tough luck’!

In summary Labour-run Ealing Council is not listening to its residents. They are arrogant and our borough will be worse off.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Easter rubbish and recycling collection changes

Ealing Council is reminding residents that rubbish and recycling collections will be carried out a day later than usual from Monday 28th March until Saturday 2nd April.

Councillor Gary Malcolm recycling
Collections will take place as normal on Good Friday (25 March).

Usual collection day          Revised collection day
Mon 28th March                  Tues 29th March
Wed 30th March                 Thurs 31st March
Fri 1st April                         Tues 29th March
Wed 30th March                 Thurs 31st March
Fri 1st April                          Sat 2nd April

Collections will return to normal on Monday 4th April.

We have been told that rubbish and recycling should be left at the front of the property (not on the pavement) by 7am on the collection day.

The re-use and recycling centres at Stirling Road, Acton will stay open as usual throughout the bank holiday period.

Junior Doctors, Mental Health and Cannabis

Ealing has seen a reduction in the provision of healthcare locally over the past few years.

We have lost the Accident and Emergency service we had and the maternity ward. This has meant that patients, mothers and family members are having to travel much further to get vital health care.
The Liberal Democrats campaigned against these changes but Conservative Health Minister Jeremy Hunt made the decision to axe some of these important services.

Junior Doctors striking
The recent strike by junior doctors is a worrying event. Doctors rarely go on strike and the changes that the government proposed have been attacked by many. The morale of many nurses and doctors is at an all time low.

It is right that we should be looking to have an urgent healthcare system that operates seven days a week but many services do operate seven days a week. If we do, doctors and nursing staff need to be given a fair deal in terms of their working conditions.

If doctors, nurses and other staff are working over the weekend this needs to be done in a way that makes use of those who wish to work at weekends or pay more for the inconvenience that many will suffer.

So how can we settle the uncertainty that the Health Minister has caused? Firstly more money might be needed to make improvements to our health service. Some of this could come from the legalising of cannabis.

The evidence is pretty clear that legalising cannabis for personal use only, would help both ease the pain of many patients with terminal illnesses as well as generate addition tax income for the government which could be spent on health services.

The Economist recently published a paper called “Regulating Cannabis - the right way to do drugs”. It showed that outlawing cannabis use is not a gateway to harder drugs and in some cases people reduce their drug usage.

By legalising the cultivation, the sale and the consumption of cannabis the regulations would generate a safer outcome as well as generating income for the state. You would also take out the cartels who illegally smuggle and trade drugs.

Another area that needs real improvement is that of mental health. When the Liberal Democrats were in government we ensured that more money was given to this vital area. We need to be better at identifying those who have mental health issues and help treat them. The Conservative government has gone back on some of its pledges which is a sad state of affairs.

So in Ealing and across the country we need to improve our healthcare – I have shown how this could be achieved.

Clearly in the short term the Liberal Democrats believe our doctors and nurses should be supported. The current government appears not to want to give some doctors are fair settlement.

A fairer settlement would mean a more motivated workforce.

That is what Ealing needs.