Labour cheating again

Labour leaflet abusing SOHThe Ealing Labour party is prepared to lie and cheat to keep power in Ealing.

They have just launched a new leaflet that uses imagery paid for by the council as a part of the cross party campaign against A&E closures in the Borough.

The banner shown here was produced at public expense. The graphics are all owned by LBE. How did the Labour party get hold of this banner for their purely political photoshoot? They really should have known better. They really do not care if they misuse public property as a part of their campaign. The people behind the banner are a Labour GLA assembly member, two MPs and the leader of the council. They know they are cheating and they just don’t care.

Labour needs to stop cheating. The leaflet is a pack of lies to but more on that later.

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Same old Labour

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Pound bested by Cameron at PMQs

Ealing North MP Stephen Pound is a great performer and today when he asked a question at Prime Minister’s questions, Parliament went quiet to hear him. Somebody had to ask the Beer and Bingo question and the task fell to Pound.

By the end even Pound had to acknowledge that the Prime Minister had bested him. David Cameron told him:

I am sure the Right Honourable Gentleman sitting opposite enjoys a game of bingo. It is the only time he ever gets close to Number 10.

Push the slider to 12:12:30.

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Cllr Tailor: Please stop claiming credit and clean up Hoylake Road

Tailor's Potemkin VillageIn its rush to be seen to getting things finished off before the local elections Labour is cutting a few corners. On Wednesday the Council put out a press release along with a photo of Labour’s Cllr Tailor who speaks on housing for them. Cllr Tailor is photographed at the rear of the three new houses in Hoylake Road.

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The view out the front is somewhat different. The council’s contractor has left a load of old pallets and a full pallet of turf out on the green half way down Hoylake Road. The mess on the right is on the public highway and simply shouldn’t be there. I do hope that Cllr Tailor will get this mess cleared up quickly. He is quick enough to brag about the council building new council houses in his ward, typically he doesn’t even notice the mess outside the front.

The council’s press release was at least even handed enough to point out that this programme dates back to 2009 and was started under the previous Conservative administration. The Hoylake development is first identified in cabinet papers in January 2010. Cllr Tailor has been in charge of this programme for four years and it has taken four years to get the job done. Why so long?

Labour bragging

Cllr Tailor and his Labour comrades would have you believe that Labour is the fount of all good things in the Borough. In truth there is very little that Labour can brag about that wasn’t started off by the Conservatives four years ago. The only major exceptions are the Southall car park, the gold-plated civic quarter and shiny new hub offices for council staff.

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Council leader short changes Ealing twice over with South of France jolly

Julian Bell at MIPIMCouncil leader Julian Bell arrived in Cannes in the South of France yesterday afternoon for the MIPIM property show in time for the opening fireworks and cocktail party at the Carlton Hotel. He has just completed a six day cycle ride from London. It started off last Thursday morning and ended yesterday afternoon. The MIPIM property show in Cannes goes on until the weekend.

Carlton Cannes

Councillor Bell is short-changing Ealing twice over. He draws an allowance of £41,400 from Ealing council on the understanding that he is doing a fulltime role. Unlike previous leader Jason Stacey who did do the job fulltime, taking a pause in a successful career, Bell still moonlights two days a week as a paid researcher for Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma. Not only does Ealing lose Bell’s full attention but most residents would be uncomfortable with the conflict of interest inherent with the leader of the council being so closely associated with one part of the Borough. Talking of conflicts of interest what does Ealing owe Broadgate Estates now?

Both of Bell’s jobs come with significant downtime which coincides with school holidays. Parliament wasn’t in recess last week or this and the council is in full swing. Taking 10 days out for a jolly is not on.

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Labour’s South Acton councillors misleading on roads

Bollo Lane

The South Acton councillors were either very poorly informed or just plain not telling the truth about road re-surfacing at the South Acton ward forum last Wednesday.

First off Mik Sabiers tried to suggest that the Labour council has spent more on the roads than the previous Conservative administration. Plain wrong. And with his experience of the finances of Ealing Council he should know better. Between 2006-2010 the Conservative administration allocated £25.5 million to roads. The current Labour administration has allocated £17.5 million, a 30% cut.

The councillors also implied, contrary to the official line taken by the council, that they have influenced road spending decisions. These are meant to be taken in an entirely objective way by officers on the basis of an annual condition survey of the roads (with some tweaking to come up with a cost-effective overall programme). Looking at the distribution I have my doubts. Five Labour dominated wards have had more than a £1 million spent on them in the last three years.

The councillors asserted that South Acton had done quite well on road resurfacing. Whilst South Acton may have done better than the other Acton wards it has done really very badly with only three roads having been tackled in 3 years.

The list of Acton roads and footpaths resurfaced under Labour is here:

Acton road resurfacing

Only £503K has been spent in Acton so far. This is £2.8 million less than a fair share of the Conservative roads spend and £1.8 million less than a fair share of Labour’s reduced road spend.

The last chance for Acton to get some road spending before the local elections will be the cabinet meeting on 25th March at which the Labour cabinet will agree the list of roads to share the last tranche of £3.5 million they are planning to spend. Just for Acton to get its fair share of Labour’s reduced road spending they will have to allocate £1.8 million to Acton. Although it is much needed I fear Acton won’t get it.

Labour’s South Acton councillors haven’t got a clue.

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Acton residents not impressed with Hanson’s plans

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Some 30 or so residents turned out to protest about the Hanson Concrete Batching Plant off Horn Lane this morning. There has been a plant here since the 1960s but Hanson replaced it without planning permission in 2011. They are now seeking retrospective planning permission. There is a huge problem in the area with PM10 particulate pollution which the council has been tardy in addressing.

The planning application will be heard at 7pm on Wednesday 12th March at Ealing Town Hall. The papers are here.

The planning conditions proposed by the Ealing council planners are disappointing for residents. Although there is a requirement to add additional monitoring of particulates (which Hanson has objected to) there are no maximum pollution limits proposed.

There is a sensible list of noise attenuation measures although it is not clear why Hanson has not simply implemented these already.

The council is considering give the plant ridiculously long operating hours my view: 07:00 to 18:30 hours Monday to Friday, 07:00 to 17:30 hours on Saturday and not at any time on Sundays or Bank or Public Holidays. These should be knocked back to 08:00 to 18:00 hours Monday to Friday and 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturday.

Many residents would like to see this plant go and are extremely angry that it was allowed to be re-built without planning permission in the first place. Hanson really should have known better. The planning committee must at the very least insist that the pollution monitoring and noise control measures are included and furthermore they should restrict the hours of operation of the plant which are currently too long. The plant really shouldn’t be running on Saturday afternoon.

The Horn Lane goods yard is a blight on this corner of Acton and with the arrival of Crossrail we should be thinking of moving this area on, not allowing it to be held back by industrial blight. In the meantime the council needs to do a much better job of policing these businesses.

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LibDem leader: WANTED for hiking Council Tax 26%

Gary Malcolm poster

In 2003 both Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors in Ealing voted for a 26% rise in council tax in one year. The minutes of the meeting record the names of the guilty. The current leader of the LibDem group on the council and Southfield councillor Gary Malcolm was amongst them. In the 2002-2006 period council tax went up 47% and by 26% in one year in 2003.

The LibDems are unapologetic for their record as tax hikers and the record of the LibDems in power in local government is that they are worse than Labour.

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Julian Bell: WANTED for hiking Council Tax 26%

Wanted - Julian Bell

In 2003 both Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors in Ealing voted for a 26% rise in council tax in one year. The minutes of the meeting record the names of the guilty. In the 2002-2006 period council tax went up 47% and by 26% in one year in 2003.

Labour say they have learnt their lesson but the truth is that Labour can’t be trusted with money and the record of the LibDems in power in local government is that they are worse.

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ONS confirms Labour responsible for high domestic energy bills

Domestic energy prices

I wrote in January about how Labour was twisting the facts about energy prices.

A short report produced by ONS yesterday shows that domestic energy expenditure has been relative flat recently. It shot up under Labour, going up 52% in real terms between 2004 and 2009. The report’s headline number is spending up 55% in real terms between 2002 and 2012. Strange they didn’t want to identify the steep bit of the graph more prominently although the steep bit is discussed in the detail.

The ONS says:

Most of the increase in average spending on energy came between 2004 and 2009, reflecting the significant increases in energy prices which occurred over this period. By 2009, the average household spent the equivalent of £108 a month (in 2012 prices) on energy. Since then, there has been relatively little change in the average monthly spend on energy.

The limited change in expenditure since 2009 may be explained by a combination of factors, including a fall in domestic energy prices in 2010, and price rises in subsequent years appearing to be offset by lower energy use, partly due to milder winter temperatures.

It is clear that if you want to blame a party for high energy bills rather than world markets and a host of other factors then that party should be Labour.

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