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Ealing and Northfield

Stacey swats Greenhead

phil-greenhead.jpgCouncil leader Jason Stacey has today roundly swatted Labour Hobbayne councillor Phil Greenhead for issuing a press release that has been exposed as a load of twaddle. The press release issued on the 23rd April by the Labour Group on behalf of Cllr Greenhead stated that:

The Conservative Leader of Ealing Council, Jason Stacey, has been referred to Ealing Council’s Standards Committee.

Apparently, no such referral has taken place and no formal complaint has been made to the Council’s Monitoring Officer. The Labour press release also claims that the matter would now be considered by the Council’s Standards Committee. In reality no formal referral or complaint has been made. In response Stacey said:

Why would Cllr Greenhead issue a statement on the 23rd April saying I have been referred to the Council’s Standards Committee when this is not true? When challenged on this the following day by a journalist she attempted to change the thrust of her story by claiming that she was actually seeking advice. This is very different and certainly not what she said the day before.

In the past couple of days Cllr Greenhead has thrown a lot of loose words around without any attempt to back them up. She has accused me of lying but is unable to say how. Cllr Greenhead should be careful before she throws around false and defamatory accusations.

You may have seen the stories in Ealing Times here and here.

The Gazette today talked about 30 Hanwell lamppost protestors outside the council meeting on Tuesday but their photo only showed 22 people. Experience shows that photographers of such groups do their best to get everyone in so it is usually useful to judge such “crowds” by the number you can count in the photo. These guys say they are apolitical and I have no reason to doubt them but they have been wound up by someone and Labour activist Lauren Wall appears in their group photos and Cllr Greenhead is visibly making mischief. The way this issue might have been amicably settled some time ago would have been for Cllr Greenhead to make representations to Cllr Stacey not try to make a point after this issue had been discussed at length. It sounds like Greenhead was asleep and is trying to make it look like she can “add some value” at this late stage. Stirring it more like.

5 replies on “Stacey swats Greenhead”

As one of the original committee members of SEAL (and in which we have a broad church to say the least) I would like to emphasise that this whole debacle is due to the previous Labour Council who continually preached diversity but signed a wasteful PFI contract to sweep away part of our local culture and deliver a utilitarian replacement.
There is a gradual contraction of old lampposts and more council tax expenditure for refurbishment obviously has to be limited and in view of the various difficulties I would like to thank Jason Stacey for showing empathy to an area of Northfields & South Ealing on this issue. The conservation areas had largely settled for new heritage lighting for which they received a generous allocation in the same budget – although we as an Edwardian area with the largest concentration of cast-iron lampposts were destined to receive the basic sticks!
My view is that many Labour councillors were and probably still are out of touch when you remember the Tram, self-marking street cleaning contracts, the PFI contract, stalled recycling, the missing Virendra Sharma, and a good councillor would have raised this with the perfectly approachable Leader of the Council on an informal basis to represent the three or four streets which the Labour Group has previously signally failed.

As a resident in the area in question I really don’t care a damn what the streetlights look like or which administration orders them as long as they work much better than the current apologies. We have modernised houses and modern cars, roadsigns, phone boxes, cable boxes and so forth after all. What I want for my council tax is effective lighting that stops (or significantly reduces the risk of) my property being graffitied, my vehicles vandalised and most of all, saves me having to run to a stranger’s door to avoid being mugged.

Tut, Tut Phil, reading through all that’s been written, I don’t think those guys claimed to be ‘apolitical’, I think they said they were a mixed bunch of residents of many political persuasions. They said their campaign to save their lampposts had been apolitical. A big difference. So it’s a bit naughty and small-minded of councillors to try to dismiss their issue by trying to reduce the matter to personalities. And your use of the word ‘swat’ in relation to another councillor is arrogantly dismissive and demeaning, as was your previous use of the word ‘basketcases’ in reference to healthcare recipients.

I doubt if there is ever such a thing as an ‘apolitical’ group as all groups are comprised of individuals, and individuals differ. SEAL certainly doesn’t seem to have been ‘apolitical’, if Robert Darke’s comments above are anything to go by, but your Leader has been happy to engage with them.

It is a predictable pity that you try to politicise the matter though. Singling the Labour councillor out for criticism when there are also two Tory councillors in this ward who seem to have done nothing and said nothing during the year long ‘discussion’ you speak of is pretty unbalanced. Were Cllrs Popham and Costello ‘asleep’ too? They don’t seem to be doing a good job looking out for their patch. Were they ignorant? Did they deliberately not tell their constituents that their leader was taking Hanwell’s heritage to ‘gentrify’ Ealing? Or maybe they just do as they’re told?

At any rate I imagine that YOU weren’t asleep, so what did YOU do in the way of informing and consulting the people in Northfield ward, whose interests you’re supposed to represent, before you decided to ‘donate’ their antique cast-iron lamp columns to the Walpole ward where you youself live?

One more thought….. are any of the ‘pinched’ antique lampposts coming to a street near you, Phil?

http://www.ealingtoday.co.uk/default.asp?section=info&link=http://nnet-server.com/server/common/eacouncil045.htm

Vincent,

I think that before you ask if the local Conservative members were ‘asleep’ you ask the same questions question of the labour members in charge previously – who also lived locally – when the PFI contract was signed. One of those labour members lives in a street locally in my ward which are still emailing me two years on: desperate to have their ‘heritage’ street lighting retained.

In fact it was all affected local conservative councillors who managed to get the moratorium on further work from the leadership until a proper review of the replacement process could be undertaken. I remember Cllr Costello and Popham being at those meetings. So much for being ‘asleep’.

Singling out the only Labour councillor daft enough to stick their head into this situation is the right thing to do – firstly given that it was the Labour administration that created this mess in the first place – and secondly having taken no interest previously – Cllr Greenhead is quite frankly looking pathetic: desperately to obtain some local political brownie points after the fact.

It is the first time I can recall a Labour member seeming interested in this issue – a pity it’s two years too late.

Cllr Mark Reen,

In February Council reports on the Streetlighing PFI were saying it was a good PFI because it attracts PFI credits from central government which mean ‘ the Council will be benefiting from around £32m of new capital expenditure for an additional £186k per annum?’

Is the ‘mess’ you refer to the same Streetlighting PFI that the Council tells us now ‘gives very good value for money’. Is it the same Streetlighting PFI that the Council tells us most residents are happy with? Is it the same Streetlighing PFI that the Council tells us ‘will help to make Ealing one of the safest places to live in Lodon?’

Does your Council speak with forked tongue?

Forgive me if I am wrong but I had understood that it was Save Ealing’s Antique Lampposts (SEAL), rather than councillors, who had managed to persuade the Council to call a moratorium on cast-iron lamppost removal. I had also understood that it was SEAL, rather than the Council, who presented evidence that cast-iron columns could be retained. And I had understood that it was council officers who had beligerently insisted for many years that this was not possible and that any credit for making them change their mind is due to SEAL, not the Council.

If the Hanwell Councillors (Costello & Popham) were at these meetings where their leader decided to ‘donate’ all the antique lampposts left in Hanwell to Ealing then I suggest ‘asleep’ is a polite term for their lack of effectiveness in securing a better deal for Hanwell. If you and your Northfield colleagues were also present then I suggest the same applies to you.

The so-called ‘daft’ Labour councillor was at least representing the concerns of residents in her ward, whereas as the Tory councillors seem to have been concerned with dividing the spoils between themselves.

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