We were really pleased with the turnout for the first ever ward forum in Northfield, indeed the borough. Over 100 people squeezed into the Log Cabin behind Northfield Library on Thursday evening and most people stayed for two hours of comments and questions.
There were various people from our residents associations EFRA and Boston Manor RA. Other came from NABTA and Ealing Civic Society and our SNT sergeant, Greg Fox, also introduced himself. Most importantly lots of regular people came to raise issues.
My fellow councillor David Millican wrote this report for the press:
If the measure of success is the number of residents who attended, then the first ever Ward Forum, held in Northfields on Thursday 4 September, was an enormous success. Over 100 local residents came. Compare that with the dozen or so who came to the Ealing Area Committee. And that covered six wards.
Many people spoke and shared their views on subjects as wide ranging as hanging baskets, dog fouling, blocking off back alleys, 20 MPH zones. The list goes on. They questioned the neighbourhood Police Sergeant on kids cycling on the pavement, police helicopters, youths on street corners. When one resident thanked the Council for improving the collection of rubbish, the cleaner streets, increasing the opportunity for re-cycling and elimination of graffiti, there was a spontaneous and deafening round of applause.
It is shame that the three Ealing Labour MPs have sniped from the sidelines, calling the new Ward Forums talking shops. Of course Ward Forums are talking shops. That is the whole idea. Residents talk and Councillors listen. The Northfields Councillors are committed to taking serious note of the views of the residents they represent on the Council. Roll on the next Northfield Ward Forum.
Alex Hayes from Ealing Times came and his report is here.
It was hard work standing up in front of more than 100 people for two hours but it was great to hear exactly what people think. One issue that really stood out is that people are keen to see enforcement of corners with double yellow lines to improve road safety. Noted.