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Ealing and Northfield

Ward Walkabout

Yesterday your three Northfield councillors spent a couple of hours doing a walkabout around the ward with various council officers and the police. In particular we wanted to show officers a few of the projects you have raised as being suitable for spending the ward forum’s capital budget of £40K on. It was good also to see that a couple of (too-)long running local projects are coming to fruition. See below.

11 replies on “Ward Walkabout”

When we get all our councillors doing regular walkabouts, and recording what they have seen and what they are doing, and then letting us know what they are doing, apart from at extremely infrequent ward meetings, then perhaps we could have more respect. What about councillors having some sort of website.
It would be interesting if you would answer this question. Thank you

Additionally you will have seen in the Gazette website that 70% of voters do not think they are getting value from the Councillors. Why is this?

George,

Are you praising the Northfield councillors or criticising others? I think we have to accept that different councillors do things in different ways.

I have a blog which is unusual. The only other councillor to blog regularly is Ian Gibb. We both allow comments so people can have a bit of a dialogue with us. Other Conservative councillors such as Jason Stacey and Barbara Yerolemou often comment on the Ealing Today Forum, again this allows people to reply. Subsequent to his election as Ealing Southall PPC Gurcharan Singh has been commenting on the Ealing Times website. A welcome development I think.

Many councillors don’t have the confidence to be so outspoken. They do have other skills though and are often quiet fighters for their areas. If all councillors broadcasted their opinions all of the time it would be very tedious.

I don’t think any of the Labour or LibDem councillors have a proper blog which is a bit of a shame. I guess they know they would get pretty horribly flamed if they did – by me certainly. Labour’s Bassam Mahfouz has a website that looks blogish but there have only been three posts since the summer and no comments are allowed.

For myself I only wish I had £10 for every time a Labour councillor quoted my blog. It would be a worthwhile earner but it wouldn’t make me rich. I have got into trouble blogging and I no doubt will again. You do tend to leave an audit trail of your opinions so people can trip you up more easily. I think that is a good thing and that it makes you accountable.

On the subject of that little poll in the Gazette, it is a load of rubbish and you know it. They do not say how big their sample is. It is very tiny I can tell you. I would be surprised if it was even a couple of hundred. They do at least try to prevent people voting repeatedly (I just checked!).

We don’t ask that particular question in our residents survey but we do use a proper market research company to interview over 3,000 people, a statistically significant sample.

Last year’s survey is published here (this year’s isn’t out yet).

77% of people think that the council is doing a good job, 69% think it is efficient and well run and 60% think that it is doing a better job now than a year ago.

We are not complacent. We know there are many improvements to be made. But, I do think you could be a little more even handed and little less dyspeptic George.

Phil,
I have never doubted that some of our Councillors work hard for the community. What I am really saying is that we want to know more about more of them. I am not convinced by your remark re confidence. But we have so many of them, and your Council wants me to pay Council tax for their keep. If apparently, some hardly put in their hours why does the Council refuse to offer discounts, for which it has powers, if all tax is paid up front in April? Perhaps some may struggle to see this connection (even though Ealing takes one of the largest amounts in traffic fines). But if we pay the Councillors keep, then we must know what return we get for our money. You have to admit as a businessman, that this information is not transparent at all except from the famous few who I applaud for being public, even if their views are different to mine and which also are occasionally insulting – which I suppose is a behaviour pattern to which they think they are entitled. So I shall leave dyspepsia alone.

Unsurprisingly, you do have a strong tendency to be one sided in your blogs – so it is only right that people can see the bigger picture. I am not surprised that the survey did not use the Gazette’s question. I think that the opposition will be very interested in your presentation on 17 December when you say 3000 people is a respectable number of people to voice an opinion. As I have said before, the Conservatives for a very long time, are going to be accountable.

At last I can start to agree with parts of what the SEC are advocating. It is just such a pity that the Tories of all people cannot create in their planning vision a very much stronger long lasting environment for substantial business growth in the Town Centre – which has very good and soon even better transport links. Perhaps you may learn more if you play Sim City!

But do keep blogging, and thank you for your comments.

Phil,

I find it a little strange that you have a news item about your walking around your Ward. I would have expected that this is the least a Councillor is expected to do for his residents on a regular basis.

And as George has brought it up, can I join him and confirm that many of us are indeed looking forward to your presentation on the 17th.

During your presentation no doubt you’ll tell us all who your alleged 5,000 Arcadia supporters are and whose data you are relying upon here.

No doubt you’ll substantiate with numbers your claim that more people have written to you expressing support for Arcadia than objecting to it. Your statement about this is so completely at odds with the massive volume of letter/email objections received by the Council and as such is trully fantastical.

It’s fascinating how you reject data that you don’t agree with – like the Gazette research.

If the Council decides to go ahead with Glenkerrin’s Arcadia 1,000s of residents will hate this administration for crippling the centre of Ealing.

But, to echo George, do keep blogging and I look forward to your comments.

I hope you can spend more time studying the deatail of the Haven Green bus stop collection planning application before you speak because your written comments in correspondence indicate that you haven’t fully grasped the zero improvement in bus capacity involved.

Phil,
Eric’s last comment is alarming.

We need a proper new bus station. Nothing else will do. Get it right even if it takes more time.

Population explosion, more people soon over 50 than under needing public transport, climate change accepted even by the amazing George Bush at last, huge housing developments to meet uncontrolled breeding with car parks, all councils whatever their politics gradually squeezing cars off the roads, CPZs and 24 hour bus lanes everywhere, car fines the cost of one week’s JSA, people thronging more and more streets, Ealing bus arrangements currently a complete disaster, Ealing Broadway station during rush hour a health and safety risk and a thoroughly revolting experience, the loss of Bus stations in Ealing Borough and Chiswick – all of this and more in the last 10 -15 years or so. If the new transport arrangements cannot allow for expansion now AND also have built in expansion for the future by having a really decent and forward thinking new bus station with proper interchange facilities for the growing railway needs, then in the immortal words you lot have got to be having a laugh. A mere interchange facility will be chronic Dyspepsia for the masses. You know how robins behave when there are too many on the territory?

I urge you to look inside your intelligent self and look to the long term future. Forget your political allegiances just for one moment. Forget your selective thinking this time. Think of your kids (if you have some) living in their forties in Ealing having just paid off the debts of Gordon Brown. Will they be able to bus ride to Kingston or Brentford football or Richmond or Fulham or Hampstead or Twickenham Rugby or a golf course except on many buses, will they take one or two hours to get round the borough in their car to visit their ailing Dad when he is hobbling about and still attacking bloggers with his walking stick, will they be able to do his shopping involving parking at his house, will they be able to drive to the hospital let alone afford to park while they dump their kids at the Gurnell swimming pool or the Twyford sports centre? Please reach for your holistic thinking cap and discard your blue striped sweatshirt for a moment. Think vision. Remember also Cameron does not want you lot to foul up in historically voter hung territory.

We need a super modern transport hub in central Ealing. When I was young in London, I used to sit on a bus with people from all walks of life. That increasing demand is starting to happen again. You don’t need to be a planner or a transport guru. You just need to feel your gut instinct and consult wisdom and your senses. Forget rationale. Forget bureaucracy. Forget developers’ profits and pressure visits. Unless I am turned away I shall watch you and your body language as decision maker with acute interest on 17 December. Is a mature Tory party listening to the needs of forward thinking transport needs – or not – will be my question. Men or mice?

Ealing centre needing a scaleable, integrated transport hub is an undeniable fact and SEC’s Vision document articulates this need very well. You ought to read it.

Glenkerrin’s Arcadia+ plans will make the location of a transport hub radiating out from Ealing Broadway Station a virtual impossibility.

Glenkerrin’s plan to collect up all the bus stops and relocate them together in the north east corner of Haven Green is laughlably clearly not this transport hub or in fact not a functioning ‘proper’ bus station.

I have no political allegiances. Were I to stand for public office it would be as an independent.

I’m not a selective thinker but an holistic thinker. I take in views from Tories, New Labour Tories, LibDems, Greens, Christians, Muslims, Seculars, Gays, Heterosexuals, Disabled, Old, Young – even Accountants and QPR supporters.

Your colourful ranting does you proud and passion is no bad thing.

How are you going to see my body language on the 17th? Over 100 residents will keenly watch yours though.

‘Mature Tory party’ – an oxymoron if ever I saw one.

Eric

The blog was addressed to Phil.

The Tories are making an impact on Ealing which will change its history au fond.

People who are without vision can struggle to understand the realities of life. Hence a little colour.

QPR? Ah well.

Eric and George,

I don’t think the proposed reorganisation is Haven Green is meant to be a total solution to Ealing’s transport needs. It does seem to be a useful tidying up. I think it gives us a larger square open space rather than two disconnected triangles with a road down the middle. It also clears up the front of the station at last.

If you want a transport interchange I think you need to talk to Transport for London. I don’t hear them advocating compulsory purchase of large amounts of land to store buses in Ealing’s town centre. I might want to store buses out of the town centre and have them pick up and set down at Haven Green.

It also seems unrealistic to me to ask Glenkerrin to give up large amounts of their private property for a concert hall or a bus station or anything else. How much of your own money (for that is what council tax is) do you want to spend on this public infrastructure. £50 million, £100 million, £500 million? Even a very modest investment of £30 million would work out at about £500 per council tax payer. Are you up for that?

One of the things Peter Hall and I agreed on when he came to talk to the Ealing councillors was that there was ample room to the east of the station to solve the issues transport issues raised by Crossrail on land already owned by Netwrok Rail and TfL.

Surely a capital appraisal for a transport hub would be costed over 50 years and not 20? So yes to £30M and more. We can’t have something for nothing. How else will we ever get an answer.

The issue needs to be thoroughly reviewed because the present proposals will prevent a ‘total’ transport solution.

In as much as was possible Hammersmith was a total solution, and so now is St Pancras. Both were blighted for decades. but someone saw the big picture.

Going westwards it is now Ealing’s turn for huge change. I get concerned when there is talk of tidying up. It is no use tinkering.

It is not too late to review your position.

First impressions run deep, especially when set against one’s own experiences in other working environments.

Watching behaviours during my first attendance in the Council chamber on 17 December was illuminating. No wonder there has been a recent drive to recruit new Councillors. There is nothing like presenting in front of judges which sharpens the mind by having to articulate what is relevant – and nothing else. No may be’s, no irrelevances, just evidence and well argued points, and dealing with all the issues is simply what they want. The Arcadia discussion did not deal with a number of key points. the vote appeared to be a foregone conclusion, and it seemed that the chair voted against, just to be wayward.

I do not know if I was at a tea party without the tea, or in a faded music hall without the jokes, or at Madame Tussauds watching moving waxworks. I regret to say some of the Councillor speakers were just full of wind, though not you. Some of them, I am afraid to conclude, need a lot of training.

Hope the baby gets better for Christmas.

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