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Ealing and Northfield

Bell lays claim to Acton project

Council leader Julian Bell is quick to claim credit for the Acton Town Hall/Acton Baths regeneration project. Maybe he should wait until it is finished? If he doesn’t get it finished by the local elections next 22nd May he will look pretty silly. His predecessor Cllr Jason Stacey got the Northolt Leisure Centre started and open again in January 2010. Interestingly Stacey’s technique was to personally drive the project, and a raft of others, through a forum called the Queen of the Suburbs Board which reviewed progress on this and other projects at regular intervals. Much the same technique that Cllr Stacey used to sort out the cleaning contract.

The commitment to this project was made in the budget setting process of 2010 under Cllr Stacey. £12 million of residents’ funds were allocated to the project. Cllr Bell might usefully explain the increase of budget to £18 million. In typical Labour fashion Bell labels your money and mine as Labour’s. This is why Labour should never be in charge.

It is unfortunate for Cllr Bell and his administration that is hasn’t had more scope for capital spending. Like the previous administration what capital there is has been largely sucked up by schools expansion. That is why he is reduced to claiming the credit for other people’s decisions. The few decisions made by Bell are instructive in themselves. He has prioritised over £10 million of spending on the council’s own offices and £5 million for an economically illiterate car park in Southall whilst he has cut road spending by 40%. More on that later!

2 replies on “Bell lays claim to Acton project”

Give Councillor Stacey his due.
He gave up his day job to give all his energies to leading the Council. Councillor Bell has not done that and it seems inconceivable that it’s possible to lead any Local Authority, never mind one as big as Ealing, unless you are full time on the project.

As for being economical with the truth…. this is not the exclusive preserve of Labour politicians.

Eric,

You are right to point out that Cllr Bell still works two days a week as the researcher to Southall MP Virendra Sharma in spite of drawing an allowance of £41,400 from the council.

Bell’s need to stay close to Sharma is interesting. He is an Ealing North councillor who lives in Acton. The Southall troika of Bell, Sharma and Sahota are at the centre of power within the Ealing Labour party. It is not hard to work out why they think an uneconomic car park in Southall is a good use of £5 million.

The second centre is the Ealing North contingent who lost out badly in the last round of internal group elections which saw saw the Southall group consolidate their hold on power. More on this another time.

The upshot of all of this is that Southall and Ealing North divide the spoils and Acton has to make do with scraps from the table.

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