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Northfield Ward Forum

Northfield Ward Forum

Last night we had our ward forum. You can see the agenda here and the notes of the meeting will appear in the same place shortly. I was quieter than usual and whilst not horribly jet-lagged from my flight home the night before I was quite happy to leave my ward colleague David Millican to make the running as chairman of the meeting. It was great that just over 50 residents came out to take part. These meetings are really useful for us councillors as they allow us to keep in close touch with what people are thinking and really understand the issues. So, thanks! Thanks for coming.

I do hope that no-one missed the meeting because of the venue change – the caretaker at Mount Carmel RC Primary School failed to turn up to let us in as agreed. Luckily Helen Johnson from the Log Cabin provided a plan B and everyone trooped around the corner. Mark Reen waited outside the school to let people know until at least 7.45pm. The other problem we had was the distribution company missing out five roads in the ward and only delivering the notice of the meeting at the last minute. I am afraid that both the school and the distribution company are going to get well roasted by our ward co-ordinator Tan Afzal today. Sorry if either of these problems got in the way of your attending.

Our SNT sergeant, Greg Fox, reported that crime in the ward has been up since the summer driven by domestic violence. For details of how to contact Sgt Fox and his team follow the Northfield SNT link on the right. Follow the Ealing crime figures link on the right to explore those more.

We spent some time talking about whether the ward or the Heritage Quarter should seek some kind of designation under the planning rules with one of the planning officers from the council, Rosemarie Wakelin. We are all proud of our neighbourhood but most of the area is simply too diverse to think of making into a conservation area. There may be a case for locally listing some buildings or groups of buildings or for employing the new designation of Local Area of Special Character. If you would like to contribute ideas please e-mail her at

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Northfield Ward Forum

Northfield Ward Forum – next Monday

The next Northfield Ward Forum Meeting will be at the South Ealing Mission, Junction Road (entrance 51 Carlyle Road) on Monday 5 July 2010 starting at 7.30pm.

The agenda is available here.

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Northfield Ward Forum

Northfield Ward Forum – next Thursday

The next Northfield Ward Forum Meeting will be at The Log Cabin, 259 Northfield Avenue on Thursday 25 February 2010 starting at 7.30pm.

The agenda is available here.

If you don’t know where the Log Cabin is it is just behind Northfield library next door to Northfield tube station. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Northfield Ward Forum

Petty cash

Virendra SharmaI have just been checking out Ealing Southall MP, Virendra Sharma’s expenses. You can see them here.

He is relatively OK in as much as he has not claimed any Additional Costs Allowance, the so-called second homes allowance. He does though have some questions to answer I think. He has made claims under the Incidental Expenses Provision, ie office costs, and the Communications Allowance, otherwise known as the incumbents protection scheme.

He was elected on 19th July 2007. Before the end of the year he had worked out that he was “entitled” to claim £250 a month for petty cash without supplying any receipts. Yippee! He claimed £1,500 for his first six months on 11th December and after that he claimed for £500 on 23rd February and £250 in 31st March. I guess this time next year we will find he kept claiming £250 per month until he got caught. Some one should of read more on the review of Quickbooks Self-Employed, never hurts to learn more .

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Northfield Ward Forum

Next Northfield Ward Forum to clash with G20

For anyone who isn’t busy with the G20 summit please come along to the next Northfield ward forum. If we can’t put the world right we can at least make some progress on our own doorstep.

Thursday, 2nd April 2009 at 7:30-9.30 pm at Northfields Community Centre, Main Hall, 71a Northcroft Road, Ealing W13 9SS

Provisional dates for future meetings:

  • Wednesday 24 June 2009
  • Thursday 22 October 2009

All minutes, agendas, etc here.

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Ealing and Northfield Northfield Ward Forum

Next ward forum Thursday

The second Northfield ward forum is due on Thursday at 7.30pm. The venue this time is the Mount Carmel Primary School on Little Ealing Lane.

The notes from the last session are here. All newsletters, agendas, etc are here. The venue last time was the Log Cabin, which was a bit small, hence the upgrade.

As well as your three councillors Sgt Greg Fox and PC Jav Khan from the Northfield Safer Neighbourhood Team will attend.

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Northfield Ward Forum

Northfield Ward Forum

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.

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Ealing and Northfield Northfield Ward Forum

MPs on ward forums

The Gazette had a funny piece on Friday. It was our three local Labour MPs sounding off about the new ward forums. It might have been useful to hear their opinions once they had attended one or two of these new meetings themselves. As it was they pretty much spouted the local Labour party line.

The first ward forum ever in the borough happened in Virendra Sharma’s constituency, Northfield being one of the wards that make up the Ealing Southall constituency. It would have been nice to see him there but Sharma only likes to turn up to council meeting once every six months to qualify for his allowance. I reported his last appearance here. Sharma has until 3rd October to attend another council meeting otherwise he will cease to be a councillor.

Ealing North MP, Steve Pound, was quick to find fault:

I’m also a bit suspicious about the expensive glossy leaflets that are being produced with ratepayers’ money and distributed throughout the borough.

In Northfield our “glossy leaflet” was a pretty dry exposition of what the meeting was about, ward boundaries, etc. It is a bit pointless to have a meeting if you don’t invite anyone. The glossy leaflet succeeded in pulling in over a 100 residents to a productive meeting. The Northfield councillors are very grateful to those that came.

No doubt we will shortly be able to see how much of their new communications allowance our three local Labour MPs have spent over the last year. In March 2007 all three local Labour MPs voted in favour of giving themselves a £10,000 per annum communications allowance, see here. Maybe Pound was being ironic?

The points they all make about decisions being made centrally by the cabinet are kind of right but just wrong too. The old area committees effectively just made recommendations to cabinet, that were rarely overturned. I suspect that it will be even harder for cabinet to overturn any spending proposals made by ward forums unless they are technically infeasible.

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Northfield Ward Forum

Northfield leads with ward forums

The council announced today that Northfield is keeping ahead of the pack by holding the first official ward forum in the borough on 4th September.

Any and all Northfield residents are invited to the Northfield Ward Forum to be held on Thursday 4 September at 7:30 pm at the Log Cabin, 259 Northfield Avenue, W5 4UA. Entrance behind Northfield Library.

Whilst Northfield councillors have organised three informal ward forums over the past year the council has now formalised this for every ward. The new ward forums replace the old area committees. The purpose is to give residents more opportunities to participate in local democracy, interact with the council, influence services and help to improve their local areas.

Led by elected councillors, the new ward forums feature joint problem solving on local concerns, including round table discussions on issues such as community safety, traffic and transport schemes, parks and street improvements. Each ward will have the chance to influence an annual budget of £40,000 for local capital improvements for their neighbourhood.

We hope you can all come to this new-look Northfield Ward Forum.

Please note: The flyer that the council sent erroneously ave a staert time of 7pm. The start time is 7.30pm.

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Ealing and Northfield Northfield Ward Forum

Outright porkies

LibDem porkies on ward forums

Another piece in Walpole FOCUS No. 14 was not so amusing. It was a bunch of outright porkies and the LibDems should know better. They are meant to be in favour of localism. The Cabinet proposals for ward forums are localism red in tooth and claw and the only people complaining about them are the weaker brethren amongst the councillors who are wary of making actual decisions and unwilling to engage with their voters. Decisions of ward forums will be susceptible to being thrown out by Cabinet in the same way that area committee decisions are currently.