Archive for December, 2011

Walpole Park Plans to be Unveiled

Ealing Council will be outlining proposals for major developments for Walpole Park at a public meeting on Saturday, 7 January.

The meeting at 3pm in Ealing Green Church Hall, Ealing Green will present plans to restore some of the park’s heritage features as well as build a new community classroom, refreshments kiosk and public toilets.

There will also be an opportunity for children over the age of five to have their say by taking part in an art workshop during the presentation.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “It’s a great opportunity for local people and visitors to the park to come along and see what we’ve got planned. The new facilities will provide young people and heritage fans with a great learning opportunity. There is so much more to come for the park and the Olympics Torch Relay ‘stop-over’ party and Ealing Summer Festivals, mean 2012 promises to be an exciting year for Walpole Park.”

In July 2011 the council was awarded £2.4million by the Heritage Lottery Fund to help restore and preserve some of the park’s historic features. The funding will be used over the next four years to support the council’s commitment to protect and re-grow some of the park’s original trees and plants.

To book a place on the art workshop and to find out more about the meeting contact the council’s parks team on 020 8825 6742 or email pmgwalpole@ealing.gov.uk.

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Ealing Labour Freeze Council TaxEaling Labour have announced they intend to freeze council tax again meaning the council tax payers are paying exactly the same amount as they were when Labour came to power in May 2010. In a Council meeting this Tuesday Cllr Yvonne Johnson Labour’s Cabinet member for finance and performance confirmed that the Cabinet will recommend a council tax freeze when the budget is set in March.

She said “Despite the huge cuts the Government is making Labour’s prudent management of the council’s finances means that we can afford to help local people in these difficult times. This Council tax freeze will put money in people’s pockets when the Tory-led Government’s reckless economic gamble is hurting hard working people.”

Cllr Julian Bell Labour leader of Ealing Council said, “We have heard a lot of nonsense from the Government about how they are freezing residents Council tax bills. What they don’t tell people is that their supposed Council tax freeze will be paid for by Council’s next year when the money disappears.

In Ealing Labour is freezing the council tax because we have taken tough decisions to balance our budgets and in these difficult times it is right that we don’t ask local residents to pay for the Tory-led Government’s cuts. We now know that the Ealing Conservative alternative is to increase the council tax by 17% which is a £232 council tax bombshell of unfunded promises.”

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Ealing Council has signed a contract with Enterprise Managed Service Ltd for their environmental services.

Waste contract signed

The contract, which covers waste, recycling, street cleaning, parks and grounds maintenance, and burial and cemetery services is worth approximately £17million a year.

The new contract will start in two phases beginning with parks, grounds maintenance and cemeteries from January 2012. Other parts of the contract will come into force next April and will include improvements in the quality of street cleaning, with more sweeping taking place.

Streets will also be cleaned the same day as refuse and recycling collection, but after the collection has taken place so any spilt waste will be dealt with immediately – currently they are cleaned the day after collection. Waste and recycling will continue to be collected weekly from households and bins in parks will be emptied more frequently. Garden waste will be collected every two weeks from households that wish to subscribe.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and Environment, said: “This is one of Ealing’s most important contracts so we wanted to ask companies to provide more for less, given the current climate. What we have will ensure delivering the absolute best for our residents, while also getting the best value possible. With this new contract we will make significant savings and improve the services delivered to the borough. It is anticipated the new contract will save the council and the taxpayer at least £3million annually. I look forward to working with Enterprise in our campaign to become one of the greenest and cleanest boroughs in London.”  (more…)

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This year residents’ refuse and recycling collections will be one day later after Christmas but will revert back to normal from Saturday, 31 December.

Refuse collections change due to bank holiday

Residents can also recycle their real Christmas trees with their garden waste or at some of the borough’s parks and open spaces this January. A full list of these locations will be available on the council website.

The council’s re-use and recycling centres will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.  Normal opening hours (8am–4pm) apply on all other days over the Christmas and New Year period.  These centres are located at Stirling Road, Acton, Gordon Road, Southall and Greenford Road, Greenford.  Please note that the weighbridge at the Greenford centre closes at 3.30pm. (more…)

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Cllr Bassam Mahfouz speaking to police in Deans Gardens

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz speaking to police in Deans Gardens one of the crime hotspots which will see new additional lighting

Ealing Council is to invest £70,000 to introduce lighting in three key crime hotspots across the borough.

The council’s Cabinet heard on Tuesday 29 November, that the areas where lighting will be introduced are: Dean Gardens in West Ealing, the footpath between Church Road and Godfrey Avenue in Northolt and Bond Street alleyway in Ealing.

These locations were identified after the council looked at where crimes and anti-social behaviour had occurred on streets and footpaths across the borough, in partnership with the police. A survey into the current lighting provision also took place and these three locations were chosen because they were crime hotspots that currently had no lighting.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and Environment, said: “Good street lighting helps reduce crime and the fear of crime. That is why I am delighted that we are embarking on delivering our manifesto pledge to introduce new or improved street lighting to help tackle crime hotspots across the borough.  We know that the programme to renew our street lighting six years ago has made people feel much safer on our streets and this new additional investment will go that extra step in improving safety, which is a key concern for our residents.”

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Winter gloves

Feeling the cold? You could get some gloves under Ealing's scheme to help keep you ride through this winter

Ealing Council is offering a £40 voucher to keep residents cycling through the winter.

The voucher is available to any adult who has had cycle training since October or who signs up and completes it before March. The “Keep Riding Through Winter” vouchers can be used in any one of Ealing’s five independent bike shops and can be spent on accessories like mudguards, lights, puncture resistant tyres, gloves or other clothing for the colder months.

On-road cycle training is available for adults living in Ealing. It teaches cyclists how to be safe and confident and is suitable for all levels. Instructors will provide training anywhere in Ealing. To book a lesson ring Cycle Training UK on Freephone 0800 093 6454 quoting “Cycle Training for Ealing”. The cost is £5, or free if you are not working. Cycle training is available for children at no cost.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and Environment, said: “Cycling is a healthy, fast, cheap and environmentally friendly way to travel and beat the traffic at any time of year.  We want to keep people cycling through the dark winter months with free training and practical help to get the right equipment to stay safe and warm. Nothing beats the feel of the winter sun on your face on a crisp day, if you wrap up and have decent lights, you’re off and ready to go.” (more…)

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Ealing is the first London borough to launch a volunteer tree warden network under the new Londoners Love Trees initiative.

Volunteers plant trees

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz planting a new apple tree in Ravenor Park, Greenford launching Ealing's new Tree Warden Scheme

The network was launched at a tree planting event on Saturday, 3 December in Ravenor Park. Residents who are part of the council’s Streetwatchers scheme and local children attended the event and helped plant a community orchard. They were joined by Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and Environment, staff from Ealing Council and representatives from the Tree Council, which co-ordinates the national Tree Warden Scheme.

Tree wardens in Ealing are being recruited from Streetwatchers, Ealing’s environmental volunteers, and initially their main role will be to look out for new street trees that the council will plant during 2012.  Training for tree wardens will be provided by the Tree Council.

This event comes at the end of the Tree Council’s National Tree Week, which marks the start of the winter tree planting season.  It is also part of the Londoners Love Trees initiative where the Tree Council in partnership with Trees for Cities, The London Tree Officers Association and Barchams Trees, is working with the London boroughs. One of its aims is to create five new tree warden networks across the capital. This initiative is funded by the Mayor’s Team London volunteering programme and will result in 9,000 new trees planted across 15 London boroughs.Councillor Bassam Mahfouz said, “Trees are the lungs of our green borough and I’m proud that we’re the first London council to launch a Tree Warden Network under the new Londoners Love Trees initiative, enabling local residents who care about our greenery to help us keep them healthy. It was a fantastic launch with residents of all ages coming together and planting trees that will be around for generations to come and I look forward to working closely with our new Tree Wardens to keep Ealing the green Queen of the Suburbs.” (more…)

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