Archive for June, 2012

Drivers of electric vehicles will be able to ‘recharge and go’ at the first charging points installed by Ealing Council.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz using the electric car charging point

Three charging points have been installed at Featherstone car park in Southall, as well as three points at Dean Gardens car park in West Ealing. More points are planned for Perivale Station car park.The points are simple to use – the driver just pays the normal hourly rate to park in the relevant car park and then plugs their electric car or van in to recharge its battery.  Both car parks are free to use from 6pm and vehicles can be left overnight.

There is no direct charge for the electricity used, only an annual membership fee of £10 to join Source, a network set up by the Mayor of London and Transport for London.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment said: “We are committed to reducing harmful air pollution from vehicles by encouraging cycling, walking and using public transport where possible.

“Most drivers’ journeys in London are only around two miles on average so electric cars are a great way to have cheap fuel for getting around the city.  We have also invested in car clubs which allow drivers to hire petrol cars on a casual basis rather than have to invest in a car and all of the running costs.”

Benefits of electric vehicles include lower fuel costs, free road tax, exemption from the congestion charge and less pollution.

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Ealing’s Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport Cllr Bassam Mahfouz leading spot checks in Olde Hanwell joined by Cllr Julian Bell

Ealing Council’s cabinet member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, will be carrying out a series of regular spot checks across the borough to ensure that refuse, recycling and street cleaning services are up to scratch.

Enterprise, which took over the contract in April, has been instructed to improve its performance after disappointing results in the first weeks of the new service.

Councillor Mahfouz and Council Leader Julian Bell will carry out the unannounced inspections at locations across the borough in coming weeks.

Staff from Enterprise and council officers will attend the inspections to note any problems and ensure any areas for improvement are identified, but won’t be given advanced notice of the locations.

Councillor Mahfouz said: “The service has been steadily improving since April, but we still have concerns.  The services are not as consistent as we would like and I’m determined that we do all we can to achieve the required standards.

“I’ve carried out many informal checks myself in recent weeks and there has been a mixed picture.  This week I visited Olde Hanwell with council officers and staff from Enterprise and although there were some positives, I noted some recycling collections seemed to have been missed and in places the street cleaning should have been better.  That is why I’m going to be carrying out formal spot checks across the borough in the coming weeks.”

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Community safety specialist, Parkguard, has been brought in by Ealing Council to help make the borough’s parks safer this summer.

Cllr Mahfouz with park patrol officers

Park patrol officers began patrolling in late May, initially focusing on 12 of the busiest parks, including Walpole Park, Islip Manor Park and Acton Park, as part of a pilot scheme. They will also be responding to incidents elsewhere as the need arises. The officers work to support Ealing police, park rangers and the community to tackle crime, anti-social behaviour and make the parks safer places for everyone.

While on duty, park patrol officers travel in a marked vehicle and are accompanied by a patrol dog and on occasion a drugs search dog. The role of the officers is to provide a presence in the borough’s open spaces and respond to low-level incidents, such as underage drinking and drug use.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Summer usually sees an increase in people making the most of our beautiful parks in Ealing. Unfortunately, this can also mean an increase in anti-social behaviour. We want to keep our open spaces attractive and welcoming, so I’m delighted we have been able to respond to the concerns of the community and invest in this new service. Parkguard has a good track record of success elsewhere and we look forward to seeing them do the same here in Ealing.”

Park patrol officers will monitor Ealing’s parks throughout summer and on selected days in autumn, such as Halloween and Bonfire Night.

This increased measure will continue to help deliver one of the council’s top priorities of making Ealing safer.

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Ealing Council wants to encourage a ‘cycling revolution’ in the borough and has outlined measures to make it easier and safer to cycle.

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz with Ealing Council Leader Julian Bell

As National Bike Week from 16-24 June approaches, councillors have agreed a series of principles to encourage more people to cycle. These include:

  • Supporting high-profile campaigns such as the Times newspaper’s Cycle Safety Campaign as well as the Love London: Go Dutch Campaign
  • Creating cycle routes which are segregated or part segregated from other traffic
  • Improving cycle links to town centres
  • Improving cycle safety
  • Increasing public cycle parking facilities
  • Working with the police to tackle cycle theft
  • Campaigning for further investment to be made available for cycling improvements.

As part of the council’s commitment to improve facilities for cyclists, a bicycle hub that will offer more secure, covered and well-lit cycle parking near Ealing Broadway station will open in July. The new cycle stand at Haven Green will be covered by CCTV and will increase the existing amount of cycle parking places available from 74 to 123. It will also include a separate folding cycle hire facility.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment said: “I cycle to work most days and it’s a great way to get around. No more waiting for buses, delayed trains or sitting in traffic on my commute.

“Cycling is a fast, cheap, healthy and environmentally-friendly way of travelling. We want residents of all ages and experience to view cycling as an attractive and safe option.” (more…)

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Walled Garden Open Day at Walpole Park

Budding gardeners are invited to come along to a special event at Walpole Park’s community kitchen garden next Saturday, 9 June as part of the London-wide Open Square Gardens Weekend.

The weekend will see 208 gardens in and around the city throw open their gates to the wider community in appreciation of London’s green and historic spaces.

Open from 10am to 5pm on the day, visitors will get the opportunity to learn about gardening in the time of Pitzhanger Manor House’s famous architect, Sir John Soane.  Children will be able to try their hand at gardening and visitors will have the chance to buy some of the heritage varieties of fruit, vegetables and flowers grown in the community kitchen garden, within the walled garden.

Two adult learning workshops will be on offer throughout the day, with landscape drawing classes taking place at 12.30 and 1.30pm, and flower arranging classes every half hour from 12.30pm to 2pm.

The park’s new beehive will also be on show, with the Walpole Friends’ voluntary beekeepers suiting-up at 10.30am to demonstrate the
art of beekeeping.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and Environment, said: “We are lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful
open spaces in Ealing and with the recent lovely weather there is no better time to get in touch with nature and local history. This promises to be a great event and I’m sure there will be lots of budding young gardeners eager to get their hands dirty.

“I’d like to thank the Friends of Walpole Park for making the walled garden what it is today and for making this great community event

There is no need to book to participate in the event, which is funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the wider regeneration project for Walpole Park and Pitzhanger Manor House.

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