Archive for October, 2012

Parks bloom with volunteers

More than 15 local residents joined with volunteers from a special needs group to help restore natural landscapes in Pitshanger Park this week.

Cllr Mahfouz with volunteers in Pitshanger Park

The group spent Tuesday planting seeds and bulbs, removing weeds and picking up litter as part of a joint project between Ealing Council’s park rangers and waterways charity, Thames 21.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the event was the latest in a number of community clean-up days which have taken place in Ealing over the past two years. During this time, more than 750 volunteers have offered their time, with a further 400 expected to take part in the coming year. The ongoing project has seen at least 100 tonnes of rubbish removed from Brent River and helped to recreate natural environments for fish and birds nesting in or near the river.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “A huge amount of work has gone into restoring the health and beauty of some of the borough’s parks and waterways over the past two years, and I thank everyone who has been involved.

“Our parks are beautiful spaces to enjoy and relax in, and it is great when everyone comes together to ensure they stay that way. Events like these are particularly rewarding because people can see the difference they have made both personally and collectively.” (more…)

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Third Runway – No Way

No Third Runway at Heathrow

Ealing Council says no to a Third Runway at Heathrow

Ealing Council last night renewed its opposition to a third runway at Heathrow airport because it would cause ‘untold misery’ for local residents. 

At a meeting of the full council on Tuesday 16 October councillors agreed to oppose any plans to revive the expansion of Heathrow.  
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport said: “A third runway would heap misery from the skies, pouring noise and pollution on to west London.
“New flight paths would pass directly over Ealing, with some areas facing disruption for the first time and long suffering areas facing even more planes flying over their homes for longer periods.
“We want a better, not bigger Heathrow.  The truth is that the third runway would not deliver the extra airport capacity needed – to do so we would have to have two more runways…something that is utterly unthinkable.
“There are alternatives that are far more suitable and have a far stronger economic case. It is important that the government recognises that the argument to expand Heathrow is done and dusted and does not need re-opening.” (more…)

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Fake Penalty Charge Notice Warning

Ealing Council is warning residents to beware after a man was sent a fake penalty charge notice demanding he pay £1,000 within five days or risk losing his driving licence.

The man received the bogus ‘Notice to Driver’ through the post alleging that he had been caught by CCTV camera using his mobile phone whilst driving in Southall in August. It detailed his vehicle and what he was wearing at the time.

The notice from the bogus ‘Borough Parking Association’ warned that he had five days to pay the extortionate amount via an on online PayPal account or risk bailiff action, penalty points or losing his licence. It contained a PCN number beginning with the ‘EA’ reference used in genuine Ealing Council PCNs and a contact email address for which is not used by the council.

The letter also referred to the Metropolitan Police and threatened to pass the case to the DVLA if he did not pay.

Fearing the repercussions the motorist’s friend attempted to pay the fine for him via a PayPal account.  It was only when his friend spoke to staff at Ealing Council’s Customer Service Centre on his behalf that she learnt it was a scam.

The incident has been reported to the police and the Council’s Audit and Investigation team is also looking into the matter.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and Environment said: “I am appalled at the lows scamsters will stoop to in order to rob people of their money. Only the police can issue fixed penalty notices for dangerous driving, such as while using a mobile phone.

“The notice looks realistic and we want to warn all drivers that these are not genuine. Neither we nor the police use PayPal. If residents have any doubts then they should always get in touch.”

All correspondence, including PCNs from Ealing Council Parking Services contain our telephone number 020 8825 6565, Parking Services, PO Box 46264, Ealing, London, W5 2UN and email

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BBC London’s Tom Edwards covered the news that 18 bridges would have to be demolished and replaced as part of plans to run HS2 overground through Ealing.

Ealing Council and residents have been calling on HS2 and the government to tunnel the scheme through Ealing, as is the case across the rest of London.  The news of the potential serious disruption simply adds to the growing list of reasons why HS2 should indeed be tunnelled in Ealing.

Read more and watch the piece via Tom Edwards’ BBC London Blog

Read how HS2 have agreed to look at the cost of tunnelling

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There has never been a better time to get cycling in Ealing, and a special cycle-themed family event at Haven Green on Saturday 13 October will show you why.

Highlights of Haven Green Open Day include rides on a penny farthing or eight-seater mega bike, the chance to make a pedal-powered smoothie, cycle maintenance tips and information on cycle training courses.

The event is being held just yards from the new cycle hub opposite Ealing Broadway Station. The hub is the first of its kind in London and offers covered, well-lit and more secure parking for 123 bikes – almost 90% more than before.

The cycle hub also has 20 folding Brompton bikes for hire, which are ideal for commuting because they can be carried on to public transport or stored under a desk.

Frequent users can hire a folding bike from as little as £1.60 per day for a month plus a yearly membership fee of £50. A ‘trial rider’ tariff, however, enables new users the opportunity to try it for £10 for a week. You register online at first.

The majority of the cost for the hub was covered by Transport for London.

Visitors to the open day will also have the chance to have their say on proposals for the next phase of Ealing Broadway transport interchange – the first phase being the cycle hub.

Proposed changes aim to make travelling around the town centre easier and the area close to the station more attractive.

Ideas include improving the station forecourt, reducing the number of buses terminating at Haven Green to reduce congestion, planting semi-mature trees and repairing the grass.

Consultation events are also being held on Monday 8 October at Ealing Cricket Club; and on Tuesday 9 October at Ealing Town Hall. They will both run between 6-9pm.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment said: “I hope residents will come along and not only enjoy the variety of cycling activities at the open day but also have a say on how we can make travel easier and more positive for the thousands of people passing through each day.

“We are committed to make improvements to Haven Green and integrate the different transport options so that all users can have a better experience, responding to the issues residents have raised.”

For more information visit Ealing Council’s cycling pages.

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Discounts on compost bins

As the autumn leaves begin to fall, Ealing residents are being reminded about the benefits of composting and discounts available for compost bins.

circle of leaves on the grass

Autumn is an excellent time to compost. Spent bedding plants, grass cuttings, autumn leaves and prunings can all be recycled over the coming months to produce a compost which is ideal for spring planting.

Home composting is a good way of disposing of organic waste, including food waste – leaving residents with fertilizer to use on the garden. Ealing Council, in partnership with Straight Plc, is offering residents reduced prices on compost bins. Prices start at £16 plus delivery. Telephone 0845 130 60 90 for further details or visit

It is important to have a good mixture of materials to make a good quality compost. As well as green garden waste, fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, tea bags, pet hair, and even shredded paper can be composted.

Try to aim for a 50/50 mix of ‘greens’ such as vegetable peelings, old flowers, grass cuttings, spent bedding plants and ‘browns’ such as garden prunings, coffee grounds, tissues and paper napkins, cardboard, vacuum cleaner dust.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and Environment, said: “Good compost is the crucial ingredient for any garden and composting is a very environmentally friendly way of re-using readily available materials around the home.” (more…)

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