Archive for February, 2013

Ealing Council’s cabinet has agreed to invest £5.5million in improving roads and footpaths across the borough.

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz takes a closer look at a road in Ealing

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz takes a closer look at a road in Ealing

A survey of all the roads and footpaths in the borough is carried out every year. Only independent, accredited survey companies can carry out this work. Surveyors walk the entire length of the road network looking for defects such as potholes, cracking, wheel-track rutting and other signs of deterioration and damage.

Each road is then given a condition rating on a scale of 1-100. Those with a low rating are considered to be in a good condition. Those with a high rating are judged to be in a poor condition and are targeted for resurfacing. The higher the rating, the sooner the works will take place. The survey takes place every year, because some roads degrade at a faster rate than others.

This year, £4,374,120 will be spent on renewing roads and £1,125,880 on footways. The full list of roads and footways scheduled for improvement in 2013/14 can be found here.

The council works hard to co-ordinate its resurfacing works with utilities companies, but on the rare occasions where there is a clash with major works, resurfacing works will be postponed until the first subsequent opportunity.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “I am very pleased to announce this increase in investment. Ealing has 322 miles of roads and 628 miles of footpaths and, once again, we are prioritising those that are in the most urgent need of repair. By resurfacing roads, rather than patching them up, we are saving the council money in the long term, so although this is a sizeable investment, it is a sensible one.”

The decision was made by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, 19 February.

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The owners of two Southall businesses face hefty penalties after their staff dumped rubbish in the street.

Both cases were heard on Friday, 8 February at Ealing Magistrates Court following investigations by Ealing Council’s envirocrime prevention service.

CCTV images showed staff from Salama Restaurant at 98, the Green, Southall putting plastic sackfuls of rubbish on the pavement on nine occasions in May and June 2012.

A representative for Salama Restaurant Ltd pleaded guilty to nine charges of failing to prevent the escape of waste from commercial premises.

The business was fined £900 and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £612.20 and a victim surcharge of £15, bringing the total to £1527.20.

Ms Fauzia Mahmed Alasow of a Somali Social Club at 88a, the Green pleaded guilty to six charges of failing to prevent the escape of waste from commercial premises. A member of the club’s staff was caught on camera placing sacks of rubbish beside a litterbin on the pavement six nights in a row in August 2012. (more…)

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Hands off our hospitals

Ealing Council has hit out at a NHS decision to close four A&E departments in the area and to downgrade other hospital services.

Protest march for Save Our Hospitals campaign

The controversial plans were approved at a NHS board meeting in central London today (19 February), despite fierce opposition by doctors, local people and the council.

The hospitals losing their A&E departments (Ealing, Central Middlesex, Charing Cross and Hammersmith) will only have urgent care centres, meaning hundreds of patients with life-threating illnesses and injuries will be forced to travel further for emergency care.

The decision will see emergency health service for 1.9 million Londoners almost halved, with only five major hospitals remaining, including, Chelsea and Westminster, Hillingdon, Northwick Park, St Mary’s and West Middlesex.

Ahead of the meeting, NHS bosses announced alternative proposals for Charing Cross and Ealing hospitals that promises more investment in the sites for primary care but admitted that this additional funding would need to be recouped from unidentified savings.  The revised plans also confirmed some services that were not in the ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ consultation will be based at these two hospitals. (more…)

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Residents trying to get onto the A40 at Greenford and users of the Greenford roundabout face the prospect of more traffic jams this February half-term after Thames Water have announced they will need to carry out works on a collapsed sewer.

The sewer has collapsed under the outside lane on the westbound section of the A40 and Thames Water will be closing this lane as well as, crucially, the slip road providing access from Greenford onto the westbound A40.  The proposed work will take place over the February half-term (February 16th-24th).  A 40mph speed limit will be put in place on the stretch of the Western Avenue where the works will be taking place and diversion signs will be erected signing people to head to the Hanger Lane and back for a 5 mile round trip to go west; however the impact at Perivale could be worse as many will undoubtedly try to save some time and turn at the junction above the Perivale underpass.

The news hits commuters less than six weeks after the Greenford flyover had to be closed for vital works to reinforce the structure, which caused traffic mayhem on surrounding roads.

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz said, “This couldn’t come at a worse time.  Many residents across Northolt, Greenford and Perivale complained to me after spending hours in tip to toe, blood boiling, road rage inducing levels of traffic during the last holiday period and now they have the prospect of more of the same.  I appreciate that these things aren’t planned; they have to be done and the holiday period minimises the impact but residents should be made fully aware of the impact this will undoubtedly have on  local roads and so they can at least make a choice before heading off.  Appropriate and sufficient signage to warn residents ahead of time should be placed across Greenford, Northolt and Perivale to ensure residents learn about these closures by surprise sitting in traffic.”

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Flats recycling service to be expanded

Residents in flats and estates will soon be able to recycle their food waste, plastics and cardboard as part of new recycling services in the borough.

In addition, people will be able to recycle unwanted electronic equipment such as toasters, TVs and old computers at 11 drop banks to ensure these potentially harmful items are not being sent to landfill.

These additional services, which were approved at last week’s cabinet, are part of the council’s commitment to recycle 50 per cent of Ealing’s household waste by 2020.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “By expanding our services we are making it easier than ever before for people living in flats and on our estates to recycle.  This will ensure that recycling is a truly universal service for everyone, regardless of where they live.

“Food accounts for more than a third of the waste in an average west London household’s bin. By recycling it rather than sending it to landfill, you are not only helping the environment but also saving yourself, and the council, money.

“By cutting down on the amount of food you throw away you could potentially save as much as £50 a month. And, for every 1,000 tonnes of waste that is recycled rather than being dumped in landfill, the council saves £105,000. That all adds up and represents hundreds of thousands of pounds a year which could be spent on other services for residents instead.”

The cabinet’s decision was made on Tuesday, 22 January. All cabinet decisions are subject to call-in for a period of five working days from the date of publication of the minutes of the meeting.

Residents in purpose-built flats will be able to recycle their food waste, plastics and cardboard from summer 2013. Drop banks for small electrical items will also be available in the summer.

Residents in larger estates will be able to recycle their plastics and cardboard from autumn 2013, and food waste from spring 2014.

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Blue badge fakes caught by Ealing Council

Three blue badges have been cancelled in the last month after Ealing Council parking staff caught drivers using them fraudulently.

Disabled parking

Blue badges are issued to people with disabilities. They allow blue badge holders to park closer to their home or destination. They must only be used if the person issued with the badge is present.

Blue badge fraud usually involves either friends and family members using the badge when they are not permitted to, or drivers using lost, stolen or counterfeit badges. The fraudulent use of a blue badge is a criminal offence and can result in a hefty fine.

The council took part in a trial operation last year to crack down on blue badge fraud. Following close working between the council, the police, the council’s parking enforcement contractor, NSL, and a specialist company called BBFI, 22 drivers have so far been successfully prosecuted at court. (more…)

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