Archive for June, 2015

Women will be able to explore the surroundings of Gunnersbury Park, and Southall Park in a series of free guided bike rides beginning in July.

Three women cycling in the park

The rides take place every Saturday for five weeks at Gunnersbury Park from 4 July to 1 August and on Sundays at Southall Park from 2 to 30 August.

The Southall Women’s Cycling Club (SWCC) sessions run by Cycle Training UK (CTUK) were set up by Ealing Council using Transport for London (TfL) funding.

The creation of the SWCC was in response to the high demand from women in Southall wanting female only riding sessions. In the spring of 2012 guided rides were trialled in Southall and proved to be a success, which led to the creation of more women only rides.

Sessions are led by a female instructor and run from 10am until 1pm at both parks. All levels of riders are welcome, but they are ideal for those who can already ride but want to build their confidence.

Cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, said: “The sessions have proved very popular, particularly with those who want to improve their riding technique, build confidence on a bike and meet new people while exploring our beautiful parks.”

The meeting point for the Gunnersbury Park rides is the Pope’s Lane entrance, near the old tennis courts. The meeting point for the Southall Park rides is by the Boyd Avenue entrance. There is no need to book a place, just turn up on the day. Bikes are available for women who would like to borrow one.

Karam Applegate an SWCC member and advocate for women’s cycling tells her story in Around Ealing’s, Summer 2015

If you own a bike and would like it checked for minor faults, tyres pumped, or adjustments made then visit one of the Dr Bike sessions taking place across the borough. Visit for the next available dates.
Further dates for women only rides are planned for September and October.

For more information call Jean at Cycle Training UK on 020 7232 4387 or

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Ealing Summer Festivals start in style on Saturday, 4 July with Greenford Carnival in Ravenor Park, Greenford.

The fun-filled day will give residents and visitors a chance to celebrate Greenford’s community spirit with entertainment from local acts Rudy Alba, Bear and The Woods and Sugaspott.

With all the usual family friendly activities including fun fair and food and market stalls, the carnival will keep people of all ages entertained. The main stage, hosted by Westside 89.6 FM presenters will showcase local talent, a community choir and DJs. The alternative sports zone will include a boccia court promoting disability sports and awareness.

The families area will have a mini zoo, circus workshop and science experiments to keep children occupied while adults take a break in the chill-out zone. With face painting, African drumming and water play, they will not want to leave.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “Greenford Carnival is a great family day out. With a jam packed schedule of music, sports and stalls there will be plenty happening to keep people of all ages entertained. This year promises more activities than ever before, so make sure you don’t miss out on what promises to be a fantastic day for all to enjoy.”

Greenford Carnival will be held in Ravenor Park, Greenford, UB6 9QX and run from midday to 7pm on Saturday, 4 July. Entry is £2 per person and children aged 12 and under are free. A family ticket is £5, which covers entry for two adults and up to three children aged between 12 and 16 years. Visit for performer profiles, venue information, news updates and the full line-up.

Dates for Ealing Summer Festivals 2015:
Ealing Beer Festival – Wednesday, 8 to Saturday, 11 July, Walpole Park, W5
Acton Carnival – Saturday, 11 July, Acton Park, W3
Comedy – Thursday, 16 to Saturday, 18 July and Thursday, 23 to Friday, 24 July, Walpole Park, W5
Blues Festival – Saturday, 25 to Sunday, 26 July, Walpole Park, W5
Jazz Festival – Wednesday, 29 July to Sunday, 2 August, Walpole Park, W5
London Mela – Sunday, 6 September, Gunnersbury Park, W3

Do not miss out on updates and announcements of headliners over the coming months – follow Ealing_Summer on Twitter and Facebook. Festival information is also available at with a festival guide, artist details and schedules.

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With the opening night nearly sold out, residents are being reminded to log on and buy their tickets to this year’s Ealing Comedy Festival at

Headlining at Ealing Comedy 2015, Rob Delaney

Topping the bill on Thursday, 23July is American funny man Rob Delaney. Debuting at this year’s comedy festival, Rob is famous for co-writing the Channel 4 smash hit ‘Catastrophe’ and being the comedy king of twitter with more than 1.1 million followers.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “The Ealing Comedy festival always has a fantastic combination of big names and new rising stars that will have you rolling around in stitches.  It’s a real highlight of our amazing Ealing summer of fun, so don’t miss out and book now.”

Rob will be joined on the comedy stage by big name acts including Ed Byrne, Kerry Godliman and Paul Thorne (MC).

Tickets can be bought via the Ealing Summer Festival website, costing £20 per person, per show (plus online or phone booking fees). The festival is suitable for people aged 18 and over, but young people aged 15-17 can attend if they are with an adult.

The comedy festival takes place in Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, Ealing, W5 5EQ.

Visit the Ealing Summer Festivals website for performer profiles, venue information, news updates and the full line-ups as they become available.

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Residents across Ealing are being encouraged to recycle items they have probably never even considered before as part of Recycle Week 2015.

Collecting recycling

This year, the council’s theme for the week, 22-28 June, is ‘recycle around the kitchen’, which aims to help people to focus and expand their  recycling routine that mainly includes food waste, plastic bottles, tins, cans, glass jars, kitchen foil and cardboard.

Although there is nearly always a strong focus on the kitchen when recycling, there are a few items that sometimes get overlooked such as breakfast cereal, dishwasher tablets and kitchen wrap boxes, not to mention washing-up liquid bottles and plastic pots, tubs and trays too. Even the plastic bleach and surface cleaner bottles in the cupboard under the sink can be recycled.

During recycle week, and beyond, the council’s recycling team will be holding a number of events across the borough where residents can pick up lots of information and advice, particularly about recycling in flats.

Highlights include the smoothie bike at Greenford Carnival where you can cycle and make your own drink, information and recipe guides to help reduce food waste, the home visits in West Ealing to help local people to recycle more, recycling giveaways and more.

Representatives from West London Waste Authority, which is responsible for disposing of the waste collected by six London boroughs including Ealing, will also be on hand to give additional recycling information and advice.

The council’s recycling team will be holding events to mark Recycle Week 2015 on:

• Wed 24 June, 11am-5pm – Telford Road shopping parade, near the Golf Links, Southall, UB1
• Thu 25 June, 11am-5pm – Rectory Park Avenue, Northolt, UB5
• Fri 26 June, 11am-5pm – Stafford Road shopping parade, South Acton, W3
• Wed 1 July, 8am-4.30pm – Newmarket Avenue, near Petts Hill Primary School, Northolt, UB5
• Fri 3 July, 11am-5pm – Anderson Close, Acton, W3

• Sat 4 July, 12noon-7pm – Greenford Carnival, Ravenor Park, Greenford, UB6.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “We’re now recycling a record 45% of our waste, which is fantastic and I’d like to thank everyone who makes the effort to help us achieve this result.  The kitchen is a great place to start for anyone looking to begin recycling or to recycle one more thing.

“A shocking one-third of what we throw away is food waste, which could be turned into electricity.  Another one-third is other recyclable material.  You’d be surprised by just how much is recyclable and what it can be turned into instead of throwing it to landfill.  A lot of those items are in your kitchen and we’ve got a week of activities including the always-fun smoothie bike to help increase awareness and recycling.”

To help and encourage residents to recycle more, the council has an innovative website that shows the everyday household items people can recycle in an interactive and visual way. Visit to explore each room of a home to identify recyclable objects, including some more unusual items.

Councillor Mahfouz added: “Everything you recycle brings real benefits. It comes back again and again as new items, such as new cans which can be back on the shelves in just eight weeks, also plastic bottles that can be turned into football shirts, fleeces and new plastic bottles. “

For more information about the council’s recycling services and re-use and recycling centres in Ealing, please see Ealing Council’s recycling pages.

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Ealing Council is strongly advising residents to keep children and animals away from hairy caterpillars and their nests in oak trees because the caterpillars’ hairs can cause itching skin rashes and other health problems.

The oak processionary moth (OPM) caterpillars could be nesting in some oak trees across the borough.  They have tiny hairs which contain a protein that can cause itchy skin rashes and, less frequently, eye and throat irritations and breathing difficulties in people and animals.

The greatest risk period is May to July, although nests should not be approached at any time as detached hairs remain within them. The Forestry Commission website has pictures to help identify the pest.

Ealing Council is working with the Forestry Commission to tackle the nests and moth population in its parks and open spaces with a carefully controlled programme of tree treatment and nest removal. Householders who find evidence of the pest in their own oak trees should report it to the Forestry Commission.

Cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “We are urging residents to be vigilant at home, in schools and any outdoor spaces where there might be oak trees. We know this is the time of year when the caterpillars build their distinctive white, silken nests and trails on the trunks and branches of oak trees, and can sometimes be as big as a tennis ball. They become discoloured and harder to see after a time. They may be interesting to a curious child or pet, so please take care and report any sightings to the Forestry Commission.”

Ian Gambles, the Forestry Commission’s Director England, said: “The public can play an important role in helping to control the pest by reporting sightings. We need reports of the caterpillars or their nests from the public or others, such as gardeners, tree surgeons and ground-care workers, who work or relax near oak trees. However, they should not try to remove the caterpillars or nests themselves. This needs to be carefully timed to be effective, and is most safely done by specially trained and equipped operators.”

The Forestry Commission advises that the oak processionary caterpillars only build their nests on the trunks and branches of oak trees. They are never found among the leaves of an oak tree or on structures such as buildings, gates and fences, so caterpillars or nests in these situations need not be reported. They are only rarely found in other trees, and usually only if they run out of oak leaves to eat.

Anyone displaying symptoms including skin or eye irritations following possible OPM contact should visit a pharmacist, or call NHS111 for more-serious reactions. Contact a vet if an animal is affected.

More health advice is also available from the “Insects that bite or sting” area of the NHS Choices website.

Sightings should be reported to the Forestry Commission, preferably using its on-line Tree Alert form available at . Alternatively, residents can email or call 0300 067 4442.

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Ealing Council’s cabinet will consider proposals to increase recycling in the borough by introducing wheelie bins and switching to alternate weekly collections of refuse and recycling.

Refuse collections change due to bank holiday

The changes will be discussed  by thecouncil’s cabinet on Tuesday 16 June and, if agreed, are expected to be introduced in late spring 2016.

A new simpler mixed recycling service is proposed which is expected to make it easier for people to recycle and help the council reach its target of recycling 50% of household waste by 2018.

Most households that currently have the doorstep refuse and recycling service would be given two wheelie bins – one for refuse which is currently disposed of in black sacks, and one for mixed recycling.

With the exception of food waste, residents would  no longer be required to sort recycling into separate containers, but place it all in one wheelie bin which will be collected fortnightly.  The other wheelie bin for refuse would also be collected fortnightly on the week in-between recycling collections.  Food waste would continue to be collected from the food waste bins every week.

The system proposed for Ealing has been introduced in many other parts of the country, including in the neighbouring boroughs of Brent and Harrow, who have seen recycling rates rise by 12% and 22% respectively following the switch.

As well as improving recycling rates, the proposed new system is expected to considerably reduce the amount of rubbish on the streets caused by black sacks being torn open by foxes and vermin.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “We’ve taken huge strides forward to improve recycling, but it’s clear that we must make some big changes now if we want to further increase recycling rates.  Last year the council spent £10million disposing of rubbish in landfill, which is a huge cost to the taxpayer and a waste of valuable resources.  Introducing wheelie bins for mixed recycling will make the system much more straight forward for residents and will help us to achieve the target of recycling 50% of all household waste by 2018.

“Around 70% of local authorities, including other London boroughs, have already switched to this sort of system and have seen their recycling rates rocket.  I will be encouraging my cabinet colleagues to agree to the changes proposed, as it will be good for the environment, make our borough cleaner and save millions of pounds.”

Properties on red routes will continue to use black sacks for rubbish and their usual clear sacks for recycling.  Those in flats who have a bulky or paladin bin for communal recycling or refuse will have no change.

There is a European-wide target to ensure half of household waste is recycled by 2020.

The council will assess properties which it feels are not suitable for a wheelie bin and provide the same service offered to homes on red routes.

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.

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Ealing Council will be spending £410,000 to help spruce up open spaces across the borough as part of the second round of its Transform Your Space initiative.

transform your space lightbulb

Transform Your Space is a scheme which invites residents to ‘think big and think creative’ to identify outdoor community spaces across the borough that are unused or unloved and suggest what the space could be better used for.

Projects need to show how the improvements would benefit the local community and that local people support the plans.   Projects could include creating new green spaces, clearing outdoor areas for small community events or outdoor dining – the possibilities are endless.

In the first round of Transform Your Space initiative in 2014, the council picked 15 projects of different sizes to help improve community spaces across the borough.

Cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, said: “We know there is an appetite for people wanting to improve where they live – the first round of applications were really impressive. This is another opportunity to think outside of the box and tell us about projects that you think will make a real difference to people’s lives and show that you have local support for the plans.”

For more information about the kinds of projects that will be considered for transformation, as well as helpful advice and tips visit Bubble. Once an idea has been developed it will need to be uploaded onto Spacehive, to start crowdfunding and gathering local support for the plans.

Projects need to be live on Spacehive, with the code TYS2 in the title by midnight on Saturday, 31 October. The successful projects will be selected in the autumn and will share the council funding.

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