Archive for July, 2015

Ealing Council has been awarded a record number of prestigious Green Flags for sixteen of its parks and open spaces.

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz does a spot of fishing at the award winning Northala Fields

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz does a spot of fishing at the award winning Northala Fields

Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag awards recognise and reward the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying is a sign that identifies the park for its high standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

The 2015 Green Flag Award winners are:
Acton Green Common
Acton Park
Bramley Gardens
Brent Lodge Park
Islip Manor Park
King George’s Field
Lammas Park
Manor House Grounds
North Acton Playing Fields
Northala Fields
Pitshanger Park
Ravenor Park
Southall Park
Southfield Recreation Ground
Three Bridges Park
Walpole Park

The number of parks awarded a Green Flag in the borough has increased to 16 from 13 in 2014. Acton Green Common, Islip Manor Park and Southfield Recreation Ground were awarded Green Flags for the first time this year.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “As Queen of the Suburbs, Ealing’s parks are the jewels in the crown of why residents love living here, so we’re absolutely over the moon that we have secured a record number of 16 Green Flags – up from just two flags a few years ago.  Involving residents and organisations, such as at the stunning Northala Fields, means we have parks with a purpose, creating destinations that people want to come to enjoy, learn, play, be active or just get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. A big thank you to everyone who help make our parks the amazing spaces they are.”

The Green Flag Awards are judged by more than 700 green space experts, who assess using eight strict criteria including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.

The announcement comes in time for this year’s Love Parks Week (24 July – 2 August) where people up and down the country celebrate the parks and open spaces where they live.

The Green Flag Awards Scheme is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. For more information visit www.greenflagaward.org

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Twenty is plenty in Ealing

Ealing Council’s cabinet has agreed to the introduction of a new urban speed limit policy, which would establish a 20mph speed limit in residential areas and town centres.

This means Ealing would become the first borough in West London to have a borough wide 20mph speed limit, which would also be one of the largest area-wide zones in London.

The council will now undertake a public consultation on the introduction of the new speed for a trial scheme in the Acton area. Subject to a successful trial and review, the 20mph speed limit will be introduced in the rest of the borough.

The new urban speed limit of 20mph was developed to address traffic speed concerns raised in the most recent residents’ survey. It aims to increase road safety and improve the health and quality of life of residents in Ealing by reducing road casualties and traffic noise as well as making greener modes of travel, such as cycling and walking, more appealing.

The lower speed limit is also in line with a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) review on tackling the causes of early death which identifies large public health benefits when traffic speeds are lowered.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “We already have 20mph zones or limits in 37% of roads in Ealing and reducing speeds across the borough will bring many benefits, such as enhancing road safety and improving the health and quality of life for our residents. Studies have shown that a borough wide speed reduction could prevent approximately 60 casualties each year.

“We want our roads to be among the safest in London and actively encourage drivers not only to reduce their speed, but also to get out of their cars and walk or cycle in our borough.”

The public consultation will take place later this year and, subject to the outcome, the trial in Acton is expected to start in the summer of 2016 and run for a year. A successful trial and review will see the speed limit expanded to residential areas and town centres across the borough by spring 2019.

The 20mph limit would not apply to the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) red routes including the A312 TLRN section.

For more information about streets and travel options in Ealing please visit the council’s website.

The decision was taken by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, 21 July. 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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Summertime blues bonanza

Don’t miss Ealing Council’s Blues Festival, the biggest celebration of English blues heritage and culture in West London, in Walpole Park on Saturday, 25 and Sunday, 26 July.

The hugely popular weekend of blues music starts at 2pm on Saturday with Debbie Bond & The Trudats. The day continues with The Spikedrivers, Devil Drives and Dom and The Ikos. The second stage will be welcoming Mumbo Jumbo, Mark Harrison Band and Jump 66 to keep the crowds entertained.

Sunday’s line-up promises a full day of blues musical styles with The Chairs, Mack and Ben Waters all performing on the main stage. The second stage will also be drenched in the sounds of soulful blues with Great West Groove, Stellify and Roy’s Big Smoke Family.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “There’s no better way to celebrate in the summer sunshine than two perfect evenings of the Ealing Blues Festival.  Great live music, fantastic street food, flowing drinks and interesting stalls make it an unmissable couple of days to enjoy with your friends and family.”

Entry to the festival is £5 per day, or £8 for the weekend. A seven day option is also available for a combined Blues and Jazz Festivals pass for £18. Children aged 12 and under are free. Tickets will be available on the gate.

Visit www.ealingsummer.com for the latest line-ups of performers. Follow Ealing Summer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Ealing celebrates 30 years of Jazz

Ealing Council is proud to present the Ealing Jazz Festival, back for five days from Wednesday, 29 July with smooth and soulful vibes, celebrating 30 years of jazz events in the borough.

The jazz festival, held in Walpole Park, will see the return of many festival favourites to the main stage, including Keith Waithe and the Macusi Players, the Gill Cook Quintet and Nick Mills and the Blue Note Project. The Jazz Mondays, Ahmed Family Hafla and The Fontanas will be performing on the festivals south stage.

With an impressive line-up of local and national jazz celebrities, the festival brings a huge selection of jazz, funky latin, funk fusion and bebop to the park for people of all ages to enjoy.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “The Ealing Jazz festival always brings together people from all walks of life to delight in the sounds local and national jazz musicians have to offer in a fantastic festival atmosphere.  With five days to choose from, the festival is the perfect way to end a super summer of events in Walpole Park.”

Entry to the festival is £4 on Wednesday and Thursday, and £5 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Weekend two-day tickets are £8 and the seven day pass for Blues and Jazz is £18. The Blues Festival takes place in Walpole Park on Saturday25 and Sunday 26 July.
Children aged 12 and under are free. Tickets will be available on the gate.

Visit www.ealingsummer.com for the latest line-ups of performers. Follow Ealing Summer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Three roads will each temporarily close for a week during July and August while they are resurfaced as part of the council’s £3.5million road renewal programme.

road repairs

Stretches of Allenby Road, Northfield Avenue, and Castlebar Hill will all benefit from the investment.

Work will start on resurfacing the stretch of Southall’s Allenby Road between Ruislip Road and Mansell Road on Monday, 27 July. The work will take place during daytime hours and is expected to take one week to complete with the road reopening after 5pm on Friday, 1 August.

Northfield Avenue, between Uxbridge Road and Occupation Road will close between 8pm and 5am while it is resurfaced. Works will start on Monday, 17 August and finish on Friday, 24 August. Resurfacing works are taking place at night between 8pm and 5am to minimise the traffic disruption. The road will be open to traffic during the day.

Castlebar Road, between Haven Green and Mount Avenue will also close for resurfacing. Work will take place here between Monday, 24 August and Friday, 28 August. Some sections of the road will be resurfaced during the day and some at night. Night time works will take place between 8pm and 5am.

Motorists are advised to find alternative routes for the duration of the works and diversions will be in place.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “I am delighted that we are continuing to invest significantly in our road resurfacing programme. These streets were highlighted as being in desperate need of renewal and given how busy they are, the benefits of doing this work will be immense. Whilst there will be disruption, we are trying to minimise the impact by doing this in the quieter summer holiday period.

“I would like to thank local residents in advance for their patience and understanding and reassure them that our contractors will be get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Residents can keep up to date with scheduled road works and closures in their local area by downloading the free Ealing Notiz app on their smartphone.

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Children from West Acton Primary school were treated to a cycle stunt show from the MAD Cycle display team on Tuesday, 7 July as a reward being the Ealing winners of Sustrans’ Big Pedal 2015.

MAD cycle display team

Big Pedal is a national initiative that challenges schools to make the most journeys by bike or scooter during a specified period. The school that makes the biggest shift, proportionate to its size, is the winner. The aim of the competition is to encourage more children and parents to leave their cars at home; reducing congestion and car emissions.

In total, 10 Ealing schools took part in the competition. West Acton Primary School came top after achieving 1,680 journeys by bike or scooter over 10 days in March. The competition, along with a travel plan put together by the council and the school, has produced some permanent changes. Now 16% of children cycle to school (previously 7%) and 43% are never driven to school (previously 15%).

Alex Perry is a teacher at West Acton Primary and champions their travel plan. He said: “The Big Pedal has been a great way to bring the school together to promote healthy living and to achieve something as a school. It has been brilliant seeing so many children get involved. The MAD cycle show was a great prize that everyone enjoyed, staff included.”

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “This is a brilliant way to encourage people to swap four wheels for two and travel smarter to school. When children start their day by cycling or scooting they not only help to cut congestion and pollution, they also burn off energy and arrive at school ready to concentrate and learn.

“We will be supporting The Big Pedal competition again next year and I hope to see even more schools taking part.”

For more information on sustainable and healthy ways to travel around the borough, go to www.ealing.gov.uk/travelgreen.

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Ealing Council has been awarded £534,350 from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund to help build new outdoor sports facilities in partnership with William Perkin Church of England High School.

William Perkin School in Greenford

The proposed facilities, including a sports pavilion and full-size, floodlit third-generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP), will complement the high-quality indoor and outdoor sports facilities already at the school in Greenford, which opened in 2013.

This grant combined with the council’s contribution of £500,000, £150,000 from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund and £150,000 from London Marathon Charitable Trust, means the project is now able to move forward.

The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. The Football Foundation is currently celebrating its 15-year anniversary. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £530 million towards improving grassroots sport. It has used this investment to attract additional partnership funding of over £736 million – delivering over £1.3 billion of investment into the grassroots game.

Cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, said: “The plans include a new pavilion, with changing rooms and spaces for the local community to use. We are looking forward to being able to support the school while building a much needed first class sports facility in Greenford.”

Keir Smith, Associate Head Teacher said  “Having a vibrant community programme will provide citizenship opportunities to pupils as they grow older including work experience and volunteering roles as sports assistants, coaches and officials. Opening up the school`s facilities will encourage a wider and deeper engagement with the local community and offer the opportunity for everyone to get involved in sport.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Congratulations should go to Ealing Council and William Perkin Church of England High School for working with the Middlesex FA to secure this Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund grant.

“The Football Foundation is responsible for managing and delivering the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. When finished, this 3G pitch and sports pavilion will be an example of the positive impact that this funding is having on our grassroots game. First-class facilities like this are crucial to creating more opportunities for local people to enjoy regular sport.

Subject to planning approval, work will start in the autumn this year and is expected to complete next summer. The council is working in partnership with the Twyford Church of England Academies Trust.

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