Archive for November, 2015

A furry special gift for Christmas

Ealing Council has the perfect gift for the animal lovers this Christmas with a great offer on animal encounters and adoptions of animals living at the Brent Lodge Animal Centre.

Meerkats

The offer includes the chance to meet the meerkats, feed the porcupines and get an adoption pack with an adorable meerkats cuddly toy. Recipients will also get their name added onto a plaque on the enclosure wall for everyone to see their support for the animal centre.

The limited time offer is for two people and costs £75 (the combined cost would normally be £102). All proceeds will go towards supporting the animal centre’s education and conservation programmes.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “This would make a great Christmas present for animal lovers of all ages. There are some amazing animals to see – some big, some small and some a little creepy – if you haven’t been down already, you should. It is the perfect day out for all the family to work off some of that festive food over the coming months.”

The elements of the offer can be purchased separately from the animal centre gift shop.  The meerkat adoption pack and cuddly toy cost £12, the meet the meerkats experience costs £35 for one person or £60 for two and the sponsorship plaque costs £30.

For more information and to arrange the collection of your Christmas pack email Beau Jensen McCubbin at McCubbinBJ@ealing.gov.uk quoting XMAS2015 in the subject line.

Brent Lodge Animal Centre is based in Brent Lodge Park, Church Road, Hanwell, W7 3BP. Follow @BrentLodgePark on Twitter and search Brent Lodge Animal Centre on Facebook.

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Green is the new black

Ealing Council is asking Black Friday shoppers to dispose of their old, unwanted electricals responsibly by recycling broken items using one of 15 sites across the borough or donating to charity.

computer monitors

Black Friday is a day when retailers tempt shoppers with big discounts on electrical goods and this year it takes place on 27 November. The council is calling the next day, 28 November, Green Saturday and is asking residents to use this day to do the right thing with any broken or unwanted appliances that they have replaced or upgraded in the Black Friday sales.

The council will be running a Twitter campaign using the hashtags #greenisthenewblack and #GreenSaturday. They will be urging shoppers to recycle or reuse electrical items and will also be asking large retailers to encourage their customers to do the same.

The UK produces around 1.2 million tonnes of electrical and electronic waste each year; the equivalent of 150,000 double decker buses. But items like kitchen appliances, mobile phones, computers, TV’s, electrical and electronic tools all contain valuable metals and components that can be reused again and again if they are sent for recycling. However, if electrical items end up in landfill, hazardous substances can leak out causing soil and water contamination.

Small electrical items and household appliances can be left for free in one of the neighbourhood recycling banks dotted around the borough. They can also be left at the council’s re-use and recycling centres in Greenford and Acton along with items such as computers, vacuum cleaners and televisions.

Larger household appliances such as fridges, washing machines and freezers can be disposed of for free at Greenford Road Re-use and Recycling Centre. Many major retailers also offer a collection service when a new item is delivered, often for a small fee. Residents also have the option of selling working items using online auction and recycling sites.

In addition, the Furnish Re-Use Centre in Fairway Drive, Greenford, accepts donations of working electrical items, white goods (fridges, freezers, washing machines) and IT equipment. These are passed on to schools, community groups and households so they can be reused.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure said: “We throw away far too many things without thinking about it and big sales like Black Friday dramatically increase the amount of waste that we produce. I would like Ealing residents to embrace the idea of Green Saturday and send their unwanted or broken electrical items to be reused and recycled instead of putting them in the rubbish bin.

“Broken items like mobile phones, computers and old irons contain valuable metals such as steel, gold and platinum; all of which can be extracted and used again. And if residents are upgrading to a new TV or washing machine, there are lots of people and groups that would welcome their old appliances.”

To find the location of the electrical recycling banks, go to www.ealing.gov.uk/recycling.

For more information about Furnish Re-Use Centre, go to www.sbhg.co.uk/furnish.

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A crackdown on the illegal use of disabled parking permits, known as blue badges, has resulted in 26 being seized by council officers since July.

disabled parking sign

Blue badges are issued to people with serious mobility problems and disabilities. They allow people who need extra help to park closer to their home or destination and must only be used if the person issued with the badge is present.

Blue badge fraud involves either friends or family members using the badge; or drivers using lost, stolen or counterfeit badges. This blocks disabled parking spaces and takes them away from the people who really need them. The fraudulent use of a blue badge is a criminal offence and can result in a hefty fine of £1000 as well as a criminal prosecution.

Acting on information from civil enforcement officers (CEOs) and reports from members of the public, council officers are challenging drivers who are using badges fraudulently and seizing them where they can. Cases are also being passed on to the council’s legal team for prosecution.

One of the seized badges was issued by Southwark Council and had been recently cancelled after its elderly owner had died. An investigator spotted the badge being used fraudulently in Ealing Broadway. When the driver was challenged they admitted that they knew the owner had died and the badge was confiscated. The case has been referred to the council’s legal team.

To help cut down on blue badge theft, the council has introduced a disabled parking permit for residents who have been granted a disabled parking bay. This allows them to park in a residential disabled parking bay overnight without having to display their badge in their car.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “Blue badges are issued to people who face real difficulty in getting around and are often a lifeline. When fraudsters selfishly use fake or stolen badges to block spaces that are not intended for them, or use a relative’s badge without them being present, they make it even harder for people with mobility issues to go about their daily business.

“We are increasing the pressure on blue badge cheats and are catching fraudsters red-handed. Anyone using a blue badge dishonestly should know that our staff are looking out for them and will take every opportunity to enforce the law.”

If you suspect someone of using a blue badge fraudulently, or to report a blue badge as being lost or stolen, call 020 8825 8161.

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Labour Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan MP (right) with Onkar Sahota AM speaking to Cllr Bassam Mahfouz about the new incline lift at Greenford Station

Labour Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan MP (right) with Onkar Sahota AM speaking to Cllr Bassam Mahfouz about the new incline lift at Greenford Station

Labour Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan visited the London’s first incline lift at Greenford Station on the weekend, before seeing innovative works at Ealing Broadway station where the council have been working with Crossrail and TfL to see an improved station, forecourt and interchange outside.

Prospective Mayor Sadiq Khan and Greater London Assembly Member Onkar Sahota were seeing the work that Ealing’s Council, led by their Transport Portfolio holder Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, had made in improving step-free access in the borough and recently won them the award as best transport authority in the country.

In the last few years Ealing’s Labour Council has successfully lobbied for transformational accessibility improvements across the borough including:

  • Installing an innovative incline lift at Greenford Station, the first of its kind on the UK transport network at less than a ¼ of the original TfL quote
  • Doubling lift and forecourt capacity at Ealing Broadway station on Crossrail’s original proposals
  • Getting a lift approved for Hanwell Station after being the only Crossrail station in west London that wasn’t going to become step-free after opening up an additional entrance to the station

Accessibility is a key plank of Sadiq’s plans for London and a key priority for Ealing council’s Labour administration.

Sadiq Khan visits to see the improvements for Ealing Broadway Station too

Sadiq Khan visits to see the improvements for Ealing Broadway Station too

Sadiq Khan said: “An accessible and efficient transport network is hugely important for the thousands of Londoners who commute every day.

“Huge credit must go to Ealing for their determination to ensure stations such as Greenford and Ealing Broadway are step-free and fit for the 21st century.

“We must follow their lead across London and make sure disabled people aren’t disadvantaged every day when using our trains and tubes.

“As Mayor, I’ll make it a priority to invest in a transport network that is admired across the world and serves all Londoners.”

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport & Leisure said, “5 years ago we were facing disappointment at Greenford, lack of ambition for Ealing Broadway and a fait accompli at Hanwell.  Today that’s all turned on its head through the choices we’ve made rather than by chance.  We didn’t accept the status quo and we’ve worked with partners to make things happen.  London desperately needs a mayor that cares about a fairer London; ambitious that we act on accessibility rather than abandon the cause. Sadiq will be that Mayor.”

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