Archive for March, 2016

Blooming good news

Ealing Council has been selected from more than 600 entrants to compete in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Britain in Bloom Awards 2016.

Northala Fields

Sunset in Northala Fields

Ealing was nominated by London in Bloom for the large city category for its outstanding commitment to environmental responsibility, community participation and gardening achievement in its parks and open spaces. Ealing Council is one of 72 finalists chosen from across the UK.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “Ealing has long been famous for its lush open spaces and has previously won gold in several London in Bloom categories. It is a real honour to be nominated and it is a testament to our great team of park rangers and volunteers that help keep our parks looking amazing. I am looking forward to showing the judges around this summer.”

The council’s parks officers will also get the opportunity to lead the competition judges on a tour of the borough’s best parks and open spaces in August 2016.

Britain in Bloom entries are assessed on a wide range of criteria, such as the maintenance of parks and communal gardens, the management of natural spaces, community campaigns to promote recycling and environmental awareness, and projects involving local residents and schools.

To find out more about the borough’s parks and open spaces, visit www.ealing.gov.uk/parks

To find out more about Britain in Bloom visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/communities/campaigns/britain-in-bloom

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160 tonnes of waste dumped at Warren Farm

160 tonnes of waste dumped at Warren Farm

More than 160 tonnes of waste has been cleared from Warren Farm over the last two weeks. Ealing Council’s officers are now identifying the people who dumped the rubbish and the households the waste originally came from.

The council has already established that the waste came from Ealing addresses and from neighbouring boroughs. Those who dumped the waste, and the householders who allowed their waste to be cleared illegally, will now be pursued and legal action considered against them. Ealing is working with the Environment Agency and other west London councils to identify those responsible and, if convicted, they could face fines and legal costs of amounting to thousands of pounds.

Householders have a legal responsibility to ensure that their waste is disposed of properly. People carrying out household clearances or DIY projects must ensure that they either use one of the council’s services, use an Ealing Council-approved skip company or a reputable waste clearance firm that is registered with the Environment Agency. Residents can check that a waste clearance firm is registered by calling 08708 506 506 or by using their online register at www.environment-agency.gov.uk.

There are a number of ways that local people dispose of their waste legally. They can recycle separated household waste for free at one of the borough’s re-use and recycling centres. They can also dispose of mixed DIY waste at Greenford Re-use and Recycling Centre. This service is chargeable and costs £23 for every 100kg of waste.

Ealing council also offers a bulky waste collection service. The council will collect up to eight items that are too big for the normal household collection service for just £40. Residents can share bulky collections with friends and neighbours, but the items must all be collected from one location.

In addition, residents can use a council-authorised skip company to dispose of large amounts of household waste. All the companies that meet our requirements are listed on our website at www.ealing.gov.uk/skips.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “The vast majority of householders want to do the right thing with their waste, but unfortunately, there are a few that are prepared to use disreputable, illegal companies and individuals just to save themselves a few pounds.

Warren Farm after the clean-up

Warren Farm after the clean-up

“The message that I would like these residents to receive loudly and clearly is that someone always pays in the end and at the moment all Ealing council tax payers are footing the bill. However, we are in the process of identifying those responsible for this environmental crime- the people who dumped the waste and the householders that it originated from- and we will be pursuing them all to recover our costs.

“I would ask all of our residents to stop and think the next time someone knocks at their door and asks to clear their waste. Ask for their details so you can check if they are licenced. If they are not licenced, they will be taking your waste and dumping it in our green spaces, parks and rivers regardless of what they say to the contrary and what can seem like a cheap deal at the time could ultimately end up costing you thousands of pounds in fines.”

For more information on recycling and disposal services in Ealing, go to www.ealing.gov.uk/recycling.

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dates-announced-for-2013-ealing-summer-festivals-720x256Ealing Council will transform Ealing’s green spaces again this summer filling the calendar with a jam-packed schedule of laughs, music, carnival festivities and culinary delights.

The first weekend of July sees Ealing Common become a giant smorgasbord of gastronomic delights with the first ever Eat, Drink, Ealing event, a thrilling, new addition to the programme.

West London’s largest comedy, jazz and blues festivals will be back in Walpole Park in July delivering another year of top-tier acts, with performances from festival veterans and untapped local talent.

Greenford and Acton carnivals return with their celebration of the vibrant local communities from which they emerged.  A procession will be heading towards Acton Park on Saturday, 9 July and is set to be bursting with glittering handmade costumes, electrifying tunes and contagious vibes.

The council’s cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, Councillor Bassam Mahfouz said: “These dates are definitely ones for the diary. There will be great events taking place all over the borough, bringing a top class line up of musicians, comedians and artists to Ealing. Make sure you’re following Ealing Summer Festivals on all the usual social media channels to be the first to hear about special offers and who will be headlining.”

There will be child-friendly areas at all the events and The Events Umbrella will continue its commitment to putting on eco-friendly festivals and the preservation of the borough’s revered green areas.

Dates for Ealing Summer festivals 2016:
Greenford Carnival – Saturday 18 June, Ravenor Park, UB6
Eat, Drink, Ealing  – Saturday 2 July and Sunday 3 July, Ealing Common, W5
CAMRA’s Ealing Beer Festival – Wednesday 6 to Saturday 9 July, Walpole Park, W5
Acton Carnival – Saturday 9 July, Acton Park, W3
Comedy – Thursday 14 and Friday 15 and Wednesday 20 July to Friday 22 July, Walpole Park, W5
Blues – Saturday 16 July and Sunday 17 July, Walpole Park, W5
Jazz – Saturday 23 July and Sunday 24 July, Walpole Park, W5

Follow Ealing Summer @Ealing_Summer on Twitter, ealing_summer on Instagram and like us at https://www.facebook.com/ealingsummer on Facebook. You can also find more information on the website at www.ealingsummerfestivals.com and check out the festival guide, artist details and schedules.

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Letters will be delivered in white envelopes with a picture of a wheelie bin and an Ealing Council logo and are being sent to households over the next few weeks. The letters give details of the collection service for each individual address. A leaflet is also enclosed giving more information on the new service and how to recycle more. A personalised collection calendar is also included.

The council has launched a Facebook page devoted to the new collection service at www.facebook.com/ealingrecycling. Residents that ‘like’ the page will receive updates as the service changes over and useful tips on how to recycle more.

From 6 June, most households in the borough will use a blue wheelie bin for their mixed recycling and a black wheelie bin for their rubbish. The bins will be collected on alternate weeks with recycling picked up one week and rubbish on the other.

Residents in Southall, some parts of north Greenford and Alperton already use a black wheelie bin for their rubbish. They will keep these and receive an additional blue one for their mixed recycling. Wheelie bins will start to be delivered across the borough from May.

Green food waste bins will continue to be collected every week. Residents that require a replacement food waste bin can order one free of charge at www.ealing.gov.uk/reportit

Some properties that are unsuitable for wheelie bins will have different arrangements and some will keep their existing arrangements. The personalised letters will give details of how their service will work from June.

Residents are advised to open their letters straight away and read them carefully. As well as containing details of their collection arrangements, the letter also gives useful information such as how to ask for extra help moving wheelie bins on collection day and a web link that residents can use to request a different sized bin.

Residents living in flats that use communal recycling and waste bins will be unaffected and will not be written to. However, they should look out for a leaflet delivered to their door in the next few months giving details of improvements to their recycling service.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “This new service is going to be a big improvement. Wheelie bins will make it easier for people to recycle more meaning less waste will be sent to landfill, and they will also keep our streets cleaner by cutting down on the number of black bags ripped open by foxes. And because wheelie bins will be collected on alternate weeks, residents will see fewer trucks on the road, meaning less pollution and congestion on local streets.

“As we change over to the new collection system we are doing all we can to keep residents updated. I encourage everyone to read their letter and leaflet when they arrive and to visit our website which has further information about the new service.”

For more information, go to www.ealing.gov.uk/bins. To ‘like’ the Facebook page, go to www.facebook.com/ealingrecycling.

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At the ceremony on Thursday, 3 March, Ealing won Most Effective Road Safety, Traffic Management and Enforcement Project for its work to redesign the junction of Old Oak Common and Atlas Road in Park Royal. Following consultation with residents and road users the traffic intersection was completely redesigned, taking out a set of traffic lights, widening footways, installing new pedestrian crossings and a mini-roundabout. The improvements not only improved traffic flows, but increased the number of pedestrians using the junction. A year on there had been no reported accidents at the junction and 98% of people felt the new design was safer.

Ealing also won the award for Excellence in Cycling and Walking for the Southall Broadway Boulevard scheme, which saw the town centre redesigned to encourage people out of their cars and improve road safety for pedestrians and cyclists. The scheme involved widening the footways, reducing the road width, removing clutter and making the road friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists. Results so far show a marked improvement in safety, with a 32% reduction in collisions where people are injured and a 39% reduction in the overall number of casualties.

The borough was highly commended for its work to develop the new incline lift at Greenford Station in the Most Innovative Transport Project category. The council worked with TfL to install the lift, which is the first of its kind in London, to make the station more accessible to people with disabilities, older people and those with young children in pushchairs.

The leader of Ealing Council’s work as chair of London Councils’ transport and environment committee was also recognised with the Outstanding Contribution to Local Transport in London award. Councillor Julian Bell has been chair of London Councils’ transport and environment committee since July 2014. Under his stewardship, the committee has managed the renewal of more than a million freedom passes and helped secure £13m of funding from central government to increase the uptake of low emissions vehicles across the city. An ardent cyclist, he has worked tirelessly to promote two-wheeled transport in London and is a staunch advocate for improving air quality in the capital.

Councillor Bell said: “I am extremely proud to be honoured in this way for my work in an area about which I am so passionate. I have the pleasure of working with so many talented and knowledgeable people and I would like to thank them for all their support.

“I look forward to what London local government can achieve in improving the city’s transport infrastructure in the future, and how we can all work together to reduce its impact on our health and the environment.”

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “Road safety is a real passion of mine and one of the reasons I got into politics. I am proud that we are transforming the borough by focussing on critical issues like improving road safety, encouraging walking and cycling, and making public transport more accessible. I’m absolutely delighted we’ve received this recognition for our tireless efforts to improve transport for our residents, further building on our award last year as best transport authority in the country.”

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stencil20green20laneEaling Council is inviting residents to set up their own PlayStreet to allow children to play safely in their roads.

During a PlayStreet, the road is closed for up to three hours so that children can have fun and play safely. PlayStreets are set up and run by residents but the council provides them with the required documents and applies for a temporary traffic order on their behalf so that the road can be closed.

There are 25 PlayStreets across the borough and once a PlayStreet has been set up they can be held monthly in the same street. Setting up the first event takes around eight weeks to allow time for organisers to consult with their neighbours and process the road closure order.

Cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, Councillor Bassam Mahfouz said: “With spring around the corner PlayStreets offer a great opportunity to reclaim your road and make it safe for kids to enjoy playing in the street. It’s also a fantastic chance to meet and get to know your neighbours and rekindle that community spark.

“Everyone I have spoken to who have introduced one in their street feels it has had such a positive effect. I’d encourage residents to come forward, setting one up is child’s play.”

Vanessa Folley from Beaumont Road, Chiswick wrote after one PlayStreet: “Heaps of people came out including a family who moved in last week – how great to welcome them with that. People are already talking about the next one so all in all a huge success.”

More information on how to get involved can be found at www.ealing.gov.uk/playstreets

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