Save Us From Bell's Hell
29 August 2016
After years of delays, the Ealing cinema site had been sold on again, with precious little comfort that the new owners are under any obligation to give Ealing this amenity it desperately needs.
Although Empire Cinemas had their faults, they made clear they wanted to rebuild the cinema once the credit crunch (remember that?) had blown over. They are a cinema operator, after all.
It appears that Ealing Council may have quibbled over planning permission before issuing its Compulsory Purchase Order. Could there have been an ulterior motive?
We read with horror in Private Eye that Labour councillors responsible for planning are entertained by property developers in Cannes. Residents have long wondered who the Council really works for, and, for shame, we worry about that too.
While Julian Bell enjoys his cocktails, Ealing residents are in the embarrassing situation of having to explain to friends why the home of Ealing Studios is screenless still after 8 years.
We would make building the cinema, and residents' wishes on all development, our priority. A Green voice on the Council would be a residents' voice.
The saga of the wheelie bins has filled more Facebook feeds than one person alone could ever read, so we will be brief.
Since the introduction of wheelie bins, we have observed:
- A significant increase in fly-tipping
- Rubbish piled up and uncollected in parks and on street corners
- Streets unswept for several weeks
- A decline in the quality of recyclable material produced by Ealing due to glass fragment contamination
- Hundreds of repeatedly missed collections
- Pavement mobility being seriously impeded for less able residents.
This ill thought-through act of penny-pinching by the Council is a scandal. We could so easily have dealt with foxes through a proper food waste education programme. We tried to make Labour listen, but in their arrogance they pushed on anyway, dismissing advice even from qualified experts from outside the Borough.
We need to break the groupthink that comes with Labour hegemony on the Council. Ealing needs a Green voice.
After paring back opening hours in Northolt, Southall, Perivale and Hanwell, the Council is now planning to move Ealing Broadway library to a much smaller site and savagely cut the number of books on the shelves from 124,000 to 37,000, yet again to save money.
This false economy comes at the expense of study space, vital to students from poorer homes.
If only Julian Bell would admit that freezing Council Tax for 8 years has come at a terrible cost to residents, we could start to make proper, informed choices about the services we want. Ealing needs a Green voice to turn the tide.
Recently refurbished to a high standard with £0.75m of taxpayer's money, Ealing Town Hall is the iconic focal point of our Borough, and rightly belongs to the people of Ealing. Countless charities and community groups use these facilities to meet. It is a joy to see couples tying the knot there every weekend. It is an asset vital to Ealing's identity.
It might therefore come as a surprise to learn that Labour has decided to flog it off and turn it into a hotel, with only the vaguest promises about community use and capping fee hikes to 20%. Our Town Hall would be lost forever (245 years, to be precise).
After Warren Farm, we know we cannot trust Ealing Council with any of our community assets, especially not when big money comes calling.
Ealing Green Party wants to be your voice in these decisions.
Ealing Green Party has measured levels of toxic pollutant NO2 at 23 points around the Borough, and found indications of potentially illegal levels along several residential streets and near schools. Air pollution like this kills almost 10,000 Londoners every year, and more still die in road traffic accidents; yet it is within our power to save these lives.
We are pleased that Ealing Council is tentatively starting to trial measures such as 20mph limits at our recommendation. However, successes in Camden and Islington (where Greens are on the Council) show that far bolder schemes work well, and should be embraced without delay.
Ealing should redefine its road use for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists, while keeping traffic moving.
We are also shocked that most local buses are still of the highly polluting diesel type, when hydrogen and electric technologies exist today to clean our air. Ealing Greens would push City Hall, TfL and the bus companies to ensure only zero emissions vehicles are permitted on the busy 207 route along the Uxbridge Road, as well as on all the ancillary routes like 65, E2 and E3 that pass by schools.
Ealing needs a Green voice on the Council.
We stand with the parents of this excellent local school when they question why expansion is being held up while Labour's Onkar Sahota AM apparently refuses to sell his adjacent land, designated specifically for educational purposes.
Thankfully, you already have excellent representation from Sian Berry and Caroline Russell on the London Assembly, working for you every day. We need more Greens like them, working hard in office to deliver for residents.
Please, help us make the Council work for you. Join us and help make Ealing the Queen of Boroughs again.
Of course, the Green Party is bigger than Ealing. From refugees to global warming, we campaign on everything that matters. Join us today and you will become part of the most important international movement conceivable.