|South Acton Councillors' Report - March|
Monthly update from Councillor John Gallagher
It is now official: the council tax for 2013/14 was frozen for the fifth year at the full council meeting last week. But there is always a sting in the tail. Although pensioners are not affected by the benefit changes, any of you on council tax support as well as state or occupational pensions which have been increased may find your council tax goes up as an adjustment. The increase in rent might offset a similar reduction in housing benefit.
South Acton Ward Forum will be held Wednesday, 13th March, next week, at the Armenian Centre, 105, Mill Hill Road, W3, at 7pm. There will not be a surgery at the Oaktree Centre because the dates clash.
Ealing Fair Trade Group will be celebrating their tenth anniversary on Friday, 8th March, from 6:30pm at West London Trades' Union Club, 33/35, Acton High Street. There is an article about the group in the current edition of Around Ealing and I successfully proposed a motion congratulating them at the January council meeting. There will be a display of goods with refreshments, tombola, speeches and music, including Tony Foster, later in the evening. The bar and garden will be open from 7pm as usual.
Phil Portwood and I will be giving our talk on Acton mayors at the Central Library in the Green Room on 16th May at 6:15pm, entrance £4.
The developers with plans for Zara Furniture on the corner of Acton High Street and Gunnersbury Lane beside Acton Hill Methodist Church and opposite The Red Lion & Pineapple are meeting representatives of CARA and Mill Hill Park Residents' Association, the church and Acton History Group to discuss their plans.
I am hoping to propose a motion on the value of credit unions at the next council meetings. I have belonged to CUBE, Credit Union Brent & Ealing, since 1998 and served as chair of the supervisory (internal audit) board before I went back on the council in 2006. It started off with parishoners of our Lady of Lourdes on South Acton Estate and expanded wider by initially attracting members from the other Acton churches and voluntary groups. Now both local councils and several other major social employers, including Catalyst Housing, are signed up for payroll deduction. Credit unions have great value to offer, especially in these times of austerity. They are leading the campaign with the co-operative movement against payday loans and other methods of soaking the poor. Keep away from online gambling as well!
What about the 266? It must be Johnson's joke. For almost every evening I have been out after 10pm since New Year, I have had to walk home or take the 70 part way. Almost every night it has vanished from the indicators outside the old Captain Cook pub and Acton Town Hall. I complained to Dr Onkar Sahota, just after his victory in the London elections last year when TfL had changed contractors and it improved but it is now far worse. TfL does not even seem to respond to complaints now.
For Labour Party members: nominations and selections for parliamentary and council candidates may be open in next month. As far as I know everyone who has been a member for over a year will be notified soon.
Finally, it is with great sorrow that I extend my condolences to Phil Portwood and his sister, Lynn, on the death of their mother, Joan. Those of us who knew her as a person, Phil's Mum or the Millenium Mayoress, all had profound love and respect for her and she will be deeply missed.
Your Acton Labour Councillors
John Gallagher firstname.lastname@example.org 020 8993 0017
Yvonne Johnson email@example.com 020 8993 4166
Mik Sabiers firstname.lastname@example.org 020 8992 5014
Surgeries: Oaktree Centre, Osborne Road, South Acton Estate on the second Wednesday every month 6:30-7:30pm (not March or August)
Ruskin Hall, 16, Church Road, W3 8PP, every Saturday 11am to midday (any Acton Labour councillor)
14th March 2013