South Acton Councillors Report October

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The next South Acton Ward Forum meeting will be on Wednesday, 7th November, 2012, at 7pm, at the Armenian Centre, 105a, Mill Hill Road, W3. The Acton Gardens AGM also planned for that evening will probably be rearranged.

The Ealing Save Our Hospitals march took place on Saturday, 15th September. The main march from Southall Park, for which figures varied from three to ten thousand, reached Ealing Common at about half-past one. Six Acton councillors ( Patricia Walker, Mik Sabiers, Hitesh Tailor and me) representing the Labour Party, and Gary Malcolm and Andrew Steed, representing the Liberal Democrats, led the march from Acton Park, carrying the council banner.

We had banners from West London Trades' Union Club, the Co-op Party, the GMB, Unite and Unison and members of the SWP, the Socialist Party, Churchfield Community Association, Acton church congregations and other local groups left the park on time at midday or joined in on the way. We reached Ealing Common at the arranged time of 1pm. Special thanks to Judy Shapter for organising the petition outside St Mary's Church every Saturday except on holiday when Chris Hurley did it and to Andy Slaughter, MP, who joined us.

Thanks as well to Acton Cluster Police, especially East Acton Safer Neighbourhood Team, who took care of us on the way. Many more joined us from the Southall march, including the Conservative and Green Parties, many representatives of different faiths and groups from all over the west and north of the borough. Among the speakers were Dr Onkar Sahota, our GLA member, Julian Bell, leader of the council, and the president of the GMB. While plans are being made to close the hospitals' casualty units and two of the maternity wards, Ealing's population has increased by 10% between the census in 2001 and 2011 and the council has to provide an additional 45,000 school places for all the new children we have.

Hitesh, Onkar, Gareth and I carried the banner on the march from Shepherd's Bush to Lillie Road past Charing Cross Hospital last Saturday, which also had a lot of support from Ealing organisations, including the trades' union council, but it was not as big as the Ealing demo. It might have been because the Friday weather was so bad but Saturday was almost as good as our march.

On a sad note, Lou Kenton, one of the oldest residents of Ealing and members of the Labour Party, died in September at the age of 104 and was cremated on 1st October. All I can say is that his funeral was as well attended as I had expected and that his obituaries in The Mirror, Telegraph, Times, Independant, Guardian, Morning Star, Gazette and Acton website, as well as papers in Yorkshire and Spain, said almost everything apart mentioning his membership of CND.

The council has obtained a compulsory purchase order on Ealing cinema, or what is left of it, so hopefully that scar on the centre of the borough, which drew many complaints from foreign visitors while I was mayor, will soon be erased.

Congratulations to Acton Arts Forum on opening the West Three Art Gallery beside The George & Dragon and thanks to the landlord, Acton Forum, the council's Regen Team and Acton Charities for making it possible. The originaL Mr Athawes, of the estate agents, had left money to the charities in his will to provide an art gallery in Acton.

I circulated to latest report from the Regen Team about progress on Acton Town Hall separately to South Acton Ward residents' associations. SARAG have made four suggestions for the offer of help from Willmott Dixon to voluntary groups in the area.

Cllr Daniel Crawford and I are trying to organise a visit to the Berrymede and Acton High Schools and Oaktree Community Centre for Ealing's Olympic bronze medal winning hockey players.

I joined three other former mayors, Phil Portwood, Mike Elliott and Ian Potts, guiding visitors around Ealing Town Hall for Open House Day. Possibly because the weather was so bad we had an unexpectedly high turnout of nearly three hundred guests. Most of them seemd to enjoy it and we even had a few donations.

John Gallagher

Your South Acton Labour Councillors:

John Gallagher 020 8993 0017

Yvonne Johnson 020 8993 4166

Mik Sabiers 020 8992 5014


12th October 2012

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