Letter from South Acton Ward
Trees, signs, Acton Town crossing, budgets and more
South Acton Ward Forum met last week.
We were commended for the alteration to the crossing system at Acton Town Station. A scheme to improve security in Woodlands Park agreed by Community Safety, Regeneration and Parks officers, together with the police and CAPE was accepted. The request for recycling in Bronte Court was agreed this morning but we are still waiting in Acton House.
Tuesday night was the council budget meeting: there will be no increase in council tax and sixty-four posts are being deleted. The Conservatives refused to accept an amendment from us not to increase council tax after the election.
The council's Decent Homes' programme has been delayed again: Rufford and Moreton Towers should have started in January and will not now commence until May; several families are waiting for disability adaptations.
The council's weekend emergency service appears to have adopted a new policy: do it yourself. I rang to report a burst water main in the High Street one Saturday morning and was told to report it to Thames Water myself because it was nothing to do with Ealing Council. Obviously, no-one has told them the council needs to know because they have to give utilities the instructions for opening and closing holes now. Fortunately, I had emailed Highways to let them know I had reported it so they could check the work, which still took a fortnight because Thames Water forgot to tell Highways they had finished.
A couple of weeks ago one of the Housing officers told me he reported a leaking main to Thames Water but was told after half-an-hour of talking to robots he had to report it to the council. However, what is commendable is the speed with which Highways is picking up reports on potholes and damage to pavements and roads. Well done Shahid and team! Congratulations to our eagle-eyed Enviro-crime officer, Waheed Yusuf, as well, for his promptness in checking commercial waste being left outside High Street businesses.
I have not seen the three programmes including some Tory MP on South Acton estate but it upset a number of residents not only on the estate but in other parts of Acton. I question the wisdom of the television companies showing these "exposures".
It is time we thought about pensioners and sheltered accommodation. Officers are talking about decommissioning some of the blocks because of declining popularity but I have a list of elderly or disabled people who need to find somewhere. I have also noticed a number of blocks being built by housing associations and private companies. I suspect it is the level of council provision which is inadequate not the principle. I would advise pensioners to watch their pension level, freedom passes, winter fuel allowance and free TV licences for the over-eighties if Cameron and his bunch get in.
South Acton Fitness Centre in Hardy Court is up and running. The organisers are looking for residents willing to serve as trustees.
I attended the graduation ceremony for the first successful business people in Acton who have undertaken improvements to their shop fronts and courses on promoting their enterprises. Yvonne has attended the workshops organised by the Regeneration Team on plans for Acton Town Hall site.
The Housing Department is organising a series of meetings for tenants and leaseholders on the future of council housing after Ealing Homes' contract expires.
March 18, 2010