Town Centre: Local Councillors Give Views

What do they really think of the regeneration plan?

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As we approach a crucial meeting for Acton next week on June 17th about the proposed plans to redevelop our town centre, we asked three of Acton's councillors - one from each party - to tell us about their vision for the future of Acton.

Gary Malcolm, Liberal Democrat Councillor for South Acton, Kate Crawford, Labour Councillor for East Acton and Vlod Barchuk, Conservative councillor for Acton Central have all told us what they think.

Here is a precis of their views on various aspects of Acton. Click here   to read their views in full.

Town Centre in general

GM: Areas around High Street need to be developed so that it acts like a magnet for local people. Something for everyone.

KC: Charm and character which make Acton unique should not be lost. Preserve historic buildings and make town centre a dynamic hub for retail, culture and leisure.

VB: Developments need to respect Victorian town centre. Conservation area is not negotiable. Needs nip and tuck, not grand reconstruction.


GM: Worried about traffic lights disappearing - potential danger to pedestrians. Heathrow Connect should stop at Acton Main Line station. 427 bus should go from central Acton both ways.

KC: Acton should be well served by transport links so that amenities are accessible to all.

VB: Widening High Street not an option. Car is a given. Motorists will disappear to Westfield or Brent Cross if parking is difficult, so maximising parking spaces is a must. Schemes like Fast Bus, linking High St, Acton Main Line and North Acton, need to be pursued.

Swimming Pool/Library/Priory Centre/Town Hall

GM: Dispute about swimming pool size. Outside sources should fund a 50m pool. EU hasn't been approached for grants. Important to have a pool to enable Actonians to keep fit. Town Hall should be a heritage and arts centre with space for a gallery, small theatre, youth centre and café area.

KC: Acton Baths a fixture used by many as part of their daily routine and healthy lifestyle. Views of Ealing Swimming Club misrepresented. Keep the swimming pool at the heart of Acton. Keep 50m pool option. Worried about proposal for four-storey housing development on current Acton Town Hall site. Any such development should not be visible from the street scene and South Acton. Council's commitment to lifelong learning threatened by closure of library which is valuable service for many. Needs to be in town centre.

VB: Facilities have had their best days. Redevelopment necessary to provide more integrated services. 50m pool would need masses of housing to finance it: 25m plus learner pool is the best option. Tension between modernisation and preservation. The Mount is a good example of this conflict - more locals should have been given opportunity to question vision of mini Red Square.

South Acton Estate

GM: Redevelopment has gone on for so long. Many residents feel their views have not been incorporated into current plans.

VB: Local Labour councillors generally support regeneration plans.


In summary:

GM: Council has been slow to act. Merely improving the way Acton looks is not enough.

KC: Plenty of questions to be answered. Council must listen to residents.

VB: Acton has had inferiority complex but this is changing.


June 13, 2009