PCA Newsletter 99 - February 2017

In This Issue

This is the story that simply won’t go away. In earlier editions we reported that the Cleveland ward councillors had sponsored a CPZ consultation for an area covering Kent Gardens, Kent Avenue and surrounding streets, and that eager council officers had decided that the scheme should go ahead even though the consultation failed to hit the stated success criterion.

Then, in December, the council moved on to the “statutory consultation” phase, which means publishing details of the scheme in small print towards the back of the Gazette with an opportunity for comments from the general public.  Statutory notices like this usually produce at most a small handful of responses, but the Kent Gardens area CPZ proposal turned out to be very different, with a total of 345 submissions received by the council.

Out of the 345 submissions (rather more people than responded to the CPZ consultation), 263, or 76%, were objections.  Of the submissions from residents living within the CPZ consultation area there were 53 objections and 72 comments in favour.

In a long email to some residents who made submissions in response to the statutory notice, senior council officer Keith Townsend devoted many paragraphs trying justify the council’s procedural contortions (e.g. redefining the Yes criterion, looking favourably at a pro CPZ residents’ survey and ignoring No votes submitted on the council’s own forms), concluding with the words “I am satisfied that our highways engineers have used professional judgement alongside the Council's policies to propose reasonable and proportionate measures to manage the parking pressures in the local area, taking into consideration the views of residents”.  One wonders whether these were the same highways engineers who, when asked during a CPZ road show in 2013 about the possible effects of a CPZ on the Pitshanger Lane shops, replied “What shops?”.

One aspect of the CPZ consultation that we haven’t been clear on up to now is the bit that said “We will analyse all responses we receive and present them, together with any background information, to the ward members for their comments”.  To date we’ve not known what those comments were or what influence they might have had.  But we’ve now seen a briefing note produced by council officers stating that Cllrs Murray and Rodgers “both supported implementation” while Cllr Proud “expressed the view that the CPZ should not proceed”.  The council officers concluded that “as this is a Ward Forum scheme, given that 2 Members echo the views of officers, we recommend proceeding with implementation of the CPZ”.

Your committee remains unhappy about the way the council has arrived at a conclusion that is so obviously the one they wanted from the start.

The best street in Ealing? Where’s that?  Pitshanger Lane, of course.  Following on from last year’s “Best High Street in London” award, further recognition is given to the eminence of our local high street in a talk at Ealing Central Library at 6.15pm on Tuesday 21st February entitled “The Best Street In Ealing”.  The speaker is local historian, author and archivist Dr Jonathan Oates, and the talk will cover “the history of the Pitshanger area which includes bank robbery, trespass and murder”.  Just another day on the Lane, then.  There are some further details of this and other talks here.

PCA Street Wars will be back for 2017 (and we promise there won’t be a CPZ round).  The latest instalment of this very popular and keenly contested quiz, in which street-based teams seek to make their street the Street Wars champions, will take place on Friday 5th May at the Brentham Club.  We’ll be back with full details soon, but for now why not put the date in your diary and start getting your team together, and if you have any immediate questions please contact our Street Wars supremo Tina Moonen at westsidett67 [at] hotmail [dot] com. As a guide, the team size has generally been “up to ten members” and we’ve always allowed the odd “ringer” from another street to make up the numbers.  Watch this space for more details.

The winner of our most recent £50 lucky dip prize was Alison Lawrence of Barnfield Road, who accepted the prize in the right spirit by promising to spend it in Pitshanger Lane.

Long-term PCA committee member Lynda Pullman has decided to call it a day.  We’re sorry to see her go as she has done so much for the local community over the years.  Lynda was a founder member of the PCA, and highlights of her PCA career include serving as the PCA’s first Secretary, running goodness knows how many PCA raffles, building a volunteer army of posties, setting up our annual tea party and the Monday tea club and serving as a prominent member of the PCA events team.

Lynda was also the driving force behind the last four PCA

donations schemes and introduced our twice-yearly lucky dip draw. Lynda is not putting her feet up entirely as she will still be running the Monday afternoon tea club, for which we and many regular attendees are very grateful.

Our good friends the environmental charity Thames21 will be back in Pitshanger Park this year with an extended programme of clean-ups along the river Brent together with a schools’ education project (supported by the council).  The dates for the volunteer river clean-up days are Sunday 5th March, Saturday 1st April and Saturday 6th May.  If you can help on any of those dates please contact Daniella Levene at daniella [dot] levene [at] thames21 [dot] org [dot] uk or 07501 697096.  The meeting place will be the bandstand in Pitshanger Park and the sessions will run from 11am to 1.30pm (under 16s accompanied by an adult please) – more details here.   

Equipment, training and – importantly – refreshments will be provided.  Thames21 are also hoping to recruit a permanent team to look after this stretch of the Brent, so if you think you would like to help, please let Daniella know.

First a note to anyone who may have missed our December newsletter, which was a special printed edition that went out with the St Barnabas magazine Cornerstone (we were the centrefold).  That edition is now available to download on the St Barnabas web site here.

Now on to the main point of this item.  Our newsletter editor John Bird, who designed the now-familiar email / A4 newsletter format that we’ve used since issue 13, contributed many pieces on environmental and highways related issues over the years, and who took over from founding editor Dave Wallis at issue 70, has decided it’s time to step down.  That means a vacancy, of course.  If you think donning the green visor and chomping furiously on a cigar as the presses roll might be for you, please let us know at pca [at] pitshanger [dot] org [dot] uk.  (PS: John has promised to get the milestone issue 100 out for us).

Meadow House Hospice has announced a fund-raising pamper evening on Thursday 2nd March from 6pm to 9.30pm.  The advance ticket price is £5.00 (or £7.00 on the door) and this includes a glass of fizz and nibbles.  Various treatments will be available for a suggested donation.  Free parking will be available at the hospice.  You can reserve your ticket by calling 020 8967 5040 – early booking is advised to avoid disappointment as these events tend to sell out.  There’s more information about the hospice at www.meadowhousehospice.org.uk.

…and sing!  St Barnabas Church has announced the formation of a community gospel choir.  In their words “Join us for a great time of energetic singing. No experience necessary!”  The choir will rehearse on the second and third Sundays of each month from 3pm to 5pm and will sing in the All Age Family Mass on the first Sunday of each month at 10.30am.  There will be a small charge of £2 per person for each rehearsal. All ages welcome, from 8 years old upwards.  To express interest or find out further details contact the parish office at on 020 8998 4079 or parish [dot] office [at] barnabites [dot] org.

Please be wary if anyone knocks on your door claiming to be doing building work next door.  There has been a recent case with scammers falsely claiming there was problem with a party wall affected by condensation that needed to be fixed with the help of a £5,000 dehumidifier.  This may sound like obvious nonsense, but the people who run this kind of scam tend to put on a plausible front and can be very persuasive.  They will also pick on more vulnerable residents.  Their modus operandi is to offer to drive people to the bank straight away to get the £5,000.  The Met Police safer neighbourhoods team is aware of this.  Please be on the look-out, both for yourself and for any neighbours who may be particularly vulnerable.  Call the police if you see these scammers.

Further details are emerging about the proposed redevelopment of the Gurnell site, where the current facilities, which are said to be at the end of their useful life, will be completely replaced.  The new pool and other leisure facilities will be part-funded by a development of 271 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom flats in six blocks to be built on the current car park.  The anticipated timeline for all this will see a planning application submitted in August 2017, and if that is approved the leisure facilities will close in September 2018 with the new facilities opening in summer 2020.  The scale and height of the residential development will raise eyebrows, with parking (that again) being a key concern.  We’ll bring you more details when we have them, or you can keep up to date via the council web site here.

Don't forget you can keep in touch with what's going on between editions of the PCA newsletter by checking in to our Facebook page here.  And while we're on Facebook, the group Pitshanger Area Friends (PAF for short) continues to grow and can be a very useful source of news and views.

It’ll soon be spring!  This year's Brentham May Day – a tradition that has been going for over 100 years – will be held on Saturday 13th May.  Enrolment of children, only from the Pitshanger area, who want to take part will be on Thursday 16th March from 4pm to 5.30pm in the main Hall of the Brentham Club.  The enrolment fee is £12 per child.  The May Day committee welcomes any offers of help with this event either during rehearsals or on May Day.  For further information contact Pat Chapman on 0774046 4137 or email patricia9 [at] sky [dot] com.