PCA Newsletter 26 - January 2008

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In This Issue

 

Streets for People Scheme Gets Green Light

A Night At The Samrat

Lights Go Green On The Lane

Get Involved

Neighbourhood Meeting

New Golf Academy

Christmas Turkeys

Fishy Van

PCA Quiz Night

Tales Of The Riverbank

Heathrow Third Runway

Keep Holding On

Co-op Opening Hours

Diary Dates

Streets for People Scheme Gets Green Light

77% of people want the Pitshanger Lane Streets for People Scheme to go ahead. That’s the headline result of the Council’s public consultation. This is a significant step up from the 69% indicated by the earlier PCA consultation, and may in part reflect the improvements to the scheme suggested by the PCA consultation. On the strength of the strong YES vote, the Council’s Ealing Area Committee has given authorisation for the scheme to proceed to detailed design and implementation.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that there is still a

Congestion in Pitshanger Lane

good deal of important detail missing – and this scheme will only work if the detail is right. Fortunately, the PCA has been given a role in fleshing out the detailed design with Council Officers. Watch the PCA Newsletter for further updates.

The Council's consultation report is available for download from the PCA Streets for People resource page here.

Fishy Van

Our Safer Neighbourhoods Team leader, Sergeant Steve Driscoll, warns us of a gang apparently selling fish door-to-door from the back of a van. When other residents in the borough became suspicious the police checked the van, which did indeed contain fish, but it was not refrigerated or packed in ice as one might expect from a reputable fishmonger. Checks on the occupants revealed previous convictions for theft and burglary and it is strongly believed that the fish selling ploy is little more than a cover allowing the gang to check out houses and roads. There’s a general increase in burglary at the moment and, apart from the food safety aspects of storing fish in this way, Steve asks you to be on your guard and not to buy anything from the van or encourage its presence.

A Night At The Samrat

PCA Quiz Night

Our gastro-queen, Michelle Scupholme, has organised a members’ night at the Samrat on Friday February 8th from 7.30 pm. The cost is £12 a head which includes a starter and main course of your choice, with side dishes – King prawns and alcohol are extra! You’ll need to hurry – there’s only room for 20 people so send a cheque (payable to the PCA) for £12 per person to Michelle at 9 Barnfield Road, W5 1QU with your name, phone number and address. For more information email Michelle at [email protected].

Following last year’s successful and entertaining evening Karen Jacks has scheduled this year’s event for Friday 4th April at the Brentham Club, starting at 7.30 p.m. In charge once again will be Karen’s other half, David, and the ticket price of only £10 includes a sausage and mash supper. Maximum 10 people per table, but if you don't have a full table then it’s no problem: just buy as many tickets as you need and we’ll arrange the rest. Contact Karen on 8566 7383 or 07711 014331 or email [email protected] to book your tickets.

Lights Go Green On The Lane

New Green Lights in Pitshanger Lane

Andrew Dixon, who maintains the Christmas lights along the Lane, is doing his bit for the environment. The much admired green globes that he added to the trees last year use low-energy LED lights, taking just 10% of the power used by the red ones. However, he warns that the white lights are beginning to show their age and need constant attention to keep them going. Inevitably, in the five years since the present lights were installed the trees have grown and so now the lights only fill the centres of the trees.

It seems to be just a matter of time until we will have to replace them. Andrew would like to thank Dave Park for “taming the time clocks” along with his army of volunteers who battle with ladders to make Pitshanger Lane one of the prettiest places in Ealing at Christmas.

Tales Of The Riverbank

Get Involved

The Council’s Parks, Countryside and Events Service now has the funding to begin an ongoing clearance and improvement of the River Brent. They are completing an initial two week sweep down the river from the A40 through the Park which should deal with 90% of the waste present, the exception being larger objects that will require winching out.

After this, a two-man team will work two days work per week on the whole length of the river, dealing with ongoing waste, the larger items requiring specialist equipment, and also conservation and visitor access management along the river corridor. The service is also looking at methods of stopping wind-blown litter at source, and installing booms to capture river-borne waste. The programme will continue for the foreseeable future and will be managed by the Ranger Team at their Acton base (8740 1855).

We’ve space on our main committee and sub-groups (Environment & Planning, Communications and, as ever, the Events Team) for people who want to get stuck in and do something, for themselves as well as for the community. If handling the Streets for People debate or managing our reaction to the proposed new runway at Heathrow takes your fancy, or if you want to help us increase our expertise in handling communications and public events such as our popular ‘Question Time’, then our secretary Debbie Edwards (8998 2414 or [email protected]) will be delighted to hear from you.

Heathrow Third Runway

Members might be interested in the public consultation being carried out by the Department for Transport on increasing capacity at Heathrow Airport. A general rise in air traffic and the addition of a third runway seem to be treated as foregone conclusions in the consultation, with most questions dealing with points of detail of which two are of particular interest for Pitshanger residents. The first of these is the so-called “Westerly Preference” whereby aircraft are directed to take off and land in a westerly direction even when there is a slight tailwind.

Heathrow Third Runway

Pitshanger only really suffers from aircraft noise when the planes are taking off to the east (i.e. when there is a significant easterly wind), so clearly the current Westerly Preference is something we would want to keep. The other point to watch is the “Cranford Agreement” which dictates that most easterly take-offs should use Heathrow’s southern runway. This doesn’t make much difference to Pitshanger at present, but if/when the third runway comes into operation the Cranford Agreement should help to push at least some take-offs well away from our airspace. Perversely, the third runway could lead to a quieter Pitshanger since the current easterly take-off track that affects us would have to be replaced by two new tracks displaced a fair bit to either side of the present one. Consultation details are available from the DfT or via 0845 600 4170. The consultation closes on February 27th – remember “Westerly Preference” and the “Cranford Agreement”.

Neighbourhood Meeting

Keep Holding On

There will be a public meeting with our ward Safer Neighbourhoods Police Team on Thursday February 21st in St Barnabas Church Hall, starting at 8 p.m. This is your opportunity to hear about successes to date, influence objectives and suggest new initiatives for the future, and to put your questions to Sergeant Steve Driscoll and his team.

Despite agreement in principle by Ealing Council that the toilets in Pitshanger Park would open during daylight hours this summer, it now looks as though desperate dog walkers and frantic football parents will have to hold on for a while longer. The problem is that plumbing repairs and changes to the building needed to meet modern accessibility requirements have made the job too expensive for now. However, there is some good news regarding the park: indications from the Council are that the section of footpath almost undercut by the River Brent will be re-routed in the next few months, and the worst of the pot-holes near the tennis courts will be repaired.

New Golf Academy

Ealing Golf Club (behind the park) will launch their new Academy with a free “Taster” session for women and girls at 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday February 5th. The session is completely free with no obligation to have lessons. There will be light refreshments and an introduction by the club professional, followed by 1½ hours on the putting green and practice ground. Contact the Office on 8997 0937 or the ‘Pro Shop’ on 8997 3959; alternatively email [email protected]. Names are needed by January 29th so you’ll need to get moving to avoid disappointment.

For those who want to take things further, a series of 6 one hour lessons start the following Tuesday, February 12th – beginners at 11 a.m., improvers at 12.30 p.m. Beginners will learn the basics of golf and will not need equipment because trainers can be worn and everything else will be provided. Improvers will have lessons on the practice ground and on the course, including an individual lesson with the Pro over 8 holes. For further details call the Office or Pro Shop as above.

Co-op Opening Hours

Coop in Pitshanger Lane

The Co-op has at last legitimised its trading hours. An application to extend its approved opening hours to match those they have actually been operating since they opened two years ago has been agreed by the Council. However, a condition of the approval is that deliveries to the shop should be limited. Newspapers and sandwiches can be delivered between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. in vehicles limited to 1.5 tonnes (i.e. a van). From 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. bread and milk can be delivered in vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes (a smallish lorry).

All other deliveries must be made from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. in a vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes. If you think the Co-op is in breach of these conditions you may report the fact to the Council’s planning enforcement team leader Ingrid Smith at [email protected].

Christmas Turkeys

Diary Dates

In the last Newsletter we promised a bottle of wine for the groaniest Christmas cracker joke. It’s good to know recycling is alive and well in Cracker World – old favourites included: “How did the human cannonball lose his job? He got fired!” – but an honourable mention for this: “What does the word ‘minimum’ mean? A very small mother”. However, the winner, submitted by Events Team stalwart John Waters, is: “Why does Santa like to work in his garden? Because he likes to hoe, hoe, hoe!” Thanks, John – that’s truly terrible.

Here is a round-up of PCA diary dates for the next few months:

8 Feb: PCA members’ evening at Samrat

21 Feb: Safer Neighbourhoods Meeting, 8 pm St Barnabas

27 Feb: Heathrow expansion consultation closes

4 April: PCA Quiz Night, 7.30pm Brentham Club

Details of these events can be found in this edition of the newsletter and on the PCA web site. Looking further ahead, Party In The Park will take place on Sunday June 29th.