PCA Newsletter 30 - June 2008

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In This Issue

 

Party In The Park

High School Musical

PC Steve Robinson

Lynda’s Army

Streets for People Update

New Sponsors

The Last Goodbye

Four-Year-Olds Please Read On…

Fit For Sport

Use It Or Lose It

Scrutiny

Park Problems

Green Homes Concierge Service

 

Party In The Park

Pray for good weather on Sunday 29th June. This year’s party is probably the most innovative for many years; unfortunately much of the new stuff can’t be covered so we’re going to need a bit of help with the conditions. John Dutton, well-known local loft converters, are supplying a skateboard ‘half pipe’ and a couple of top-class skateboarders to demonstrate their skills. Solicitors Prince Evans are providing a ‘Gladiators’ contest, basically consisting of a platform on which you bash your opponent with a ‘pugil stick’ until he or she falls off.

Pitshanger Popstars Finalist

Continuing the mindless violence theme, Arena events include a Sumo wrestling competition in which kids and adults don fat suits and roll around pretending to fight but actually just looking silly.

More constructively, the Fit For Sport Family Fitness Challenge will also be held in the Arena: the family group that covers the most circuits of our obstacle course in three minutes gets something impressive for their mantelpiece. The old-time Carousel (sponsored by the Pitshanger traders) will be back, together with a smaller train ride for younger children. Fit For Sport will be running kids’ sporting activities, penalty shootouts and the like.

On stage the formal opening at 1.30 by BBC News legend John Sergeant will be followed by the 250-strong spectacle of Gill Wellman’s Dance Gallery dancers. At 3.15 the ever-popular dog show gets going – they don’t do ‘waggiest tail’ at Crufts but we do! The immensely successful Pitshanger Popstar competition (pictured) reaches its conclusion in the beer tent, where the party will end to the sound of the Copycats. If all this makes you hungry there’s plenty of food, ice cream and cold drinks on site. Entrance is by programme, price £2 per adult – kids go free!

4-Year-Olds Please Read On…

High School Musical

…because it will be you who benefit from the new secondary school in the borough planned to open in 2015, providing 1200 places. Consultation is underway and two potential sites – one in Perivale – are being explored, as are questions such as the school’s specialism, site design, facilities and who might manage it.

Another reason to get your raffle tickets back ASAP before the draw at Party In The Park – an extra prize of three tickets for the hit show, High School Musical. Organiser Karen Jacks tells us that pretty much all the girls in the area under the age of 13 would kill for these. We’ve also got an iPod Shuffle to give away. Any further prize donations would be welcome: please contact Karen on 8566 7383 or [email protected].

Fit For Sport

Fit For Sport this, Fit For Sport that – seems like every issue of the Newsletter has a mention of this ubiquitous organisation. Led by PCA Committee member Dean Horridge, they’ve been running kids’ activities at Light Up The Lane and Party In The Park since when we can’t remember, adding the Fun Run to the list in 2005. Eventually your Committee realised just how much Dean was spending out of his own pocket – several thousand pounds a year – so we think he at least deserves a mention!

When he’s not impoverishing his family Dean and his team of like-minded spirits are running PE classes and after-school clubs in over 40 London schools, and operate OFSTED registered healthy lifestyle holiday Kids Camps in more than 38 locations, one of which is the Trailfinders Club in Vallis Way. You can get information from Fit For Sport on 0845 456 3233 or at www.fitforsport.co.uk. To get a 10% discount, book by 20th June and quote ‘BANANA’.

PC Steve Robinson

Use It Or Lose It

PC Steve Robinson at the Pitshanger Fun Run

They’re letting Steve, a member of our Safer Neighbourhoods Team, down gently. To win the Pitshanger Fun Run you have to run 5 kilometres in roughly 17 minutes: ten yards in 72 seconds waving your hands in the air doth not a winner make. Great photo though – enlargements free to all police canteens.

Our campaign to persuade members to use local shops wherever possible gets a boost from some positive feedback. One member opines that The Village Pantry’s prices are “generally lower than Waitrose” while another marks our card about the “delicious” vine tomatoes in Ray’s Fruit Bowl. Let us know what you’ve found locally – shop in Pitshanger and save time, fuel, and the planet.

Lynda’s Army

Volunteer organiser Lynda Pullman would like to say thanks to “the little army of helpers” who made her recent return to the PCA team a success, particularly the raffle distributors. She still needs help with specific roads, including Curzon, Selby, Lindfield, Denison and Mount Avenue. The work involves delivering PCA communications in an agreed area. Contact Lynda at [email protected].

Scrutiny

Back in January the PCA submitted a ‘scrutiny’ topic to Ealing Council entitled “Stewardship and Maintenance of the River Brent”. This has made it onto the Council’s Transport and Environment Scrutiny Panel agenda and is scheduled for discussion in February next year. At the meeting Councillor-members of the panel will consider a report from Council officers, so this is an excellent opportunity for the PCA to get in early and influence the report.  The Council takes scrutiny quite seriously, so if we can convince the panel that more needs to be done there is a real chance of action at (Council) Cabinet level.

Shopping Trolley in the River Brent

In the meantime the mess in some stretches of the Brent gets ever worse – a fallen tree near the Bunny Park has created a river-wide dam accumulating the flotsam of the retail and restaurant trades.

Streets for People Update

The latest news on the Pitshanger Lane Streets for People scheme is that TfL (Transport for London) has released the funds needed by Ealing Council for development of the detailed engineering design. This work is now underway in Ealing Council’s Highways Department, with completion expected in the Autumn. Council Officers have promised to maintain close contact with the PCA during this important phase of the work.

In the meantime, a small but vociferous group of protesters has been trying to delay the scheme or block it altogether. Objections that have come the way of the PCA Committee (and there haven’t been many) have been either outright rejection of the scheme, a claim that some people didn’t receive the Council’s consultation document in December, or the suggestion that the design is flawed in some way. The PCA’s main point of reference for what most local people really think is the result of Ealing Council’s public consultation exercise, which covered every postal address in quite a wide area around Pitshanger Lane (over 3,000 addresses). Of those who responded, 77% were in favour of the Streets for People scheme, 14% were against and 9% did not express a view.

The PCA Committee respects the views of those who voted against the scheme, but we feel obliged to back the very clear majority view. Councillors have told us that the 865 replies received represents a higher than usual response rate to Council consultations, suggesting that the consultation documents must have reached most addresses in the target area. As for possible design flaws, the PCA Committee is confident that any that do emerge can and will be dealt with during the engineering design phase. We will continue to keep PCA members, and other visitors to the PCA web site, fully informed of progress. Ealing Council’s plans are on display in the library (bring a magnifying glass – Ed.), where there are also copies of the PCA’s Streets for People fact sheet.

See the PCA's Streets for People resource page or fact sheet for further details.

Park Problems

Complaints are increasing about the state of the playground in the park. The main entrance is always flooded when it rains, meaning older children have to be lifted over the adjacent fence. Buggies are then pushed through the water before parents too traverse the fence. Inside the playground much of the surface is old and loose, and at least one child has been badly hurt in the last few weeks. Parents are also concerned about crossing Meadvale Road to get to the park. Cars parked outside the gates and (illegally) on the opposite corners impair the view of oncoming traffic. There are no warning signs for unwary drivers and at least one member thinks “it’s an accident waiting to happen”. The PCA Committee will be raising these concerns with the Council.

New Sponsors

Northfields at Pitshanger

Alongside the new attractions at this year’s Party In The Park, the PCA is delighted to welcome a new main sponsor, Northfields. To coincide with the opening of their new offices in Pitshanger Lane, the firm is providing substantial financial support for the PCA’s flagship summer event.

The PCA Committee and everyone involved in Party In The Park would like to thank previous sponsor John Martin Estates for their support over many years.  Indeed, John Martin was one of the founders of the event in 2000 and sponsored all but one of the subsequent parties. He continues to be a firm supporter of the local community with his continuing commitment to North Ealing School. John has supported many other events including our annual Christmas festivity, Light Up The Lane, and the Fun Run.

Green Homes Concierge Service

This environmental management company will be exhibiting at Party In The Park. For a fee of £199 they’ll thoroughly check your property and highlight where energy is being lost, suggest a programme of improvements to reduce both your carbon footprint and your fuel bills, and offer you a year’s guidance as to the best improvement options and how to go about implementing them. They offer help with the practicalities of obtaining grants and quotes, and can suggest the best suppliers and products to meet your requirements. Catch up with them at the party or go to www.greenhomesconcierge.co.uk.

The Last Goodbye

So this is it. Do all the good times and laughter we shared count for nothing? Do you really never want to meet again? If you haven’t renewed your PCA membership this is it. Finis! Perhaps it’s embarrassment – you’ve lost your form. No worries, just call Pam Walker on 8177 9999 or email [email protected] and your form will be miraculously restored. Otherwise, if you don’t renew we’ll sell our side of the story to the News Of The World.