PCA Newsletter 32 - October 2008

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In This Issue

 

100 Years Of Pitshanger

Alien Craft

New Shops

Ealing CommunitySafe

Ealing Golf Club

School Enlargement

Pam Stands Down

Café Decisions

Pitshanger Proms

Selby Road Tops The League

Superloo

Scouts Say Thank You

Ward Forum

Popstar Goes Adult

100 Years Of Pitshanger

Most people living here are aware that the area was developed in its present form about a hundred years ago, and the PCA Committee has felt for a while that we should recognise the centenary, the question being precisely when. The houses were built largely in the years preceding World War One and the school was opened in 1911, but now member John Waters has given us a peg to hang our celebratory hats on by discovering that Pitshanger Lane itself was built in 1909.

We’d like as many local organisations as possible to join with us in making next year a year of fun and celebration, so we’re holding a meeting on Monday 27th October in St Barnabas Church Hall at 8 p.m. to which all local groups, clubs and institutions are warmly invited. Hopefully we’ll have managed to contact you all before the meeting but we know there’s a lot going on in Pitshanger that goes unreported, so if you folks in the Soap Whittlers’ Club feel upset about not getting a call then please accept our apologies and come along to the meeting. After all, we’re not a hundred years old every year, are we?

Café Decisions

The uncertainty hanging over our two newest cafés, Angel and Cinnamon, was partially lifted over the summer as both received decisions on their applications for change of use from class A1 (‘retail’) to A3 (‘food and drink’). Both businesses had opened under the misapprehension that change of use was not needed, to the annoyance of at least one of their competitors.

 Angel’s case was decided on appeal when the appeals inspector declined to overturn the Council’s earlier refusal of change of use because of its policy of not allowing more than three non-retail businesses in a row. Negotiations between the café’s owners and the Council continue to determine what exactly the café will be allowed to do. Cinnamon is not affected by the policy as it has a retail business on either side, but the final decision was left to the Council’s planning committee. Support for Cinnamon by local Councillors Popham and Stafford helped to generate a unanimous vote of approval by the committee.

Alien Craft

Pitshanger Proms

Did you spot them? Neither did we, but according to reports the double-decker buses planned to replace the existing E2s next spring were supposed to have a ‘route trial’ in September. Transport for London confirms that the new buses will hold 87 passengers instead of the current 55 and will increase capacity on the route despite a decrease in frequency from every 6 minutes at peak times to between 7 and 8 minutes.

Hugh Mather writes to thank us for our “very generous” support for the inaugural Pitshanger Proms. The series of 11 concerts was a “runaway success” and over 400 people crammed into St Barnabas Church for the ‘Last Night’. The PCA is proud to have contributed to this excellent addition to our social and cultural lives in Pitshanger, and in turn would like to thank Hugh, an accomplished local pianist, for his tireless work in promoting music in our area both at St Barnabas and St Mary’s Perivale. The programme of concerts and events can be found at www.st-marys-perivale.org.uk and on the church noticeboards.

New Shops

The PCA is pleased to hear from Pitshanger’s two new shops that they’ve had a very warm welcome from customers and have found Pitshanger people to be both friendly and excited about their presence in the Lane. Near the Post Office Anwen and Bill Roberts have established Roberts & Co whose cards, gifts and furniture are proving so popular they’ve already sold out of one range of bags.

At the other end of the Lane, brothers Andrew and James and partner Tiffany have re-established the butcher’s as McCreadie’s. Andrew, twenty years in the business, trained at the well-known Fulham butcher Randalls before moving to Macken Brothers in Chiswick, so he must be delighted to be moving up-market. All the meat is free-range, and the partners also sell prepared meals such as lamb in a Moroccan marinade and ‘generously proportioned’ homemade chicken kievs. It’s great to see two new businesses thriving in the area and the PCA wishes them both the best of luck.

Selby Road Tops The League

Those of us fortunate enough to live in Selby Road have long known that we’re the most civilized part of the Pitshanger area, and an analysis of PCA membership by membership secretary Pam Walker confirms it. Not content with just being decent – taking in the neighbours’ parcels, helping old ladies cross the road whether they want to or not – a whopping 48% of Selby Road households are current members of the PCA.

The analysis makes interesting reading: 21% of all 3136 households in the PCA’s ‘area of benefit’ are members, a figure which varies from an average of 30% in Pitshanger Lane and points north to 17% in the Woodfield area. As might be expected houses provide more members (27%) than flats (8%), probably reflecting the more transitory nature of flat dwellers in the area. Joining Selby Road in the over 40s are Lindfield Road (46%), Princes Gardens (45%) and Mount Pleasant Road (41%), while standing in the corner with the dunce’s hats are Cheriton Close and Woodfield Crescent with a mere 4% apiece.

Ealing CommunitySafe

The emergency services and the Council have teamed up to provide a new text and email service that will alert you to major emergencies and crimes, and provide health, crime, and fire prevention advice. You can receive alerts via SMS (charged at 12p or provider rate) or by email: go to www.communitysafe.gov.uk to sign up.

Superloo

Ealing Golf Club

A year ago the Newsletter mentioned the possibility of getting the toilets in Pitshanger Park re-opened during daylight hours. PCA members who responded to the item were unanimously in favour.

Ealing Council agreed to go ahead but were then thwarted by the cost of bringing the toilets up to modern standards, particularly regarding disabled access. Now we’ve been offered a modern ‘superloo’, to be installed near the existing toilet block some time around January 2009. Superloos are cheaper to run than traditional toilet blocks and provide less scope for the kind of ‘misbehaviour’ that led to the closure of the old toilets in the first place.

Our friends at the club behind the park write to tell us about the “Middlesex County Golf Partnership”, set up to promote the game particularly to women and young people. Funded by Sport England the partnership aims to make it easier to learn golf and join a club. Ealing Golf Club has several schemes available: contact the General Manager, Guy Stacey, to find out more. Call 8997 0937 or email [email protected].

Scouts Say Thank You

Richard Brittlebank, leader of the newly re-formed 16th Ealing (St Barnabas) Scout Troop, writes to say thanks for the PCA’s contribution to the troop’s start up costs. Although they only got going in April they’re now approaching twenty members and are doing all the usual scout things – camping, parades, badges and sports. Richard has offered the troop’s services for PCA events: helping at Light Up The Lane comes easily to mind, but perhaps members can suggest other ways in which the scouts could contribute to our community?

School Enlargement

North Ealing Primary School is considering a proposal to expand its number of places by 50%. This will be achieved by increasing the current two form entry to three starting in 2010, creating 630 places by 2017 compared to the current 420. The proposal is driven by rising birth rates in the borough. Inevitably this will involve construction work and the Council has earmarked £4.7m for a two-storey building to replace the existing reception block and nursery. The plans include a new school hall which would be available for hire in the evenings and at weekends.

The proposal is likely to prove controversial and probably will not receive a warm welcome from some of the school’s neighbours, particularly as many of the new places will go to children outside the immediate area, thus creating the potential for increased traffic congestion.

A consultation document and questionnaire have been published. You can get a paper copy from the school or download it from the school web site.  There is also a discussion thread on Pitshanger Voice.  The closing date for the consultation is 17 Oct 08.

Ward Forum

No, this isn’t an item about hospitals, it’s a new exercise in local democracy. Until a few months ago, local decision making within Ealing was devolved (up to a point) to ‘Area Committees’ each covering a handful of Council Wards. Meetings were held at Ealing Town Hall and public attendance was usually sparse.

Now the Council has swept the Area Committees aside and replaced them with Ward Forums – one for each Council Ward. The PCA has an interest in two of these, Cleveland and Hanger Hill.  The first meeting of the Cleveland Ward Forum took place on 18th September and was attended by about 40 people (out of 6,000 households), while Hanger Hill’s forum will spring into life on 13th October (details are on the Council web site www.ealing.gov.uk).

An observer at the Cleveland meeting found the coverage of local issues interesting but was left wondering about the difference between a Ward Forum and an old fashioned Councillors’ surgery. One difference is that the Ward Forum has £40k to spend locally, at the discretion of the Councillors. The PCA Committee will keep tabs on these forums as they bed in and become properly established.

Pam Stands Down

Popstar Goes Adult

Membership secretary Pam Walker is not standing for re-election at the forthcoming AGM (date to be confirmed but probably later next month). She’s done the job for a couple of years, streamlining the annual mail-out to over 3000 households, and her market research experience before she retired was put to good use in the design of the ‘Streets For People’ questionnaire last year. Your Committee feels sure that you would like to join us in thanking Pam for all she’s done for the PCA, and to wish her well in the future.

Following the success of the children's singing competition Pitshanger Popstar at Party In The Park, the organisers have laid on an adult version in the form of a karaoke night.

Popstar Goes Adult will take place on Friday 10th October at the Brentham Cub, Meadvale Road.  Tickets are £10 per person including a finger buffet.  For more details please contact [email protected].