PCA Newsletter 47 - July 2010

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In This Issue

 

Tesco Beaten

Pitshanger Memories

St Barnabas Summer Proms

A Cautionary Tale

Picnic In The Park

Trader Rep

Did The Earth Move For You…

Photo Competition

Exercise Equipment Consultation

More Lane News

Pride In Pitshanger

Party In The Park Breaks All Records

Just Giving

Rotary

Latest Scam

Tesco Beaten

Anti-Tesco Campaign

Veteran Lane watchers can’t remember anything like it – a torrent of rumour and conjecture about the fate of the former Robert Dyas shop that seemed to spring out of nowhere. Just as tuition company Explore Learning, who had agreed terms with the landlord, were waiting for planning permission for change of use (actively supported by the PCA committee who believe the business will attract people from outside the area who will shop here while their children are in classes), traders got wind of an approach to the landlord by Tesco.

Even by Pitshanger standards – a place where you can tell someone at one end of the Lane that you’re going to the doctor’s only to discover the date, time and place of your funeral by the time you reach the other – the reaction was astonishing, and within a few hours there could have been no one in the area who didn’t know about the move. June’s PCA committee meeting was dominated by the issue and members agreed that a public meeting to determine local opinion and chart a way forward was urgently needed. The PCA-organised meeting in St Barnabas Church Hall attracted well over 200 people, with the mood virtually 100% against Tesco – or indeed any similar business – opening on the Lane, the fear being that it would destroy our independent food retailers. MP Steve Pound made an impassioned call to arms, and attendees agreed to start a letter writing campaign as it was accepted that there was no legal or planning ground on which Tesco could be resisted.

By now the rumour mill was spinning fast enough to power a small country as we waited for Explore Learning’s planning approval and the landlord’s final decision: honour the agreement with Explore Learning or take Tesco’s reputedly higher offer. Meanwhile the letter-writing campaign was eliciting responses from Tesco saying they had “no plans” to open any stores in the W5 area. At the end of June planning permission was granted, subject to a minor condition, and so traders and residents waited anxiously for word from the landlord. Finally PCA Chair Karen Jacks got the news we all wanted: Tesco had been rejected and we look forward to welcoming Explore Learning to the Lane. Cue sighs of relief all round.

Exercise Equipment Consultation

Pitshanger Memories

You should have received a consultation document about installing exercise equipment in the park. This is being financed out of the £400,000 awarded to Brent River Park by the Mayor of London’s Priority Parks scheme. The consultation asks you to indicate your preferences for different kinds of equipment and where it should be placed. If you haven’t received a consultation document you can download a copy from the PCA website here or complete the questionnaire on-line.

Following the success of last year’s exhibition, we’re putting an updated version on again at St Mary’s Church, Perivale, weekends until 8th August. Open between 11 am and 6 pm, entry is £1, under 16s free. Stroll along the path through the golf course to the church, enjoy a trip down memory lane, and see how Pitshanger has changed in the last 100 years. We still need volunteers to supervise the exhibition, so if you can spare an hour or two please contact John Waters on 8997 5200 or at [email protected].

More Lane News

We’ve heard from the Council that six additional ‘Stop and Shop’ bays will be created in Pitshanger Lane during August, bringing the total to thirteen. This will be followed by a public consultation on a further 14 stop and shop spaces, in response to the petition organised recently by the Pitshanger Traders.

Stop Press - news just in from Ealing Council: at least some of the new stop and shop bays will have 90 or 120 minutes waiting time.  The consultation area will be the shopping section of Pitshanger Lane plus the first few houses (approx 10) in each of the relevant side streets.  This is a larger consultation footprint than first proposed by the Council, but smaller than that suggested by the PCA Committee.  The consultation period will extend into September to cater for returning holidaymakers.

Meanwhile notices have gone up indicating that the old Fullers off-licence will re-open as Harrison’s, a wine merchant, whilst Wine Rack will again resound to the chink of bottle on bottle when it re-opens as Tony’s Wines, run by former Fullers manager Tony Navarro-Montes. Angel Café will metamorphose into “Brenda’s Pet Boutique”, a pet shop and grooming salon, and we’ve heard that the old Village Pantry is to re-emerge as a deli, the ‘Village Cheeseboard’.

St Barnabas Summer Proms

Pride In Pitshanger

Accept no substitutes! The real proms are right here in Pitshanger Lane and are now underway with twelve concerts culminating in the Last Night Of The Proms on 6th August – definitely the concert of the year, with “all the razzmatazz and high jinks” you’d expect. We’re promised “enjoyable summer evenings, with famous masterpieces by popular composers – all easy listening – played by favourite musicians”. Full details are on the St Barnabas website.

For the fourth year running we’re inviting nominations so we can make awards of £100 each to those who deserve recognition for what they do in the Pitshanger community. We have two categories – 16 and under and 17 and above. Please submit a short summary setting out why your nominee’s contribution to our community should be recognised in this way to PCA Secretary Debbie Edwards, either by calling her on 8998 2414 or emailing [email protected] no later than 15th August, please.

A Cautionary Tale

Winner of our half-yearly members’ £50 prize draw is Mrs Ryder of Castlebar Court. She was actually second out of the bag, ‘Mrs K’ of Glencairn Drive having not renewed her membership at the time of the draw.

Party In The Park Breaks All Records

Biggest site, biggest attendance and biggest surplus. This year’s party had a wider range of activities than ever before, and despite organisers’ fears about covering costs due to the lack of a main sponsor the event raised over £7000 towards the new Christmas lights along the Lane and other community projects. Good weather, a big push on programme sales, and the decision to run our own bar rather than contract it out as in previous years all added to the proceeds.

An eclectic mix of stage acts included a ballerina, a poet, a rapper, and a 10-piece jazz band.

Party In The Park 2010

The beer tent returned to the tradition of people sitting on the grass outside listening to the music while those who should know better strutted their stuff on the dance floor. In the Arena the tug of war – sponsored by the Village Inn – produced a close final, the ‘Pitshanger Bulldogs’ just pipping the Village Inn team to claim the prize.

Meanwhile, the Dog Show, organised by the Village Vet, produced a jaw-dropping moment as the ‘Best Rescue’ dog was being chosen. The criterion was simply the best story, and we learned that Millie – an affectionate Staffie cross – had been taken from a man by the canal as he was about to throw her in: his dog had had puppies and he was going on holiday! Needless to say Millie not only won the Best Rescue class, but Best In Show as well.

Your committee would like to thank the Events Team for producing an event that professionals would be proud of, with a wonderful atmosphere of fun and enjoyment. Newsletter Awards for Excellence go to Tim Sumpter, for getting the bar together at the last minute (“… apparently the bar equipment doesn’t actually include a bar!”) and Tina Moonen and Tom Lafferty, who defied the sceptics by introducing an effective recycling scheme that cut landfill waste by half.

Finally, we have quite a collection of lost property, so if you'd like to reclaim a treasured possession, please contact Karen Jacks at [email protected].

Picnic In The Park

Just Giving

We’ll be holding our second family picnic on Sunday 5th September. Watch out for posters and further information nearer the time, but last year’s event provided a welcome antidote to back-to-school-itis, keeping kids amused whilst parents relaxed in the sunshine.

Boosted by the better than expected surplus from Party In the Park, the Christmas Lights appeal is doing quite nicely. You can now help us reach the target online via the JustGiving web site, and we're keeping track of the campaign on the PCA web site. You can still make a dedication in the Book Of Light which is currently in the Pitshanger Bookshop.

Trader Rep

Anwen Roberts of Roberts & Co has joined the PCA committee as Trader Rep, replacing Ann Khoshaba of Cinnamon. Anwen will be feeding trader opinion and news into your committee and in return explaining PCA policy and actions to her fellow traders. We welcome her to this difficult job which sometimes involves a balancing act between supporting the traders whilst recognising the competing interests of other groups, stop and shop parking being one such instance. Our thanks go to Ann for her efforts during a very difficult time for the traders.

Rotary

Did The Earth Move For You…

Our friends in the Rotary Club of Hanwell and Northfields tell us that this was their best ever Party in the Park, raising most of their recent donation of £1900 to Springhallow School for children with special needs.

Meanwhile, the group (who meet at the Brentham Club) are looking for more business people and community leaders – particularly younger men and women – to join them. If you’d like to meet new friends, build business contacts, use your skills to help others and try things you would never have thought of doing, email David Strange at [email protected].

…or was it an E2 going over a hump? An unexpected consequence of the newly-installed ‘raised platforms’ along Pitshanger Lane has been the vibration caused when buses hit them, with complaints from residents and traders along both sides of the Lane. The phenomenon has been felt down the side roads, with lofts and windows shaking as far as 50 metres away.

Meanwhile, member Tony Purton has not given up his quest to sort out loading arrangements for the shops along the Lane. He campaigned for the Co-op’s loading bay to be re-positioned in Albert Road (where it was placed in the agreed plan anyway) and is now examining how the ‘service road’ at the back of Kenmure Mansions could be better used.

Latest Scam

Photo Competition

Your editor had an odd phone call the other day from the “National Crime Prevention Group” who wanted him to take part in a “survey”. They got short shrift as he’d already been tipped off about a scam offering a ‘free burglar alarm to selected properties’. Those who still believe in a free lunch will find that they have been saddled with a cheap alarm but expensive monthly monitoring and maintenance charges, and needless to say the elderly are particular targets.

Sgt Steve Driscoll of the Cleveland Ward Safer Neighbourhoods Team has recently posted some relevant news and advice on Pitshanger Voice.

Walter Wyeth of the Pitshanger Bookshop is organising a competition to find the best photographs in each of three categories: Pitshanger park, Pitshanger Lane shops, and Pitshanger architecture. Closing date is meant to be 25th July but we’re sure Walter will give you a few days’ grace. More details on the MyPitshanger website.