PCA Newsletter 50 - November 2010

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In This Issue

 

Light Up The Lane

Pain In The Neck?

PCA Raffle Tickets

St Gregory’s School Expansion – Latest

Cut The Costs Of Parenthood

Crime Warning

Record Membership

Last Chance Saloon

The Twelve Days Of Pitshanger

Green Light For Stop And Shop

Gurnell Skate Park

Internet and the Community

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!

The Newsletter is 50

Light Up The Lane

Light Up The Lane

It’s nearly here, and with it our first chance to see the new Christmas tree lights along the Lane. Andrew Dixon and his dedicated band of volunteer lighting riggers have finished installing the permanent lights leaving just the removable ones to go in nearer the time. Your committee will be waiting with bated breath to see whether our £16,000 investment, and the many hours of work put in by Andrew and his team, have been worthwhile. Be there at 6 pm on Saturday 27th November to share in the excitement.

Meanwhile, the stage show put together by Beth Gregory, starting at 5.30, looks to be the most exciting ever: traditional choirs, rock band Height Order, St Benedict’s Samba Band, the sublime dancing of Anna Davydova and finishing with the mighty Ealing Rock Choir.

There’ll be plenty of places to eat including the PCA burger bar and the Duke of Kent’s hog roast, with other traders providing mulled wine and seasonal goodies. Bring some money as the shops and market stalls will be offering a variety of craft and other items suitable for Christmas presents.

If you can help for an hour or so handing out programmes and shaking a bucket for loose change please contact Doug Winter on 8998 7758 or email [email protected]. If you can assist with putting up and taking down the market stalls, email [email protected]. Helping is being part of the event: it’s fun as well as making Pitshanger a better place to live.

Last Chance Saloon

If you still haven’t got your Pitshanger Memories 2011 calendar you’d better get down to the Pitshanger Bookshop or Roberts & Co with your £9.99 as soon as you can as it’s a limited edition and selling out fast.

Forgotten about Street Wars? You’ve got a team or want to join one? The forthcoming quizzical dust-up on Saturday 4th December in St Barnabas Church hall conveys intellectual bragging rights to the winning street for the next 12 months. Contact Tina Moonen on 8810 6497 or email [email protected].

The Book of Light will be making its last ever appearance at Light Up The Lane so if you want to make a dedication and help pay for the new tree lights go into the PCA’s HQ for the night in Body and Sole. Until then the book is being hosted by the Pitshanger Bookshop.  The on-line version of the Book of Light remains open for contributions here.

Pain In The Neck?

The Twelve Days Of Pitshanger

The range of services available on Pitshanger Lane looks set to widen further, following ‘change of use’ planning approval for an osteopathic clinic to open in the former Travel Fare premises. Standing by to restore the structural and functional integrity of your body, perhaps after a heavy bout of shopping in the Lane, is local resident and osteopath Amanda O’Connor.

Another bright idea from the Pitshanger traders, this is a competition asking children to provide answers to three questions on each of the four Saturdays before Christmas, starting at Light Up The Lane. Prizes will be donated by the shops: more details from the Pitshanger Bookshop.

PCA Raffle Tickets

Don’t forget to return these to stand a chance of winning £500 or another valuable prize, and to help raise money for the PCA’s local projects fund. If you’ve lost your tickets, don’t know the address, or would simply like some more, contact Lynda Pullman, 118 Meadvale Road, W5 1LR, telephone 8991 5813, email [email protected].

Green Light For Stop And Shop

The Council’s recent public consultation on 14 additional Stop and Shop spaces for Pitshanger Lane yielded 56 votes in favour and 37 against, out of the 385 addresses balloted. The final decision will be made by the Council’s portfolio holder for transport and environment, Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, but the clear-cut result of the consultation indicates the number of Stop and Shop spaces will increase from 13 to 27 sometime in the near future.

The draft consultation report produced by the Council reveals how the Yes and No votes stacked up.

Pitshanger Lane Stop and Shop

Rather surprisingly only 18 traders out of a total of 60 responded to the consultation, but those who did were solidly in favour of the Stop and Shop expansion. The residential vote varied from street to street; a clear no vote from residents in Pitshanger Lane itself (13 in favour and 18 against) contrasted with a more positive view from the side streets (28 in favour, 16 against). (The Council balloted the first ten or so properties in each side street as well as the shopping section of Pitshanger Lane). Although not included in the figures above, the Council received ten votes from outside the official consultation area, of which seven were in favour and three against.

St Gregory’s School Expansion – Latest

The public consultation on the planning application for the construction work connected with the proposed expansion of St Gregory’s Primary School is now closed, and we must wait for this to come before the Council’s planning committee for a decision. In the meantime, another form of public consultation has been launched by the Council, dealing not with the planning aspects but with the overall principle of expanding the school. [Call me naïve, but isn’t this the wrong way round? – Ed.] This consultation is on the Ealing Council website and closes on 3rd December. The “Say No to St Gregs Expansion” campaign group have set up their own website here.

Gurnell Skate Park

Gurnell Skate Park

The Council’s plans for a skate park have recently been switched from Elthorne Park to the playing field adjacent to Gurnell leisure centre. The Council say that the new location is far enough away from housing to minimise disturbance, will be able to tap into the existing Gurnell leisure CCTV system, will be highly visible for monitoring by rangers, Safer Neighbourhood police teams, leisure centre users and staff, and will be close to a separately proposed playground and multi-use games area allowing a range of activities to be offered on the site.

The proposal sparked a lively debate at a recent meeting of the Cleveland Ward Forum, with those who feared it would become a hub for anti-social behaviour being countered by a number of parents who had experience of taking their children to skate parks elsewhere which seemed to be self-policing and free of trouble. You can take part in the Council’s public consultation online. The closing date is 22nd November.

Cut The Costs Of Parenthood

Internet and the Community

The National Childbirth Trust is holding a ‘Nearly New’ sale at St John’s Church on Mattock Lane on Saturday 20th November, starting at 10 am for NCT members, fifteen minutes later for non-members. Don’t be late as the sale finishes at 11.30. Entrance is £1, and profits will help support the NCT’s work which includes training ante-natal teachers, providing breast-feeding counsellors, and running drop-in sessions for new parents.

Local student Matt Davis thanks those who have already taken part in his on-line survey of the use of the Internet and its relationship with the community in Pitshanger.  He just needs a few more responses now to complete the survey, which is part of his final year project at University College London.  Please take a few minutes to help Matt by completing the survey, which you can access here.

Crime Warning

We’re hearing a lot of bad news about burglaries and other anti-social behaviour in the area. An elderly couple who live at the eastern end of Pitshanger Lane were subjected to an aggravated burglary where two men forced their way into the house before making off with property. In nearby Brunner Road a house was broken into on bonfire night, and Halloween featured a couple of teenagers being dropped off from “a large vehicle” before proceeding to steal sweets and kick in a door.

At the other end of the Lane two houses in Castlebar Park were burgled, one seemingly by professionals who knew what they were looking for, stealing only jewellery and leaving other valuable items. Other incidents of bad behaviour in the area have been reported, some of it apparently committed by youngsters in school uniform. It’s important to let the police know of any instances of crime, however minor, as this helps them get a picture of what’s happening in the area, perhaps forming part of an emerging pattern, and allows us to put pressure on the police to allocate resources to our local problems. Contact our local Safer Neighbourhoods police team on 8721 2920 or 999 in an emergency.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!

Record Membership

'Tis the season to be jolly which means that Pitshanger's schools and churches are laying on lots of festive fun for families in the area. St Barnabas Church will be hosting its annual Frost Fair on Friday 26th November from 5.30 pm till 9.30 in the church hall. With lots of stalls, great raffle prizes, mulled wine, mince pies and a full cooked dinner on offer for adults, there will also be childrens' activities until 7 pm with the chance to visit Father Christmas.

Short notice, but the Brentham Club’s Christmas Market is on Friday 19th November, and among the crafts on sale will be PCA member Rosanna Henderson’s “beautiful, original and affordable mosaic art designed for your home and garden” (www.conkercrafts.co.uk).

On Saturday 4th December both North Ealing School (1 pm till 4) and St Gregory's (12 noon till 3) will be holding their Christmas fairs offering another chance to visit Santa, seasonal refreshments, a host of gift and craft stalls and festive entertainment.

Membership Secretary Jan Vaughan has recorded a milestone in PCA history: we now have over 1200 members. Not bad in an area with just 3000 households. Your editor, of course, would hire the trumpet sections of the major London orchestras to blast this news to the heavens, but the more thoughtful members of your committee would reflect that it gives us more authority when dealing with Council and Councillors, and most importantly, adds to the sum total of community life and feeling in Pitshanger. Encourage your friends and neighbours to join, and if you can, get involved with our activities and events. Hard work, new friends, great fun, and a sense of achievement you won’t get on the 8.14 to Paddington.

The Newsletter is 50

What started out as an agenda item in a 2002 PCA committee meeting has now reached its 50th edition, all under the quirky editorship of Dave Wallis, who wishes to remain anonymous. The early four-page version, lovingly delivered to your door every few months by the PCA’s army of posties, was replaced in 2006 by the regular two-pager you’re reading now, and mainly delivered by email. The occasion was marked at the last committee meeting by the presentation to the anonymous one of an editor-style green eye-shade and a very large and very fake cigar which puffed out

Dave Wallis, PCA Newsletter Editor

what purported to be talcum powder, although the meeting became much livelier afterwards. Your editor was encouraged to adopt a suitable pose on the strict understanding that no one had a camera. Whether a phone camera is technically speaking a ‘camera’ is now a matter for lawyers.