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Opinion: Ealing Lib Dems call for changes to improve West Ealing following residents concerns about the area

Councillor Gary Malcolm, Leader of Ealing Liberal Democrats and Matt Mellor, member of the Walpole Safer Neighbourhood Police Panel. share their thoughts following a West Ealing Neighbours meeting where residents discussed local issues and concerns about the area and Ealing Council. 

Recently we attended the ‘West Ealing What a Mess’ public event with our colleague Isobel Platings from the Walpole Liberal Democrat team. The event was organised by the West Ealing Neighbours (WEN) as an opportunity to discuss local concerns with Labour-run Ealing Council.

“We heard lots of justified concerns from residents about ten or more stalled development sites, poor parking provision, a clogged-up Uxbridge Road (which suits neither car users, cyclists or traders), a lack of utilities and amenities to support population growth (particularly electricity supply) and fears about community safety as there have been many incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in West Ealing.

“The Liberal Democrats were so concerned about the ASB that we had meetings with the Ealing Police’s Borough Commander and were joined by Liberal Democrat Councillor Connie Hersh on a walk around the area so she could see the problems herself and ask the police to take particular actions to reduce the ASB issues many residents have reported.

“People in the meeting were worried that there are lots of changes planned for West Ealing but not necessarily changes which meets the needs of local residents (e.g. for more social or truly affordable housing or fixing a rundown high street). Also, some of the failed schemes are partly the fault of the Labour-run Ealing Council – for example by not doing proper due diligence on housing contractors who went bust or by not properly enforcing traffic measures on the Uxbridge Road.

“Our overwhelming feeling on leaving the meeting was that there is no vision or coordinated council plan for what people want West Ealing to be like by 2035. Change is happening through lots of incremental projects which the council struggles to influence. Without the proper co-ordination and leadership, we will end up with a West Ealing in 2035 that no one planned for, but which still struggles to meet the needs of our local communities.

“It also appears that we will see thousands of additional residents without the adequate infrastructure relating to school places and greater GP and Dentist provision.

“So, what is the solution?

“Firstly, we need more genuine consultation with residents and community groups in West Ealing about what we want the area to look like in the future.

“Secondly, we also need leadership from the council to co-ordinate all the different schemes and developments towards a common goal. To this end, recently the Liberal Democrats proposed a fully costed budget which saved about £1.5 million from inefficiencies. We then proposed to fund schemes to ensure our town centres like West Ealing and Hanwell would be cleaner and safer.

“In addition to that the Liberal Democrat Group also found ways for a neighbourhood liaison officer to be hired. Their aim would be to listen to residents and businesses and then coordinate council plans so that each department speaks to each other so that plans are delivered on time and residents are informed when changes are made due to problems that may arise.

A neighbourhood liaison officer would bring people together to solve problems (like the lack of power supply and sewage capacity to support new development) and ensure the council properly consults with residents.

Liberal Democrats also found money to fund ward forums which the council currently stopped in Covid and never brought them back even when residents want them.

The Liberal Democrat budget plan included money to help those who are the most vulnerable in Ealing.

Regrettably, the Ealing Labour party voted it down in full council. So, we are left with the Labour party’s “close our eyes and hope for the best” approach locally and the Conservatives in government who jump from one failure to another each week.

The Ealing Liberal Democrats want West Ealing to be safe, clean and be a place where residents want to be and are listened to by the Council. These changes can and should be made across the whole of Ealing in each of the other town centres: Southall, Greenford, Hanwell, Northolt, Acton, Ealing and Perivale.

This can change in 2026 by voting Liberal Democrat in the next local elections. Before that in both the London elections in May or the General Election (probably at the end of the year) do vote Liberal Democrat and send a signal that the current situation is not working. Change is needed.”

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