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Council Q&A

December 2013 – Written Question – New Businesses

Question

How many new businesses have set up in the borough since 2010?

Answer

The total number of businesses registered for business rates in Ealing has increased year on year over the last 4 years.

The count at the end of 2010 was 9315 and the count at the end of 2012/13 was 9574 – an overall increase of 2.8%

(259 businesses).

The breakdowns of registration of new business are as follows: – 2010 to 2011- 2539 registrations, 2011 to 2012- 2828

registrations and 2012 to 2013 – 2415 registrations.

The number of new accounts starting and accounts ending for 2012/13 were lowest for at least the last 5 years.

Since 2011 figures reveal higher levels of business start- ups when compared to the average for West London.

December 2013 – Written Question – Support to New Businesses

Question

What advice or support does the council provide for new businesses wishing to start up in the borough?

Are there also any plans to update the council webpage on this subject which is very limited in the amount of information provided?

Answer

The Council does not have a formal business support and advice department for new businesses wishing to start up.

We deliver a number of programmes and initiatives some in partnership with other stakeholders (for example

community organisations, and Traders group) that help to support businesses. Examples are listed in the table below:-

Ealing Business Partnership (EBP)

Ealing Business Partnership is a borough wide business partnership open to all businesses in the borough. Originally established as a mechanism for formal consultation between the Council and local businesses, it has recently been revised to create a more collaborative and broader approach. The EBP has elected a business Chairperson and agreed to hold three (rather than one) meetings or events a year. These events will focus on issues identified by business and to provide more opportunities for networking.

The recent improvements to the EBP have resulted in improved attendance, increased profile and provide an opportunity to expand the activities of the partnership to create more effective business engagement, collaboration and through this support business growth.

There are opportunities to continue to develop the partnership as a key LSP ‘prosperity’ partnership and to encourage engagement of businesses and development of value-adding activities through the EBP work programme.

Business Improvement Districts (BID)

(a) Ealing Broadway BID

(b) A Bid in West Ealing

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a partnership between a local authority and the local business community to develop projects and services that will benefit the trading environment within the boundary of a clearly defined commercial area. Ealing has an established BID – the Ealing Broadway BID Company has been successful in securing private sector funds of £400k for central Ealing. These funds have helped to ensure the town centre remains vibrant in the face of competition.

BID campaign is underway in West Ealing- the results of the ballot will be known in April 2014. Other town centres are being explored for possible BIDs- feasibility is due to start in Southall.

Southall Big Conversation

Southall Destination Market

The Big Conversation was a year-long dialogue between the stakeholders of Southall and the Council to set out a shared Vision to shape its future. Over 1,400 people including local businesses were consulted. One of the outcomes was a Patrons group set up with local businesses to provide resources to champion business related initiatives.

The Council is working in Partnership with the University of West London to create a Southall Destination Market- The objective is to attract new shoppers to Southall and provide opportunities for local businesses to gain exposure to a wider audience and increase footfall.

West Ealing Innovation and Riot Recovery

With £300,000 from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) as part of the High Street Innovation Fund and Riot Recovery Fund, a partnership was formed with the voluntary and community sector, local businesses, Ealing BID, educational establishments and young people to develop a vision and projects for West Ealing to help improve the vitality and vibrancy of the town centre. To date projects agreed specifically to address businesses’ needs include: – A bid for West Ealing (notes above), A hub feasibility, a young people’s conference and a number of events aimed at increasing footfall to West Ealing.

Accession Social Enterprise

Accession Social Enterprise is a partnership between Ealing Council, West London Mental Health Trust and others.

Accession was formed as a company limited by guarantee in April 2011 and trades in horticulture, community retail, print & design, catering and arts & crafts. Accession provides training, volunteering and employment for adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health conditions, as well as others who find it difficult to access employment through other routes. Accession also provides practical support to people who would like to set up their own social enterprise.

ShopFront improvement Programme

The Shopfront Improvement Scheme provides successful applicants with a grant of up to 90% of the cost of works. In addition, they receive £400 towards architect and planning fees.

The programme targets our town centres namely; Acton, Central Ealing, West Ealing, Hanwell and Southall.

Traders Association:-

Hanwell

Acton

Greenford

Hanwell Association of Traders (HAT) was the first traders association to be set up in Ealing. HAT promotes and supports local businesses though lobbying the council and other decision makers to act in the interests of traders.

HAT are particularly effective in supporting local traders in Hanwell and bringing businesses together to promote the Town centre by hosting events and activities.

Other Traders Association have been legally constituted with external funds (Acton and Greenford) but they are not as active as Hanwell – further work and engagement is required to help increase their membership and develop project ideas.

Introducing a Market Strategy

The aim is to open up opportunities for better quality markets to be set up in Ealing- with the potential to help young people start-up businesses to test trade their products and ideas on a market stall whilst keeping their overhead costs low.

Pop-Up shops

A Pop-Up shop can help to support new start-ups without the financial commitment of set up costs while they test trade their products and services, whilst adding vibrancy to High streets that have been blighted with empty premises. A Pop Up shop is opened in West Ealing. The shop will hosts up to 4 traders at a time- the first 4 businesses will start on 16th December and the project will run until 31st March.

Website: We have number of links to partner organisations on our website, we are currently reviewing its content and structure in particular with the aim of hosting information regarding support for businesses from partner organisations.

December 2013 – Written Question – Crossrail Business Rate Supplement

Question

How much has been raised by the Crossrail Business Rate Supplement levy on businesses in the borough since its introduction?

Answer

In the three years between 2010/11 and 2012/13 £12.9m raised been raised by the Cross rail levy in Ealing.

The Crossrail levy is paid over to the GLA.

December 2013 – Written Question – Southall High Street Car Park Usage

Question

Please give a breakdown of the usage and takings by week for the new car park in Southall High Street since it opened

Answer

Pay & Display   Machines:
Week Ending: Tickets Purchased Ticket Value   Purchased
08/09/2013 71 £168.20
15/09/2013 91 £193.60
22/09/2013 91 £206.80
29/09/2013 108 £265.90
06/10/2013 98 £252.25
13/10/2013 233 £142.60
20/10/2013 280 £141.10
27/10/2013 314 £120.15
03/11/2013 400 £221.85
10/11/2013 441 £180.60
17/11/2013 596 £255.70
24/11/2013 546 £293.05
01/12/2013 608 £281.15
Total 3877 £2,722.95

 

RingGo System:
Week Ending: Parking Sessions: Parking Fee:
08/09/2013
15/09/2013
22/09/2013
29/09/2013 6 £37.30
06/10/2013 24 £33.70
13/10/2013 4 £3.30
20/10/2013 8 £10.20
27/10/2013 3 £4.40
03/11/2013 13 £17.40
10/11/2013 18 £36.40
17/11/2013 10 £17.20
24/11/2013 13 £13.30
01/12/2013 11 £19.30
Total 110 £192.50

Background

The car park has been promoting its launch with an offer of providing the first hour free and subsequent hours at a reduced rate which will have certainly reduced income initially.

Free weekend parking in December and the continuation of the offer to January 1st will see continue.

Additionally £1,230 has been generated through PCNs issued.

December 2013 – Written Question – Lack of White Sacks for Plastics Recycling

Question

There was a shortage of white sacks for plastics recycling in November. Has that issue now been resolved and have additional sacks been ordered to meet any increase in demand from the recent publicity campaign to promote plastics recycling?

Answer

The issue regarding the shortage of white plastics sacks has been resolved, and all requests for this container type are being fulfilled within the agreed Service Level Agreement of 5 working days.

Additional sacks have also being ordered to ensure there is not a repeat of this issue.

October 2013 – Written Question – Zero Hours Contracts

Question

How many people are employed by the council and its service providers on zero hour contracts? Please provide a breakdown by directorate and what kind of jobs are done by people on zero hour contracts.

Answer

At the London Borough of Ealing those on zero hours contracts are referred to as “casual” or “as when required” employees. These contracts are offered for services where demand is usually variable and a specific number of hours work per week cannot be guaranteed. The contracts are therefore seen as an efficient and cost effective way for the Council to respond to such fluctuations in demand. There may also be specialist skills that are required for short periods of time e.g. Sessional Instrument Tutors, Pilates Instructors or Group Exercise Instructors. Employees on this type of contract are able to take on other employment.

The table below sets out the information requested for those on “as and when required” contracts who are employees. Information on which types of contracts individuals are employed by LBE’s contractors is not available.

No. of contracts

Children and Adults 219

Administration Assistant 1

Approved Mental Health Professional 1

As and When Required Play Leader 58

AWR Assistant Personal Advisor 1

AWR Family Support Worker/Contact Supervisor 34

AWR Target Personal Advisor 2

Caretaker/Cleaner 1

Contact Supervisor 5

Extended Services Consultant – AWR 3

Passenger Assistant 10

Relief Passenger Assistant 7

Senior Practitioner – SEN Pupil and Family Worker 1

Sessional Instrumental Tutor 30

Sessional Music Tutor 37

Sitter 28

Corporate Resources 17

CCTV Supervisor 8

Cleaner 2

Greenford Depot Security Supervisor 3

Mobile Security 2

Porter 1

Southall Town Hall Security Guard 1

Environment and Customer Services 75

As and When Required Gallery Assistant 22

Coach/Instructor (Fees) 13

Coach/Instructor (Fees)15.0674 1

Coach/Instructor (Fees)19.52 1

Group Exercise Instructor (REP L2) 9

Group Exercise Instructor (REP L2) 2 2

Pilates Instructor (REPS L3) 5

Sports Assistant 11

Sports Assistant AWR 1

Sports Assistant1 1

Sports Coach (Level 2) 5

Yoga Instructor (REPS L3) 2

Zumba Instructor 2

Regeneration and Housing 1

Casual Surveyor 1

Grand Total 312

 

July 2013 – Written Question – Council Leader’s meeting with QPR over Warren Farm

Question

How many meetings has the Leader had with representatives of QPR since January 2012? Please confirm if the issue of Warren Farm was discussed at any of these meetings and please provide details of those discussions

Answer

The leader of the council has not been present at any direct meeting with QPR outside of them being in attendance at a public consultation meetings held in Norwood green that the leader also attended. No meetings took place with them prior to the bidding process nor during it.

July 2013 – Written Question – Legal Fees for Judicial Review over Warren Farm

Question

How much has the council spent or expecting to spend on legal fees in the event of a legal challenge by Hanwell Community Forum to the Warren Farm development?

Answer

Whilst we have had a pre-emptive notice of action, the actual reason may change or have a greater focus on a particular area, therefore it is very difficult to estimate a budget amount for this, especially as there are many stages. Some of these costs will be recoverable from the organisation lodging the JR, should they not be successful with it. The council however, feels that it is very important to challenge any JR that is lodged and will make sure that the appropriate resources are available to defend any JR, given the significant capital investment, on-going revenue investment, local employment opportunities and significant community programme benefitting the surrounding areas. We will robustly defend any JR taken against a planning decision taken by the council. This decision was tacitly endorsed by the Mayor of London and Secretary of State for Communities and Local government who have both waived their right to call the decision in.

July 2013 – Written Question – Wifi in Hanwell Library

Question

Please can you tell me when Wi-Fi will be installed in Hanwell Library?

Answer

The propose date for the completed installation of WI FI across all libraries is November 2013.

July 2013 – Written Question – Library Hours at Hanwell Library

Question

Please can you tell me when the new contractor is next due to review library hours at Hanwell Library following its recent re-opening?

Answer

Any changes to opening hours would have to be agreed by Ealing Council as it will still be responsible for the strategic direction of the service. There are no current plans to review the opening hours of any of the libraries.

July 2013 – Written Question – Sound System in Council Chamber

Question

A constituent complained about the poor quality of the audio system in the public gallery in the council chamber at a recent meeting of the Planning committee. Please can you tell me what is being done to improve sound quality in the council chamber or if there are any plans to upgrade the sound system

Answer

The current audio system in the Council Chamber and public gallery was installed at the end of the last century and the manufacturer stopped making spare parts in 2001. Spare parts installed recently have been ones cannibalised from obsolete equipment kept by the maintenance company. A new audio system has recently been procured and installation will take place in the week beginning 29th July 2013. The new system will have longer desk microphones and speakers placed discretely on the desks in the chamber rather than underneath as at present. This will boost audibility around the chamber. The amplifier and associated control equipment will also be replaced, made more accessible and training will be provided for Halls and Committee staff in how to operate the system. We are aware of the issues the public face, from time to time, at hearing the discussions in the chamber, while in the public gallery and once the system is installed we will test the operation of the speakers in the gallery, replacing them if necessary.

July 2013 – Written Question – Income raised by Filming in the borough

Question

How much income was raised by filming in the borough in 2012/13? If possible, please provide a breakdown of how much was raised by ward.

Answer

Over £270,000 of income for the council was generated in 2012/13 by the Council’s West London Film Office (WLFO), which is part of the Marketing & Communications department. The bulk of this income related to filming in Ealing but the office also works under contract for Harrow Council and charges a fee based on income. Income in 2012/13 was higher than almost every other year WLFO has been in operation. Ealing traditionally generates more filming income than all other outer London boroughs and a comparable amount to central London boroughs which benefit from key filming locations. Actual income year to year is volatile and uncontrollable as it is driven by the amount of feature film, tv and advertising production work being commissioned. WLFO takes care to manage filming so that inconvenience for residents is minimised. In some instances the office arranges for payments to be made to residents’ groups etc. by production companies as a gesture of goodwill.

July 2013 – Written Question – Advertising income from public open spaces

Question

How much sponsorship income did the council raise in 2012/13 for maintaining flower baskets, or public open spaces in the borough? How does the council promote these green spaces for sponsorship?

Answer

As of 4th April 2013 the Council’s annual income for roundabout, planter and small open space sponsorship was £22,500. There are currently 16 sites available for sponsorship of which 13 are currently sponsored. This scheme is managed on behalf of the Council by Marketing Force. The current contract with Marketing Force does not allow the scheme to be extended to other sites. Officers hope to re-let this contract in the coming year and as part of this exercise will be seeking to extend the scheme.

June 2013 – Oral Question – Warren Farm

Question

Would the Council leader please outline the council’s response to the legal challenge by the Hanwell Community Forum to the Warren Farm development?

Answer

Cllr Bell replied: “I have given the following comment to the press:

 ‘During the toughest economic times in our history, the council is trying to secure long-term investment in high-quality community sporting facilities that will benefit generations of Ealing residents. Before this agreement goes ahead, QPR will have to commit to significant investment in Warren Farm and its public facilities, so to suggest it is a gift is nonsense. If this legal action results in a judicial review it will put the council’s finances under even more strain, but we will be able to demonstrate that the  planning committee approval was sound and based on proper planning considerations, and that in granting a lease  council is acting in the best interests of the people of this borough.’

The council will be strongly contesting application for judicial review.  The council have carried out a thorough process in relation to both the selection of QPR and the planning application.

The selection of QPR brings much needed investment, better usage of the site and significant community benefits through on-going programmes both at the site and the surrounding communities, such as Havelock and Windmill Estates.

The planning process has been completed very thoroughly and has had the further checks and balances of consideration by the GLA and Secretary of States planning departments.  The GLA have supported the council’s planning decision, whilst the Secretary of State does not feel there are any conflicts with national policy nor any other sufficient reason to call in the application.  Therefore both have reverted back to the local authority to proceed in accordance with our original decision.

 QPR have issued a statement that the club is aware of action being taken by the Hanwell Community Forum (HCF) against the London Borough of Ealing in relation to Warren Farm.  Queens Park Rangers Football Club remains committed to the project and will continue to work closely with the council to ensure that the planning permission and decision to lease the site to the club stands.”

April 2013 – Written Question – Missed Rubbish / Recycling Collections

Question

Please can you provide a breakdown of the number of missed rubbish and recycling collections in January, February and March this year? Please can you also provide a detailed breakdown of this information at ward level.

Answer

Borough wide information

Item   description Jan13 Total Jan13 Unjustified Jan13 %
BLACK SACK 1976 1316 33.8%
FOOD BOX 987 771 16.9%
GARDEN 240 WHEELIE   BIN 88 48 1.5%
GARDEN BIO SACK 3 0.1%
GARDEN REUSEABLE   SACK 205 88 3.5%
GREEN BOX (DRY) 1265 962 21.6%
PLASTICS REUSABLE   SACK 1208 884 20.7%
WHEELIE BIN 240 113 70 1.9%
TOTAL 5845 4139 100%

 

Item   description Feb13 Total Feb13 Unjustified Feb13 %
BLACK SACK 766 516 29.9%
FOOD BOX 428 296 16.7%
GARDEN 240 WHEELIE   BIN 70 32 2.7%
GARDEN BIO SACK 1 0.0%
GARDEN REUSEABLE   SACK 169 106 6.6%
GREEN BOX (DRY) 586 406 22.9%
PLASTICS REUSABLE   SACK 487 333 19.0%
WHEELIE BIN 240 54 28 2.1%
TOTAL 2561 1717 100%

 

Item   description Mar13 Total Mar13 Unjustified Mar13 %
BLACK SACK 728 353 25.5%
FOOD BOX 543 264 19.0%
GARDEN 240 WHEELIE   BIN 75 12 2.6%
GARDEN REUSEABLE   SACK 200 43 7.0%
GREEN BOX (DRY) 731 399 25.6%
PLASTICS REUSABLE   SACK 492 266 17.2%
WHEELIE BIN 240 89 46 3.1%
TOTAL 2858 1383 100%

 

Elthorne information

Item   description Jan13 Total Jan13 Unjustified
BLACK SACK 118 78
FOOD BOX 68 51
GARDEN 240 WHEELIE BIN 2 0
GARDEN REUSEABLE SACK 14 7
GREEN BOX (DRY) 93 68
PLASTICS REUSABLE SACK 63 47
TOTAL 358 251

 

Item   description Feb13 Total Feb13 Unjustified
BLACK SACK 35 28
FOOD BOX 30 24
GARDEN 240 WHEELIE BIN 0 0
GARDEN REUSEABLE SACK 17 11
GREEN BOX (DRY) 42 31
PLASTICS REUSABLE SACK 30 19
TOTAL 154 113

 

Item   description Mar13 Total Mar13 Unjustified
BLACK SACK 33 12
FOOD BOX 45 18
GARDEN 240 WHEELIE BIN 3 1
GARDEN REUSEABLE SACK 15 4
GREEN BOX (DRY) 108 37
PLASTICS REUSABLE SACK 19 9
TOTAL 223 81

April 2013 – Written Question – Recycling Containers

Question

How many replacement recycling containers have been ordered by type (green box, plastics sacks, food bins etc) in the last year? Please can you also give a breakdown of reasons given for ordering new containers

Answer

April 2012 – March 2013 Containers

Container   Type Damaged Not Returned Stolen New Resident Additional
Green Box 1400 2522 1601 1395 679
Food Waste Bin 2234 1372 695 1161 210
Reusable white   plastics sack 2454 4154 2286 1653 81
Clear mixed   recycling sack 0 0 0 63 488
Refuse Wheelie   Bin (180l) 0 0 0 1 0
Refuse Wheelie   Bin (240l) 51 76 58 40 0
Garden waste   reusable sack 52 711 266 0 0
Garden Waste   Wheelie Bin (240l) 29 18 16 0 0
Totals 6220 8853 4922 4313 1458

February 2013 – Written Question – Dog Fouling

Question

How many complaints or reports of dog fouling have there been each year by ward since 2010?

Answer

This information is not recorded

February 2013 – Oral Question – Public Health and Smoking

Question

Given that responsibility for public health is being transferred to the council after April, what is the council planning to do to tackle the health issues caused by smoking in the borough?

Answer

The Council will aim to reduce the number of people smoking and to reduce the health inequalities associated with this.

We will do this by commissioning a comprehensive smoke free service that will:

• Raise awareness of the harm caused by tobacco and encourage the uptake of smoking cessation services to help people quit smoking

• We will target those most at risk in the BME communities, Routine and Manual group, young men and women and pregnant women

• Provide a Stop Smoking service for 14 to 20 year olds

We will:

Run Smoke free campaigns to:

• Increase Borough awareness of harms and risks of second hand smoke

• Engage with all schools in Ealing to publicise, encourage & disseminate smoke free policy & Link it to Healthy Schools Program.

• Increase the numbers of households making referrals to Home Fire Safety Visits

Raise awareness around Shisha smoking

• Provide bulletins on harmful effects of shisha smoking to secondary schools in Ealing.

• Establish a smoke free youth campaign- Shisha and harmful effects campaign.

Run Smokeless tobacco campaigns

• Organise tobacco alert campaigns annually for South Asian communities in Ealing.

• Engage with youth services (Connexions, Job Centre Plus) to address tobacco issues with young unemployed

The Council recently re-established the Ealing Tobacco Control Alliance who will support the work of the Ealing Smoke Free Service and will bring together all stakeholders to work together on addressing tobacco control and smoking prevalence in Ealing, share goals and develop a clear tobacco control delivery plan.

January 2013 – Written Question – Empty Homes

Question

How many council homes have been empty for more than 6 months? Please can you give a breakdown by ward.

Answer

Properties Void 6 months +

Ward Name     Total

Acton Central   2

Dormers Wells 1

Ealing Common 2

Ealing Broadway 1

East Acton 1

Elthorne 1

Greenford Broadway 1

Hobbayne 3

LB Hillingdon 2

Northfield 1

Northolt West End 9

Norwood Green 1

Perivale 1

South Acton 5

Southall Broadway 1

Southfield 2

Grand Total 34

Five of these properties are being used by the police.

January 2013 – Written Question – Housing Repairs

Question

How many repairs to council homes have been outstanding for more than six months?

Answer

None that are not part of a comprehensive audit of the repairs programme. 66,000 job orders are raised a year

January 2013 – Written Question – Business Vacancy Rates

Question

According to the November 2012 edition of Around Ealing, Hanwell has a business vacancy rate of 8%. How does this compare to
other town centres around the borough?

Answer

Latest figures from November 2011

Acton 6%

Central Ealing 7%

West Ealing 4%

Southall 8%

Greenford 5%

The national average is 14%.

January 2013 – Written Question – New Businesses in Hanwell

Question

According to the November 2012 edition of Around Ealing, 17 new businesses have set up in Hanwell in the last few years largely
around Boston Road. Please can you tell me how much has been collected in business rates in Elthorne ward by year since 2010/11?

Answer

Postcode 2010 2011 2012 Total
W7 2 £1,538,077 £1,597,398 £1,840,653 £4,976,128
W7 3 £1,486,339 £1,492,686 £1,562,494 £4,541,519
W13 0 £1,763,859 £2,232,263 £2,322,430 £6,318,552
Total £4,788,275 £5,322,347 £5,725,577 £15,836,199

January 2013 – Written Question – School Closures in January

Question

How many schools were closed in the borough in January because of the snow?

Answer

There were 42 schools plus 2 Nursery departments closed because of snow in January

December 2012 – Oral Question – Tintern Court (Green Man Lane estate)

Question

Would the portfolio holder please outline what action is being taken to repair or replace the security doors to Tintern Court on the Green Man Lane estate to prevent drug dealers and rough sleepers from accessing the block? 

Answer

Tintern Court has the shell of an old door entry scheme that was decommissioned some years ago with parts that are no longer available. Repairing the door entry system will not prevent people entering the block as the block was designed to allow access from various points. We recognise that the situation at Tintern Court is causing residents real concern and the block is not due to be regenerated until the financial year 2016/17.

The Council’s Safer Communities and Housing teams are working closely with the police to improve the living conditions for the residents at Tintern Court. This includes securing garages previously used by rough sleepers and those responsible for anti-social behaviour. The partnership teams have been on two estate walkabouts and the police safer neighbourhood team has made it a priority patrol area in response to local concerns.  The council has also put in place a dedicated community safety officer for the block.

October 2012 – Written Question – Missed Rubbish/Recycling Collections

Question

Would the Portfolio holder please provide a breakdown by ward of the number of missed rubbish and recycling collections in July, August and September 2012?

Answer

JUL AUG SEP TOTAL
 ACTON CENTRAL 147 378 180 705
 CLEVELAND 205 294 246 745
 DORMERS WELLS 88 172 173 433
 EALING BROADWAY 192 403 243 838
 EALING COMMON 290 340 293 923
 EAST ACTON 132 355 176 663
 ELTHORNE  285 489 296 1070
 GREENFORD BROADWAY 223 437 186 846
 GREENFORD GREEN 104 189 154 447
 HANGER HILL 203 512 335 1050
 HOBBAYNE 204 384 197 785
 LADY MARGARET 101 301 143 545
 NORTH GREENFORD 123 203 126 452
 NORTHFIELD 367 330 215 912
 NORTHOLT MANDEVILLE 229 336 176 741
 NORTHOLT WEST END 91 260 111 462
 NORWOOD GREEN 124 249 155 528
 PERIVALE 136 376 143 655
SOUTH ACTON 129 195 157 481
 SOUTHALL BROADWAY 106 282 141 529
 SOUTHALL GREEN 81 150 110 341
 SOUTHFIELD 214 367 334 915
 WALPOLE 314 301 196 811

October 2012 – Written Question – Street washing

Question

What percentage of Blue and Orange roads which are due to be washed twice per year according to the contract with Enterprise Ltd were washed between April and the end of September?

Answer

None

October 2012 – Written Question – Street Washing

Question

Please tell me when the last time the Uxbridge Road in Hanwell and Southall was washed and when is it due to be washed again?

Answer

Southall 2010

Hanwell 2011

Both scheduled to be washed before end of March 2013

July 2012 – Written Question – Ealing Equality Council

Question

Would the portfolio holder please provide details of what advice services will be provided in the borough by Nucleus Legal Advice Centre and how this will impact on the funding and services currently provided by Ealing Equality Council?

Answer

In accordance with the service specification, Nucleus will:

1.            Provide information and general advice for Ealing residents free of charge in the areas of community care, consumer protection, debt, education, employment, family and domestic issues, housing, immigration / nationality, mental health and welfare benefits.

2.            Where appropriate, provide casework support free of charge to Ealing residents in the areas of debt, employment, family and domestic issues, housing, immigration / nationality, and welfare benefits to clients who are most in need, not eligible for Legal Help, who are unable to act for themselves and cannot afford a solicitor.

3.            Refer those eligible for Legal Help and Legal Aid to specialist legal advisers where these services exist.

4.            Where appropriate signpost and refer residents to other agencies to meet their advice needs.

5.            Where appropriate accept referrals from other advice agencies for casework support in the advice areas identified and subject to the limitations set out in 2. above.

Regarding the impact on the funding and the services currently provided by Ealing Equality Council:

1.            The funding / financial position of Ealing Equality Council (EEC) has been difficult for  time particularly after the Equalities and Human Rights Commission withdrew their grant of £40,000 to EEC last year.

2.            The Community Advice Programme which is a project hosted by EEC that provides an advice surgery every other Saturday may be able to continue as it is entirely volunteer based and they are in receipt of a small grant from the Council’s Small Grants Programme.

3.            EEC’s wider advice provision and work on equalities is at risk and Officers will seek a meeting with EEC as soon as possible to discuss their funding and financial position and offer whatever assistance that is appropriate. There are significant constraints in that the Council has no grant application programmes currently open and we may have to focus on any external funding opportunities that may be appropriate.

July 2012 – Written Question – Ealing Police Station

Question

Would the portfolio holder please outline what discussions he has had with Ealing Police in relation to the potential closure of Ealing Police Station and alternative sites for the relocation of the front counter and other police services?

Answer

For some time there have been discussions about the future of Ealing Police Station and it is one of 9 police stations in London which has been identified as a potential for closure. That said, no decisions have been made yet by MOPAC and the Commissioner, so as it stands the decision is yet to be finalised.

Obviously if it were to close we will offer our assistance to ensure the police find a suitable alternative to provide a police presence and front counter service in the heart of the Borough.

July 2012 – Written Question – Heathrow Runway Trials

Question

Wandsworth, Richmond, Hounslow and Hillingdon Councils have all called on BAA to end the ‘mixed mode’ trial at Heathrow. Does the Portfolio Holder plan to commit the support of Ealing Council to this campaign?

Answer

The Operational Freedoms trial isn’t in fact mixed mode as aircraft do not land and take off on the same runway. The local authorities’ objection is that when the trial is in place, and under special circumstances, the existing runway alteration procedures are disrupted and residents who were expecting their usual periods of respite were going to be disappointed. Runway alteration only applies to landing aircraft and not departing aircraft, and only during westerly operations. At present, one runway is used for landings between 06:00 hours and 15:00 hours, and then the other one is used from 15:00 hours until after the last departure. This pattern rotates on a weekly basis.

The Operational Freedom trials do not affect Ealing in the same way as other boroughs because up till now we have benefited from the Cranford Agreement, so flights on Easterlies can’t fly from the northern runway over Cranford. Ealing doesn’t therefore get much benefit from the Runway Alteration as no plane lands over the borough. If the trial is made permanent and once planning permission allows aircraft to use the northern runway effectively, then Ealing will be impacted directly by this measure. Our concerns were that the trial was not being monitored correctly and there appeared a lack of clarity as to what circumstances the operational freedoms came into effect. Together with the other member authorities of the Aircraft Noise Working Group, Ealing has contributed to the funding of an independent assessment of the effects of the Operational Freedom trials. Ealing therefore retains a close interest in the outcome of the trails.

June 2012 – Written Question – Missed Rubbish & recycling collections

Question

Would the portfolio holder please provide a breakdown by ward of the number of missed rubbish and recycling collections in April and May 2012?

Answer

APRIL Refuse sack Wheelie bin Dry box Food box Plastics Total
Southfield 61 319 338 246 964
Walpole 69 268 186 229 752
Elthorne 117   236 161 189 703
Northfield 48 247 184 204 683
Ealing Common 96 165 158 136 555
Cleveland 75 146 90 134 445
Ealing Broadway 36 132 149 107 424
Hobbayne 54 103 135 90 382
Hanger Hill 53 118 90 101 362
Northolt Mandeville 28 84 106 72 290
Greenford Broadway 30 71 95 51 247
Acton Central 43 74 55 51 223
Perivale 36 4 54 91 28 213
Norwood Green 18 3 57 84 43 205
South Acton 30 64 68 36 198
East Acton 32 44 85 31 192
Greenford Green 29 49 52 50 180
Southall Broadway 11 8 60 54 39 172
Northolt West End 21 44 52 37 154
Dormers Wells 6 38 45 28 117
North Greenford 16 39 34 23 112
Southall Green 9 4 23 55 16 107
Lady Margaret 13 10 23 38 12 96
Totals 931 29 2458 2405 1953 7776

 

MAY Refuse Sack Wheelie bin Dry box Food box Plastics Total
Elthorne 43   60 94 44 241
Northfield 33 51 66 40 190
Walpole 49 50 54 28 181
Cleveland 28 49 57 33 167
Southfield 51 46 39 29 165
Hobbayne 31 33 72 26 162
Ealing Broadway 20 51 47 43 161
Greenford Broadway 22 42 66 26 156
Perivale 31 9 41 42 29 152
Ealing Common 35 31 48 32 146
Greenford Green 19 26 76 14 135
Hanger Hill 55 28 29 22 134
Northolt Mandeville 23 31 51 29 134
Dormers Wells 9 1 22 77 14 123
Norwood Green 9 10 22 32 22 95
Acton Central 36 31 20 24 111
Northolt West End 16 31 36 25 108
East Acton 40 23 11 10 84
North Greenford 4 21 42 16 83
Southall Broadway 8 9 19 25 10 71
South Acton 18 19 15 15 67
Lady Margaret 8 9 13 13 5 48
Southall Green 4 2 12 13 6 37
Totals 592 60 752 1025 542 2971

June 2012 – Written Question – Wheelie bins bought for Garden Waste Collections

Question

Would the portfolio holder (for Transport & Environment) please clarify whether the council has any plans to return or resell any unused wheelie bins bought to collect garden waste?

Answer

Wheelie bins have an extremely long shelf life and it is impossible to predict future demand levels. Over the coming years customer participation levels are likely to increase, customers may change from sacks to bins and there will be a degree of replacement in the event of loss/damage. As this is the first year of the service, it would not be prudent to describe stock as unused and there are therefore no plans to return or resell any unused wheelie bins bought to collect garden waste.

April 2012 – Oral Question Neighbourhood Planning Frontrunner Grant

Question

How is the council planning to dispense the £40,000 neighbourhood planning frontrunner grant from the government to help local residents’ associations, businesses and other community groups to set up neighbourhood forums and go through the process of adopting neighbourhood plans in Ealing and West Ealing?

Answer

The Leader of the Council said that Ealing Council had successfully won a £40,000 neighbourhood planning frontrunner grant from the government to carry out neighbourhood planning initiatives in both areas to find out how local people want them to develop in the coming years. The work will help shape future development. Whilst we want to maximise the benefit of regeneration opportunities such as Crossrail, we want to do so in a way that does not harm our existing community.

The council will meet with residents’ associations and business groups at a workshop scheduled for April 25th 2012 to give people living and working in the areas the chance to be involved in drawing-up the plans. Therefore, no decisions have been taken yet as to how the money will be spent.

Ealing and West Ealing are among 233 towns nationally to be given the go ahead by the government to begin neighbourhood planning initiatives.

February 2012 – Written Question about Hanwell Library refurbishment

Question

Would the Portfolio holder please outline the details of the consultation over the refurbishment of Hanwell library – in particular, would he provide information on the membership of the focus groups, the numbers of residents involved and which organisations they will represent? Will the focus groups also be able to contribute to ideas on the services and the choice of library stock provided in the library?

Answer

The consultation timetable will be published in the April 2012 issue of Around Ealing. There will be drop in opportunities in the library and a focus group workshop in May 2012. Through the drop in sessions and the focus group users will be able to comment on, and inform,  the designs for the refurbishment.  Work will commence on site in October 2012 and complete by March 2013.

Yes: Library users will be able to contribute to the stock selection, as part of the stock refresh for the new library.

February 2012 – Oral Question about Housing Complaints

Question

Would the portfolio holder please provide details of how the Council plans to review the Local Government Ombudsman’s recent decision to compensate a disabled tenant for leaving her in unsuitable accommodation to learn any lessons for the future from this case?

Answer

The Cabinet member said that mistakes had been made by Ealing Homes, the Council’s former housing management organisation, for which the Council were sorry.  Now that housing management was back under the Council’s direct control, services were working much closer together to resolve issues like this faster, and to offer the high quality services our residents expected.

The Council had now moved the resident and her family to suitable accommodation.  In accordance with the ombudsman report a case review panel of senior officers had been established to investigate and make recommendations on changes to policy and procedure.  Once the review was completed, the Council would then inform the ombudsman of the Council’s proposed changes and learning.

October 2011 – Written Question about flooding in St Margaret’s Road

Question

Would the portfolio holder please provide details of any council correspondence with Thames Water over resolving the issue of flooding in and around St Margaret’s Road in Hanwell earlier this year?

Answer

According to our records neither Customer Services nor the Highways department have received any enquiries from residents regarding flooding issues on St Margaret’s Road this year.

Thames Water have also been consulted by our Network Management Team to verify whether they had any burst water main pipes on this road this year – according to their records, they have not had any on St Margaret’s Road.

However, on receivingthe question officer have visited St Margaret’s Road and have established that there are two damaged gullies in St Margaret’s Road. Orders have been issued to the Highways contractor to replace these gullies and these works will be completed within the next 4 weeks.

July 2011 – Written Question about Library Hours

Question

What criteria will be used to decide the reduction in opening hours at libraries around the borough?

Answer

Officers have reviewed the:

  • Volume of transactions in the first hour of opening;  
  • Volume of transactions after 7:00pm;
  • A snapshot of visitor and users on the hour every hour which shows the volume of people entering and leaving the building and a headcount of those in the libraries at that time.
  • Take account of the summer exam period and demand for the service at this time.

July 2011 – Written Question about Library funding

Question

Will the Portfolio holder please give a detailed breakdown of how the funds from the sale of the “Birth of Eve” painting will be spent on the Library service?

Answer

Activity Initial Estimates
New Computers 20 @ approx £1,500 each  £30k
WiFi in all libraries and community centres £90k
Upgrade and replacement of out of date Pc’s £60k
Electronic Readers (compliant with e books) 300 @ £155 each £46,500k
Improved scanning and printing facilities £15k
Display equipment to enable visual arts and exhibitions £25k
Arts, crafts and family games for children improved library offer £5k
Specialist archiving and local History software; improvements to archives storage and access £25k
Refurbishment of library buildings £273,500
Total £570,000

June 2011 – Written Question about traffic-free cycling events

Question

Following the success of last year’s Sky Ride in Ealing and the offer made by the London Mayor at a public meeting in Greenford earlier this year to share the costs of a future event, what progress has been made to plan another traffic-free cycle ride in the borough?

Answer

The Skyride event in 2010 required six months of planning, input and involvement from several Council Departments and cost the Council approximately £20,000 to organise with advanced works, traffic planning, marketing and communication. Even with a shared cost contribution, it is felt that the considerable staff resources required to support another event are not justified at this time. The Council’s transport planning service is instead focussing resources this year on delivering the main action plan priority in the Council’s Cycling Strategy – cycle hubs.  The first of these is being planned for Ealing Broadway.  The Council does however remain open to hosting a future Skyride event in future years.

April 2011 – Written Question about Hanwell station

Question

What progress has the Portfolio holder made in re-opening the southern entrance, more frequent services and step free access at Hanwell Station?

Answer

The Transport Planning team has recently begun further work to look at options for a potential southern entrance and possible step free access options at Hanwell Station. The initial work is due to be completed by the end of May 2011.

Additional services at Hanwell Station were considered as part of the Crossrail Specialist Scrutiny Panel. The planned Crossrail service pattern is constrained by the need to accommodate other services on the Great Western Relief Lines. These include the non-Crossrail passenger services, which will continue to run, providing a service beyond Maidenhead and crucially, the need to provide adequate paths for both present and anticipated growth in demand for freight services. Officers continue to have dialogue with Network Rail on this issue who are very aware of the Council’s desire for increased frequency of service.

April 2011 – Written Question about the future of the Library service

Question

Please can the Portfolio Holder outline what consultation the Council has had with the trade unions in relation to the proposal to use volunteers to run libraries instead of professional librarians?

Answer

All staff have been briefed on the consultation and its contents, including the proposal to use Volunteers in the libraries. Senior managers also met with Trade Unions to specifically discuss the consultation process and the contents of the consultation. The results of the consultation will be presented to Cabinet in June / July. If any decisions are made arising from the consultation that have a direct impact on staff, then a formal consultation period with staff and Trade Unions will take place.

April 2011 – Written Question on repairs to Ealing Homes

Question

I have a constituent in Felix Road, West Ealing who has been waiting for over a year for the outside wall to their bathroom to be repaired. Can the Portfolio Holder ensure that the repair works will be completed now that Ealing Homes has been brought back in-house?

How many repairs had been waiting for more than six months at the time when Ealing Homes was brought back in-house?

Answer

The repair works have taken longer than expected due to the construction of the original wall. I can assure Councillor Bakhai that the repairs will be completed.

At 31st March 2011 – 47 repair jobs were outstanding. This is in the context of a total of 43,334 repair jobs requested by tenants.

March 2011 – Written Question on Grimebusters hotline

Question

How many out of hours calls have been made to the new Grimebusters hotline in the three months since its introduction?

How much has been spent on the new Grimebusters hotline in the three months since its introduction?

Answer

The following number of out of hour’s calls have been received on the Grimebusters hotline.
December – 43
January  – 51
February  – 28

£2,700 per month for additional team to provide additional resource to supply a weekend graffiti service.  (NB this cost will not apply from June 2011 when the new graffiti removal contract commences and the 24 hour graffiti service cost will be absorbed into overall contract value)Emergency cleansing and standard fly-tipping reports via Grimebusters are already covered within the overall contract cost.
Ealing Customer Services (for daytime calls) have absorbed any additional workload as part of standard costs.
Out of hours call handling (evening and weekends) is £1.85 x call.  Total of  £225.70.
General comms/marketing: £10,712
Vehicle livery (grimebusters number): £3,279
This expenditure as well as our focus on keeping the borough clean has resulted in the best results ever for street cleanliness. The month’s monitoring figures show 96% of our streets in the borough received a ‘grade A’ score. In the last eight months there has been a succession of good results. In July, 93.5% of the borough’s streets were grade A, in August this rose to 95.6% and in September 94.6% of streets achieved this result. A 90% score in October and November was also the best ever achieved at that time of year when it is harder to gain good results because of falling leaves in the autumn. In December the results were up again to 95% being grade A.

February 2011 – Written Question on Apprentice schemes for Young Offenders

Question

Does the council offer apprentice schemes to train ex-youth offenders, and if so, how many ex-offenders does the council currently employ?

What does the council do to encourage its contractors and businesses in Ealing to give apprenticeships or training to young offenders following their release from custody to aid their rehabilitation?

Answer

The Council’s Apprenticeship Scheme is not specifically targeted towards any particular group. As part of the recruitment process young people including ex-offenders aged 16-24 are eligible to apply for a range of apprenticeship opportunities. When apprenticeship vacancies are advertised (twice a year) information is sent to the Youth Offending Team, which is then circulated to any young people interested in applying for an apprenticeship.

In 2011 the apprenticeship scheme is expanding to become the apprenticeships programme and will now include a ‘pre-employment’ element.  The pre-employment programme will target young people (16-24) who need some additional support in order to be ready to undertake an apprenticeship (or other forms of employment).  This will be a 16-22 week work placement that will include a structured training programme.  Successful completion of the programme will guarantee the young person an interview for an apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship scheme promotes apprenticeships externally with businesses through holding ‘Business Breakfasts’. We are working to amend our procurement policy so that tendering process can be used to ensure suitable contractors take on apprentices. We also work with the National Apprenticeship Service, Ealing BID Company and the 14-19 team to encourage our supply chain to create apprenticeships for 16-18 year old employees; and through S106 planning agreements. The apprenticeship scheme does not hold information on how many ex-offenders are employed across the council.

Ealing Youth Offending Service (YOS) is a multi-agency partnership led by the Council, which undertakes a range of programmes to engage young offenders in education, training and employment (ETE). It regularly achieves the best performance in London in terms of engaging young offenders in positive activities. This includes ensuring they are reintegrated into School, College, Employment and Training options, including the Councils Apprenticeship Scheme.

For the past 2 years, the Council has run a V Talent pre-employment volunteering scheme, which provides expenses to 15 young people who volunteer 30 hours per week, in placements in Children’s services for a year. Young people who demonstrate the skills and expertise required to become an apprentice, can then transfer onto the Apprentice scheme when their V Talent placement ends. A number of young people known to the YOS have taken up V Talent positions as a route into the apprentice scheme. Government funding for V Talent is ending this year. The Council has prioritised investing in a similar in-house scheme from 2011/12, which will increase the opportunities available to young people, including young offenders.

February 2011 – Oral Question on the future of Hanwell & Perivale Libraries

Question

Will the Portfolio holder reassure library users that the Council has no plans to close Hanwell or Perivale libraries or the Mobile Library Service?

Answer

A review of the library service is currently being undertaken to inform our decisons on the future direction for libraries. This is looking at:

* Improving the Service Offer

* Buildings and locations

* Partnerships

* Value for Money

* Organisation and delivery

We are looking at how cost effective the library service is and how the service offer meets local needs. We will need to make decisions in the light of this. This will involve consideration of - fewer but better buildings; deciding how we might continue providing a service in different ways and, in some instances, stop doing things that are no longer cost effective and improve the overall service offer. Currently we operate from thirteen library buildings; a mobile library; home library service; the hospital library based at Ealing Hospital and an on-line access to the library service.

No decisions have yet been made and public consultation will commence at the end of the month.

December 2010 – Written Question on Ealing Arts Centre

Question

Following the statement attributed to a Council spokesperson in Friday 10th December’s Ealing Gazette questioning the viability of the Ealing Arts Centre project, will the Leader give his assurance that he supports the need for an arts centre in Ealing and provide details of the next steps he is planning to take to improve facilities for the arts in the borough?

Answer

Council officers and Members of all Political Parties have put a good deal of time into considering options to increase the provision of space for Arts and Cultural activities in Ealing and remain supportive of this idea. We will continue to work with Arts Groups in Ealing to improve access to space in Ealing Town Hall and other Buildings around the Borough and would encourage Groups to come forward to book space, which is offered at subsidised rates.  We cannot, however, ignore the requirement to cover our running costs and groups will need to accept that their activities will need to run alongside other events that are valued by other parts of the community.Officers are preparing a report to go to the Overview and Scrutiny meeting of 3rd February 2011 and we will be inviting Ealing Arts, together with representatives from University of West London and Questors Theatre to contribute their thoughts. An important first step will be to convert the Telfer room on the Ground Floor of Ealing Town Hall into a Dance Studio.  This was one of the proposals that came forward from a business plan developed by Ealing Arts.  We are grateful to St George, developers of the Dickens Yard site, who have agreed to the early release of s106 funding to fund most of this project.