Tributes have been paid to a stalwart of the Southall community, Ealing’s 50th mayor Tej Ram Bagha, who has passed away after a short illness.
Councillor Bagha served as mayor in 2014 and was a councillor in Ealing for 24 years.
He came to the UK from the Punjab region of India as a young man in 1963 and lived in the borough for more than 50 years.
For much of that time, he worked as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport.
Paying a heartfelt tribute to his friend and colleague at a full council meeting yesterday, Councillor Ranjit Dheer, said: “He was a devoted family man so the pain and loss of his death will be felt so much within his family.
“He was a valued colleague in the Domer’s Wells ward and was a splendid member of the chamber. He will be missed by residents and by Ealing Labour Party."
School pupils in Ealing have made a truly elephantine effort to recycle their rubbish.
In fact they have recycled so many tonnes of material over the past year that it is equivalent to the weight of about 140 African elephants.
This adds up to an incredible 830 tonnes of material and an improvement of more than 180 tonnes on the previous year – showing that people of all ages are taking up the challenge of recycling and helping to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill.
Councillor Mik Sabiers, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for environment and highways, said: “Rising recycling rates in our schools is great news and I’d like to thank staff and pupils across the borough for their hard work in contributing to this achievement.
“It’s encouraging to see young people involved in recycling and working towards a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly borough, and it sets a good precedent for the future.”
Ealing currently recycles half of its household waste – the best borough rate in London bar one, and 18 percentage points ahead of the average borough rate across London.
Eight new state-of-the-art tennis courts will be available to use at Gunnersbury Park from 1 August.
The new macadam courts are the first phase of the Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub which, when completed, will also include a multi-use sports centre, a gym, two external floodlit artificial grass pitches and natural grass cricket and football pitches.
The complex will be managed by charitable social enterprise GLL.
From 1 August the courts will be available to book at a cost of £9 per hour, while a range of activities, coaching and competitions will be launched over the summer.
These include a free children's summer camp for children aged five to 10 years which is funded by the John Lyon Foundation.
Regular coaching sessions on the courts will begin in September.
There will also be a dedicated Tennis Manager to look after the courts, financed by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).
Council calls for NHS funding as bed cuts confirmed
Local Democracy Reporting Service
Ealing Council is calling on the heath secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to use NHS anniversary funding to protect vital emergency services at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals after a government minister confirmed further beds are likely to be lost in west London.
The council has fought cuts to the region's A&E and other hospital services since they were announced by the NHS in July 2012.
Two A&E departments at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals have already been closed, along with paediatric and maternity services at Ealing Hospital.
There has been uncertainty as to whether further cuts will happen.
But Ealing Council leader Julian Bell has said he received a response from Minister of State for Health, Steve Barclay which confirmed that "significant hospital bed closures" are still on the table.
The council says the axe is now hanging over Ealing and Charing Cross A&Es and acute care services.
If approved, it says the plans to downgrade these services are expected to cost £500m to implement, and will result in 500 hospital beds being cut.
Ealing Conservatives, however, say the planned cuts will never happen and accuse the Labour Party of scaremongering
Web help for Ealing's EU citizens in Brexit run up
Local Democracy Reporting Service
Ealing Council has set up a new website to help its EU citizens understand their rights in the run up to Brexit.
It's part of the council's promise to protect people from across the European Union living in the borough.
Ealing is home to 55,000 people from other countries in the EU whom the council says have been left uncertain about their rights following the EU referendum which took place on 23 June 2016.
Following the second anniversary of the vote, it has produced a web page explaining the current position and links to further information.
Council leader Julian Bell said: "In April 2018, Ealing councillors voted to support all EU citizens in the borough and wants to assure them that they are valued and welcome in Ealing.
"The council continues to apply pressure to the government and has written asking it to guarantee EU citizens' rights, in the event of a hard Brexit, or any other circumstances. The council has also asked the government to give all UK citizens the final say on any Brexit deal.
"I have also written to the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, urging reconsideration of the decision to levy a charge of £65 per person for the process of registration for EU citizens. While for some this is an affordable amount, for very many at the lower end of the income range, this will be a sizeable portion of their disposable income, particularly so for families who will have to pay for multiple applications."
To view current information on the position for EU citizens in Ealing, go to www.ealing.gov.uk
Campaigners are striving to preserve the 1920s Art Deco frontage of the former Woolworths building in West Ealing.
Developer A2 Dominion has put in a planning application to demolish the frontage and build 120 flats in a structure which would vary from 11 to 15 storeys high.
More than 1,200 people have now signed a petition calling on the council to protect the asset.
Ealing Civic Society has unsuccessfully attempted to get the building listed as a heritage asset.
Eric Leach, chairman of the West Ealing Neighbours group, said: "There are three Art Deco buildings in close proximity to each other in West Ealing but the Woolworths building is the most attractive and most iconic.
"I'm not the only person in West Ealing who finds the new styles of architecture less attractive. More than 1,000 people have now signed a petition to save the building.
"It would easily be possible to build a block of flats and to keep the facade, but A2 Dominion and Ealing Council don't seem at all interested in that."
Robert Gurd, Chairman of Ealing Civic Society, said: "The Civic Society requested if the building was listable, but Historic England told us that there was insufficient left because everything that is behind the frontage is gone.
"A2 Dominion were told by many organisations when they held a consultation on on the plans that they should incorporate the frontage, but they are proposing to sweep it away. Now we think the council should stand up to them and reject the planning application on the grounds that the frontage will be lost."
A2 Dominion states in its planning application: "The building is in a general state of poor repair. The building has not been considered suitable for statutory or local listing.
"It would require considerable work to repair the existing building façade. The creation of new flats behind a retained and repaired façade is also far from straightforward. Adaptation of the façade, the building and the site would affect both the appearance of the façade itself and the number of new homes that could be delivered."