NP72: News on Haven Green and Ealing Day Centres under threat

Haven Green

Photo by Nigel Cox

Haven Green

In the last edition Will French described the history of Haven Green and the pressure it’s under. Here he describes how two recent decisions by the Planning Inspectorate look likely to up the stakes.

The first stems from last September’s public inquiry into planned changes to the Green ahead of Crossrail. These would have widened the pavements, and created a counter-flow cycle lane on the east side of the Green. Objectors said the Green is protected by national legislation as Common Land for future generations to enjoy as open space. The Government inspector agreed and refused to approve the Council’s proposals. Only existing footpaths can be resurfaced.

This is unlikely to be the end of the matter. The Inspector declined to rule on the legitimacy of the cycle hub and racks that stand on the Common Land. We believe objectors are looking at other routes to resolve this. In addition, Ealing looks sure to have to do something to accommodate the 40% increase in passengers passing through the Green once Crossrail opens. Their consultants predict that if nothing happens overcrowding will be unacceptable. The second decision concerns the electricity substation which has stood largely unused for over 5 years on the Green. The Inspector said, ‘the substation obstructs the views of the common and is an alien feature within the landscape’. He added ‘it is an urbanising feature in an essentially open setting’. The substation must now be removed and the grass restored to its previous condition.

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Day Centres under Threat

Ealing Council, facing a huge budget cut from central government are considering closing the Day Centres for Disabled and Elderly people. Last time we reported on Heller House Respite Centre for Disabled Children. On that Centre a Consultation is still in process.

But Councillors have voted to close, in May, Carlton Road Day Centre on the borders of Acton and Chiswick that serves more than 30 users with profound and multiple learning disabilities. It provides a full day care service allowing parents and carers time and respite from the rigours of day to day caring for a profoundly disabled son or daughter, thereby preserving their health and wellbeing and allowing them to care longer and better in the long term; (thereby saving the state the expense).

This centre is uniquely equipped to offer space to socialise with friends and peers plus individually tailored sessions including Physiotherapy, Art, Music and Dance Therapy. All staff are now facing redundancy. Ealing Council are assessing each user and propose to offer an individual budget to the carers to provide alternatives, ‘signposting’ them towards “suitable alternatives” to the Carlton Road day service. These services are mainly non-existent within the borough for people of such a profound level of disability. Couldn’t the Council be a little more creative by helping the experienced longstanding and professional staff team to continue their service somehow? Are Ealing’s most vulnerable residents to be sacrificed by officers’lack of creative thinking and a chance to make a few £millions by selling property in Chiswick? The answer so far, seems to be yes.

Concerned? Contact Ealing Contact Ealing Carers’ Centre 020 8840 1566

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