NP71: Heller House Respite centre in danger? Are Walpole Park and Pitshanger Manor our top priorities? Plus NHS and Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre news

Heller House, Respite Care home

Heller House, Respite Care home offers an essential service but may be being closed

Ealing Council says Government cuts mean its spending must reduce by £96m. Inevitably services in the Borough will suffer. Even so, it’s shocking that a Respite Centre for children with complex disability needs called Heller House is due to close. The centre, at 124 Norwood Road Southall, was bequeathed to Ealing way back and the Council has invested much in it since. For many the service is a lifeline. Hundreds of children have enjoyed the specialist facilities which allow parents a much-needed break. It’s claimed the care can be purchased outside the borough but parents are justifiably dubious. Of course, costs are high for the number of children involved, but who can imagine the heroic daily struggle for parents and carers of very disabled children? Costs would be far higher if parents gave up, leaving entire care to the State. Couldn’t parents or charities help keep the centre going? Has Ealing Council tried? In Spring 2013 NP reported on the loss of two day centres for people with learning disabilities (following other disability day centre closures). So will another service be lost?

There is a Consultation – Contact details: Ealing Parent and Carer Forum: Matthew Jeatt 7740-461551 or Ealing Carers Centre: Jane Barnes 020 8840 1566

PESTS Ealing are based at Heller House

PESTS Ealing are based at Heller House

More info on Heller House activities here:

Walpole Park

Meanwhile the Council proudly exhibits Walpole Park, refurbished at a cost of £5.4m or so. Next, Pitshanger Manor gets a similar treatment. Yes, half of this comes from the Heritage Lottery Fund and yes, it is great these facilities are spruced up, but are they really our top priorities? Didn’t someone once say “A society is judged by the way it treats its weakest members”?

Haven Stables

There is huge local opposition to plans to demolish the 137 year-old former Stables Building – formerly the Haven Pub at 1a Haven Green and to replace it with a block of flats. Only this summer the Council designated the Stables a locally listed building. National planning policies require that permission should be refused for the loss of such a heritage asset.

There is a Petition to save the building. To sign E-mail name(s) & address (with postcode) to

Perceval House Redevelopment and moving Ealing Library

Still no progress to report in restoring a cinema to Ealing, but October’s Cabinet meeting announced a bolder plan in its desperate quest to ‘regenerate’ Ealing town centre. The Council now want to bulldoze Perceval House. Just 30 years old, the fortress-like building is fully occupied by Council staff delivering services to local people. But with service cuts and potential redundancies, the Council plans to downsize. And then, to help out the owners of Ealing Broadway shopping centre, Cabinet agreed in principle to relocate Ealing Central Library. The Library was only refurbished in 2008 at the cost of £4m and massive inconvenience for users. Easy come, easy go when library funds are concerned.

Ealing Broadway: Arcadia Phase 2

The refurbished Arcadia centre at 1-8 the Broadway has reopened for TK Maxx and McDonalds with Morrisons coming soon. Developers Benson Elliot, and their partners, Londonewcastle, are now unveiling ideas for the second phase of the old Glenkerrin site – the land north of Uxbridge Road between the Arcadia and Ealing Broadway station. Everything will go, including WH Smith, Sainsburys and Carphone Warehouse. In its place will be 200 homes and new
shops centred around a new pedestrian route, running from the station to Uxbridge Road opposite the Ealing Broadway centre. Separate blocks would rise along Uxbridge Road away from 1-8 the Broadway and a residential tower set back beside the railway. Resident parking would be accessed from an entrance on Station Broadway and shop servicing off the existing Springbridge Road entrance.

There was an exhibition at the end of November, you can see the plans and give your opinion here:

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The Starlite – can it be saved? By Erol Direkoglou

Starlite Eastcote Allendale Junction

The Starlite from the corner, to be demolished and replaced by anonymous flats?

It’s sad to witness with the loss of the local library (Barham park), local public house (Sudbury Arms), the local rugby club (Wasps) and now possibly the former Odeon /Starlite) the gradual erosion of Sudbury’s neighbourhood identity as a 1930s suburb.

The Odeon on Alllendale road designed by local architect A. P Starkey , opened in 1935. This art deco building was one of the originals on the Odeon Circuit. In the early 1960s it became known as the Starlite, an iconic venue for up and coming popular music bands. Bands that played there included The Who, Cream, Pink Floyd and the Small Faces.
In its latter days it became a popular Snooker club with rumours that Neal Foulds played there.

Starlite snooker club - Albertina McNeill

The Starlite ballroom was a snooker club in later years

It is this musical heritage that warrants its preservation possibly as a community asset. A resource centre providing an indoor amenity for local residents and in particular for children and older youths. The Starlite could form part of a musical/local history trail.

Recent planning permission for its demolition, a replacement block of flats may temporarily, superficially improve the blighted appearance of the street facade. As can be seen by the recent the pig ugly cheap slab appearance of Bridge House this does last long.

Increased housing on this block on Odeon Parade will mean will exasperate the existing problems of: inadequate waste removal facilities, dumping and blocked water pipes.

A local councillor has supported the proposal by claiming that it will enhance the street. He has however not told me how it will be enhanced. The block of flats will attract childless couples and not a mix of tenants. It seems that we are with this proposal and recent examples like the massive development on the former B&Q site in Alperton repeating the planning disasters of Housing in the 1960/70s.

Local residents are in the meantime attempting to list the building as a community asset. I hope this article will encourage more to join the campaign, ensuring its success.

Erol Direkoglou

Posted in Campaign, Greenford, Music Tagged with: ,

NP70: Good news for Gunnersbury Park, Ealing Broadway station plans and the cinema update

The park and heritage buildings are jointly owned and managed by Hounslow and Ealing Councils. In July £4.7 million of Lottery funding to restore the 186 acre park was granted. The aim is to restore the whole grounds including:

    • Building a brand new café to replace the current one
    • Re-introducing boating on the Round Pond
    • Restoring the Orangery, archways,
    terrace and listed structures
    • Reinstating lost park features such as the Horseshoe Pond

In late July we heard that another £4 million has been granted to restore the Large Mansion, museum and other listed buildings currently on English Heritage’s ‘at risk’ list. This is brilliant news see for latest news and links.

Ealing Broadway Station

New plans for Ealing Broadway Station were passed by Ealing Planning Committee in August. Work on the station should start late 2015. Public protest at the first design had produced a rethink. An improved canopy, larger ticket hall and four new lifts are welcome improvements. But why was there no proper public consultation?
With Crossrail, passenger numbers will rise massively. Even with the changes, the station space is unlikely to be big enough. Save Ealing’s Centre believes democracy and success demanded a far wider public consultation. More on

Ealing Cinema Latest

Ealing Cinema closed in 2008. Empire Cinema Company promised to rebuild. The Council approved their new plans. Despite pressure nothing has happened in six years. In July the Council delivered a ‘Compulsory Purchase Order’ (CPO) on the company. They have an agreed purchaser, developer and new approved plans for a larger site with a multi-screen cinema, restaurants and flats. Campaigners are also pressing to include a professionally run performance space and Arts Centre. A recent complication is that Empire Cinemas re-started work on their cinema
site. CPO processes are quite complicated so it is not certain what will now happen. We wait to see!

Ealing Broadway cinema - still incomplete

Ealing’s cinema not looking it’s best (pic from

Cinema plans from

A possible future cinema for Ealing?

Posted in Campaign, Ealing, Green Tagged with: , ,

Work experience at an RSPCA cattery

Tabby kitten at RSPCA cattery

Tabby kitten at RSPCA cattery

A young NP team member writes about her work experience

Work experience is one of the most enlightening two weeks of your academic life. As a student myself, I know the effort you put into getting your grades – which are your first and foremost priority. What about after that? What’s next? Most of us have a dream career in our heads or a field we want to get into when we’re young. Dreams and reality are two VERY DIFFERENT things! No matter how thoroughly you research, first hand experience will always be the best and most reliable way to find out what that job is really like.

This is where work experience comes into play. It gives you an accurate insight into the work environment of your choice be it in a hospital, a mechanics, a bakery, a school etc. You will spend time working alongside the professionals and learning first hand what the job is like. It’s like an ‘Access All Areas’ backstage pass into the world of work. Possibly the greatest thing about it is the fact that it could inspire you into following a dream career…. or save you from making a mistake before it’s too late.







I personally learnt a lot from my two weeks of work experience. I’ve always wanted a career with animals, so spent one week at a cattery run by the RSPCA and the second week with local vets. Having two placements was a great experience because the two were very different. At the cattery – a shelter for abandoned and unwanted cats – there was a clear daily routine and I quickly adapted to it. Arrival at 8am, cleaning cages (about 1 hour), general tidying up, lunch, sitting with the kittens (the best bit), second feed, more cleaning and finish at 4.30pm.

At the vets as there were new animals being treated every day. The routine involved similar patterns but also getting to know new animals every day. For a short time I weighed animals which was new. I learnt a lot about the profession and just how hard it is to be a vet. But also I spent some time every day standing around not really doing anything useful and not learning anything!

Knowing what I know now, I am in a better position about whether to pursue a career as a vet.

By DJ, aged 15

Southall Cattery welcomes volunteers, for more info visit

Posted in Charity, Ealing, Uncategorized Tagged with:

Ealing Notes – NP67

Ealing Hospital: Is it time to take down the poster?

Many of us have campaigned for over a year to keep our hospital open. Ealing Council supported the campaign, insisted there was an Independent Review of decisions and attempted (unsuccessfully) to hold a Judicial Review. In November the Review announced that the A & E at Ealing Hospital would remain open. Many Conservative politicians boasted that the cross-party campaign to keep A&E at Ealing open had won the day. However, the claimed triumph belies the facts. The Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt has not changed the Shaping a Healthier Future decision on local health changes. The Chair, Dr Mark Spencer affirmed this on BBC News on the day of the ”A & E Saved” announcement. His team plans to demolish both Ealing and Clayponds Hospitals and rebuild a “local” hospital at Ealing. This will have out patient clinics only with some beds for rehabilitation and observation. No Maternity, Paediatrics, Surgical operations or Intensive Care. You simply cannot have a proper A & E Centre without the backing of a full hospital. Unless this plan changes the new Ealing Hospital may have an expanded Urgent Care Centre but it will certainly not have a full A & E. The same fate awaits Charing Cross Hospital. Together 700 beds would be lost. It is obvious that the announcement was a “face saving” gesture. Unless things change Charing Cross and Ealing’s A&E have stays of execution only, until the 2015 general election anyway.

Haven Green

Friends of Haven Green (FOHG) was formed to protect Haven Green which is ancient Common Land and Ealing’s heart. FOHG says the Green is steadily being nibbled away even though the Government protects such land against development for future generations to enjoy. Items like bus stops, an electricity sub station, a cycle hub and cycle racks are damaging the Green’s character. This year stands for 110 cycles were installed on a large extent of grass. Originally described as temporary, the stands are likely to become permanent. Worse, many are empty! FoHG questions the legality of this kind of encroachment. More from

Heathrow Airport: Third Runway.

Despite there being agreement against this some time back a third runway at Heathrow is back on the agenda. Heathrow Airport Ltd made a submission to the Airports Commission set up by the government to assess airport capacity in London and the South East. This contains three options for a third runway. Included in the proposal are a number of
measures that are intended to cut noise levels such as quieter planes, steeper approaches and more respite periods.
See for the full submission or go to for further information.

One piece of good news is that, the Government recently announced there will be no significant changes to night flights until 2017, after the Airports Commission reports in 2015.

Posted in Campaign, Ealing, Uncategorized

Ealing Notes NP66

By Judy Breens

March to save Ealing hospital

Protesters marching from Acton to save Ealing Hospital

Ealing Hospital

We were back on the streets in April. Over ten thousand Ealing citizens of all races and ages marched from Southall and Acton to Ealing Common where a medley of cross-party politicians and activists addressed us. My memory from all the rhetoric was losing 1000 hospital beds if we allow the health “bosses” their way in North West London. It’s much more than just downsizing Ealing and Charing Cross Hospitals to little more than poly-clinics and closing two additional A & Es. The total loss of services across the region would be frightening. Fortunately Ealing Council won an appeal to the Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt that there should be an Independent Review of the decision. Many people have phoned, written and been interviewed by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel this summer. A report is out mid September and a Government decision later.

High Speed Rail 2

Who would have thought that HS2 Campaigners and the Council could pull off such a victory? In April, HS2 recommended to the Secretary of State for Transport a nine-kilometre tunnel is built between North Acton and Northolt, linking to the West Ruislip tunnel proposed in the original plans. This will make the longest tunnel on the route at 14km. It will remove all the blight caused by destroying swathes of North Ealing borough and rebuilding 20 road bridges. We even saw NP’s very own Valerie Rudd on BBC news! Valerie writes: “After two years of local grassroots led activism, supported by our Council and the London Assembly, HS2 has not only admitted that we were right all along – a surface route would cause more disruption to traffic and blight to peoples homes, schools, businesses and Perivale Wood Nature Reserve but the tunnel will also be cost neutral and will take 15 months less time to construct than an over ground route!”

This is a fantastic win-win solution. However, it does leave the question: How can HS2 professional engineers hold onto a fundamentally flawed scheme for two whole years and put locals through such a hard time?

For more campaign information see

Read more ›

Posted in Campaign, Ealing, Education, Greenford Tagged with: , ,

Ealing Animal Welfare Bazaar – Sat 2nd March

Flyer for EAWB

Ealing Animal Welfare Bazaar

Saturday 2nd March 2013
10.30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Hanwell Methodist Church,
Church Rd,
W7 1DJ

The Ealing Animal Welfare Bazaar started in 1978 and has since been an annual event. There are usually over 30 groups/societies participating in the Bazaar, representing a variety of local, national and international animal welfare causes. The stalls offer a variety of goods for sale, some new and some second hand. This helps to raise funds for their work.

Vegetarian and vegan refreshments are available throughout the day… so why not pop in for lunch.
Admission FREE.

For more details call 020 8567 6739 or visit

Posted in Campaign, Charity, Ealing, Hanwell, Organisation

Ealing notes from NP 64

Ann Pavett presentation at Ealing library

By Judy Breens

Ann Pavett presentation at Ealing library

Ann Pavett presents the Neighbours Paper archive to Ealing library

We bade a sad goodbye to our Neighbours’ Paper Editor of eight years at a farewell gathering in Ealing Central Library. After its birth in 1988 Ann Pavett improved and extended the paper beyond recognition. She presented 15 years of past copies of Neighbours’ Paper to the Ealing Borough’s Archivist and Historian Jonathan Oates for the local history section.

Speeches were made and Ann’s many achievements were applauded. She also received a new award called the London Peace Prize set up to promote public and community service. We wish Ann a happy retirement in Australia where she has joined her sons and grandchildren. It now falls on us all on the Editorial Team to maintain the high standard she set!

Hanwell news:

A Village Green application ‘Hearing’ for Elthorne Waterside Playing Fields, by Hanwell Community Forum took place in September. Ealing Council used Council Taxpayers’ money to pay a barrister to oppose the proposal. They also paid for the required ‘Independent’ Inspector. Carolyn Brown (Chair of HCF) powerfully presented the case herself but in facing this formidable legal team, the odds appear stacked.

Why does HCF want to win? They wish to ensure the land is protected and returned as open green space for everyone to use, including dog-walkers. Despite objections, the public playing field was fenced off as a dog-free zone six years ago. It was supposed to protect the land for Elthorne Park School to use free of dog excrement. In fact the clutter of fences is ineffective and looks a mess. A large gap in the hedge was made as the gates were too small for the mowers, remaining gates are unlocked by law; most of the hedging plants did not grow and maintenance has proved minimal.

The legal case is complex and the result is imminent. It is hard to know why the Council want to retain their ‘power’ to keep this ugly enclosure. The school does not routinely use the field. If the land gains Village Green status the school would still be able to use it, as they always have. Sadly a similar application for Village Green Status was refused to the Friends of Haven Green Ealing. For more information see

On a happier note the Planning Committee soundly rejected the inappropriate Oak Wharf canal-side overdevelopment in the St Marks Conservation Area.This just shows how determined community action by Residents’ Associations can sometimes win. Olde Hanwell RA was delighted but how the application received officer recommendation in the first place remains a worrying mystery.

Fight to Save Ealing Hospital

Would people come? We all wondered, but Ealing citizens turned up trumps! At the 15 September march, thousands walked from Southall, Acton and everywhere between.

Speakers of all political hues spoke, firmly denouncing the North West London NHS proposals. Closing four out of nine A&E’s in North West London is bad enough but the Report “Shaping a Healthier Future” makes it abundantly clear that those designated ‘local hospitals’ with no A&E would be downsized so drastically that Ealing Hospital, with most land sold off for housing, would become little more than a clinic. A similar fate beckons Charing Cross.

A Consultation exercise on the proposals ended on 8 October when, in addition, a Petition opposing the plans from citizens of Ealing Brent and Hammersmith boroughs was handed in to NHS NWL offices. Taken in on a stretcher were boxes with a staggering 60,000 signatures. A copy will later to be taken to 10 Downing Street. We wait to see what comes next. In two large local September public meetings the NWLNHS Team headed by Dr Mark Spencer were shown up for what they are, accomplices in a plan to cut services drastically to save costs. The Commissioning Strategy Plan 2012-15 Part B proposes nearly 4,000 staff cuts and £1 billion removed from the £5 billion budget. This is a 20% cut even though the Government assures us that NHS spending is ‘ring fenced’. But of course these are ‘efficiency savings’ which is different. There may be a case for centralising specialist services. But the plan has so many gaps, ifs and maybes that it seems close to fraudulent. Dr John Lister at has more.

Eric Leach reported in EalingToday: ‘I left the (Ealing) meeting (thinking) we were being asked to take part in a huge unprecedented human experiment.’ Dr Mark Spencer said the consultation result will be in Spring 2013 and there will be no A&E closures for 2/3 years until alternative plans are in place.

Can we believe this? Keep in touch with the campaign on and

30,000 people signed the petition against the proposed closures, 17,022 people took part in the consultation..

Read about the Casualty Convoy here

Ealing and the London 2012 Olympic Games

What a time we all had cheering the Olympic Torch in the Borough, watching the Olympic Games on TV or maybe seeing the real thing! I certainly was thrilled to see the road cyclists in Richmond and Kingston, including GB medal winners like Bradley Wiggins and Lizzie Armitstead. The atmosphere and enthusiasm was fantastic. The crowds generously cheered everyone cycling past too, not just Team GB.
Did you realise that Team GB’s Ladies Hockey Team won bronze in the Olympics and that it included two Ealing girls, Hanna Mcleod and Anne Panter. Neighbours’ Paper warmly congratulates them both! Ealing Council were brilliant helping fund Ealing Team GB and also with the torch celebrations. Sadly they failed completely to react to residents’ suggestions to organise a local cultural event involving Ealing schools as part of the Mayor’s Olympic Cultural Diary. So no community cultural event took place in Ealing – what a missed opportunity.

Posted in Campaign, Ealing, Sport Tagged with: , , ,

Hello Ealing!

Welcome to Ealing Notes, the blog for the Neighbours’ Paper:)

Posted in Uncategorized