|Northfields Ward Forum Report|
Libraries, speed limits, local crime and South Ealing cemetery all under discussion
The future of Northfields library and the introduction of 20mph speed limits were the subject of heated discussion at the latest Northfields Ward Forum.
The library on Northfields Avenue is threatened with closure, along with six others in the borough, unless a volunteer community group can be found to run it.
At last Tuesday’s ward meeting Labour councillors Fay Block and Paul Driscoll claimed central government cuts to local authority funding meant current library services are ‘unsustainable’.
This met with an angry response from residents at the meeting, with many asking how the Council finds money for other projects but seems not to be interested in retaining what many regard as a valuable local asset. It was also pointed out that Labour candidates at last year’s Council elections campaigned that they had ‘saved’ Northfields library following the collapse of Carillion.
A question was asked of Councillor Block about the figures and whether the Council could reveal how much extra revenue has been brought in through Council Tax after the building of so many new flats in the borough in recent years. Cllr Block said she would investigate.
Councillor David Millican (Conservative) spoke up against the plans for the library and reiterated his desire to see it saved. A petition is underway and he urged people to sign it. Neither Cllr Block and Cllr Driscoll gave an undertaking that they would support a campaign to save the library if no community group can be found to run it.
The Council is consulting on the future of the library service and an open consultation event is being held this Tuesday (March 12) at Kingsdown Methodist Church from 5-7pm. Details on the full consultation can be found here
Also on the agenda was the trial of a 20mph zone in Northfields, due to go live at the end of the month. Concerns were raised about the poor positioning of many of the new signs and the lack of illumination at night, as well queries about how the speed limit would be enforced given the lack of speed cameras in the area. Cllr Block admitted the new speed limits are unlikely to be strictly enforced and there are no plans to introduce traffic calming measures. She was asked to provide full details of any consultation with residents on the new speed limits, how long the trial will last, and how the data is being collected and analysed.
The Northfields Safer Neighbourhoods team revealed there were 14 burglaries in the area in January, although this dropped to one in February. However, there is an ongoing spate of break-ins and attempted break-ins affecting shops and businesses on South Ealing Road. Police ask residents to be vigilant and suggest signing up for the OWL neighbourhood watch scheme at http://www.owl.co.uk/.
The future of the Council-owned chapel buildings in South Ealing Cemetery, which are currently unused and are in a poor state of repair. Residents are asked to contribute ideas about how the GradeII listed structures can be brought back into use through a partnership between the Council and the Heritage of London Trust Operations. Email ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plans have been approved to install a mini-roundabout at the junction of Occupation Lane and South Ealing Road to make the junction safer.
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11th March 2019