Southall Broadway Ward Forum Meeting – Part 1Wed 12 Apr 2017
The rules of the meeting were read out at the start perhaps due to heated exchanges at the last meeting on 12 July 2016. Almost 9 months is a long time to wait for another Ward Forum meeting.
You no longer get tea and biscuits at ward forums. Some do not even bother to provide printout of the previous meeting notes. Councillor mixing with the community is also disappearing.
HMO (house in multiple occupation)
There are 3 types of licenses that apply to tenanted properties.
- Mandatory licence for larger houses in multiple occupation (HMO)
- Additional licence for smaller houses in multiple occupation (HMO)
- Selective licence
Ealing Council introduced the last two licensing schemes which became effective on 1 January 2017. Selective Licensing applies to only 5 wards in the borough – 2 in Acton and 3 in Southall. The wards in Southall are Southall Broadway and Southall Greens.
The Mandatory or additional licence costs £1,100 for each HMO. The Selective licence costs £500.
Is Ealing Council introducing Selective Licensing, which applies to ALL rented properties in the selected wards, to make a profit? The answer was no. The £1100 annual charge will cover the start-up and the running costs of the scheme. The project currently has 20 field officers and 25 admin officers and more are being recruited. The annual charge also covers the court enforcement costs. The 5 wards were selected because they met the criteria for Selective Licensing.
Some people were not happy about the scheme and the way it was introduced. One resident said “Please don’t use Southall as a cash cow”. While another thought the scheme was long overdue.
Some people may be unhappy about it but tenants are being exploited and living in dangerous conditions. The schemes purpose is to improve the condition of the tenanted properties.
Sgt Petty said we need “to bring up the standard of living up for everyone” and without “your support we can’t solve the problems.” The Police have a new improved website with a lot of useful information. You can use it; report anything, a way of getting in touch with us, lots of stats, crime and crime prevention information. In the past residents were not providing good information to the Police but this is improving.
Why were the Police issuing parking tickets during the Vaisakhi procession day on Sunday? Sgt Petty’s response was because they would be causing an obstruction to the procession and residents would not be able to park, so enforcement is necessary.
A £300 wheelchair was stolen while a patient was collecting a prescription within 10 minutes. After reporting the incident by calling 101, there was no 24 hour call back. The resident just got a standard letter 9 days later. “Why do we to report it?” when you get this sort of response.
Streets & Rubbish
Shared alleyways are not council responsibility (even if people use it as a rubbish tip). Ealing Council and its Councillors are unwilling to get involved. Sort it out yourself is their advice.
Even big bullies listen to a small man/woman in uniform (of authority). Our Councillors are unwilling to step forward and represent us by standing up for what is RIGHT (not just legal).
One disgusted resident showed pictures of the amount of rubbish on his street on a single day. It was covered in fly-tips, litter, mattresses and drinks cans/bottles. That is not an isolated incident. It is a common occurrence in many streets in Southall.
Another resident reported her recycling bin being stolen 3 months ago. Nothing been done so far after repeated calls. Resident is only getting reference numbers instead of a bin.
There is so much rubbish on the pavements near Chana Chemist on St Joseph’s Drive that an elderly resident was forced to walk on the road. She slipped and ended up in hospital. There are nappies and mattresses on the pavements. “It is disgusting. Never seen that in my 40 years in Southall”.
An old lady, on St Joseph’s Drive, reported a mattress in front of her house. For 5 weeks the Council did nothing. “We are all human beings. We need to be looked after.”
At the last meeting Councillor Nagpal said that the new rubbish collection “does work. There are always teething problems” but the residents strongly disagreed. 9 months later, the teething problems are only getting worse.
The parking bays in front of the AbuBakr mosque on The Broadway are dangerous. Cars coming from West End Road and turning onto The Broadway can’t see any traffic coming from the right. This will cause a major accident.
A consultation was held to see if residents wanted a CPZ (Controlled Parking Zone) around Stanley Road. Around 70% of those who responded were against it, so it is unlikely to go ahead. All of the responses have not been analysed.
One resident said that he “can’t get through to the Councillors (via Telephone). I then emailed ALL of them.” Did he get any response? No.
Herbert Road Car Park
At the last meeting almost 9 months ago, residents of Orchard Avenue were waiting 20-25 minutes to get out of Herbert Road, due to Herbert road car park queues. On Saturday, it is still taking 1 hour for traffic to reach the other end of Herbert road. Emergency vehicles are unable to enter the road. Car traffic should be flowing the other way round.
Safer Southall Conversation
The Safer Southall Conversation will take place on Thursday 27th April at Villiers High School from 6.30 - 8.30 pm. A really important meeting arranged by Ealing Council and the Met Police to give residents and groups the opportunity to share their views and experiences of crime and anti-social behaviour locally.
Crime and ASB levels in Southall are high on most residents lists of priority issues and this is a valuable chance to look at those issues and hopefully identify joint solutions.
Southall Town Hall
Southall Town hall is a 127 year old listed building that Ealing Council is planning to sell, like ALL other Southall assets in the past. Janpal Basran, of the Southall Community Alliance, asked for the support of local councillors to keep it open for the local community. Not all councillors are interested in Southall’s heritage. They would only be too happy to sell everything. As the majority of tenants are private businesses, what is all the fuss about?
These private tenants (on the top floor) are providing training and other services for the local community.
But it is running at a loss, so the council has no options but to sell. The running costs of the building are inflated because money is paid to council employees not based at the Southall Town hall. A ridiculous amount of money is spent on cleaning, presumably the Crown Jewels.
The shoddy picture is painted/created to justify the Councils decision.The impact on residents by The Southall Gasworks development (Southall Waterside) was also discussed at the Ward Forum and deserves a completely separate report – due soon.
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