On 30th January an historic meeting took place in West Ealing involving over 20 local residents’ and community groups from the Borough, all intent on working towards a more collaborative effort that would benefit the lives of Ealing’s residents and workers.

The result of this collective desire was the formulation of something called ‘Ealing Matters’, a concept that those involved hope can quickly gain traction so as to address the many issues that we all face, irrespective of our own particular areas and Wards.

Here we speak with Eric Leach, who has previously appeared on Exposure Box as a result of his tireless, wholehearted efforts to help the community. Eric chaired the meeting in question and is able to explain a bit more as to what ‘Ealing Matters’ actually is about and what this idea needs to become a reality.

Given that the idea is still in its infancy there is currently no website for it. However, those involved include (but are not limited to) members of the various local Forums (e.g. West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum, Central Acton Neighbourhood Forum, etc.), other neighbourhood group (e.g. Ealing Civic Society), and even members of local online groups (including Facebook groups such as West Ealing Neighbours and Northfields Friends).

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  • Dear Ealing Matters
    On East Acton Lane at the entry of the Goldsmith’s Estate stands an iconic landmark; the Goldsmiths Arms. For over 200-year’s a coaching inn or pub has welcomed residents and visitors and hosted many community activities, even including coroner’s inquests.
    This was a thriving pub with a turnover that reached £30,000 per week in the summer months. We were surprised when Greene King purchased the Flaming Grill chain in 2015 and then replaced competent and popular staff with people that appeared to not know what they were doing, service deteriorated and then 6-months ago they sold the pub to the highest bidder. We know that other breweries were interested but could not compete with the high price property developers were offering to pay.
    Sadly in September the Goldsmiths Arms closed its doors and is now boarded up. The community wants the pub to reopen. We miss having a local meeting space, a garden for our children to play and a wheelchair accessible function room. The level of development on this estate is unprecedented with our local population doubling in the next two years with the building of 700 new homes. The need for a community meeting space has never been greater. Ealing Borough Council has listed the pub as an Asset of Community Value and a grade 2 listed building, it stands in a conservation area and is protected in the Mayors draft plan for London.
    The developers are now opening consultation with the community. Their approach appears aggressive and we fear that if we do not oppose them the building will be demolished and replaced by yet another block of flats. It seems inevitable that such a high density of homes with no community facilities will increase levels of isolation and loneliness and impact negatively on health. We feel strongly about protecting community space for future generations.
    We write to ask if Ealing Matters could support the community to develop a feasibility study to explore our options and take action to re-open the Goldsmiths Arms as a thriving restaurant, function room and pub. If this is something you might consider can you advise on how we should proceed?
    Many thanks on behalf of the Goldsmiths Residents Association