West Ealing Towers
There is a continuing property gold rush throughout Ealing partly driven by the prospect of the Cross-rail/Elizabeth Line being eventually completed and fully operational. Around West Ealing Station ‘modest’ residential tower blocks sprung up in 2007 and 2008. But now 25 and 26 storeys neighbouring, residential towers are threatened. This short video fills in some of the details and introduces the community’s vigorous response campaign – ‘Stop The Towers’. See www.stopthetowers.org for full details, news and how you can get involved.
Excellent presentation, Dear Eric, and totally professional in style and content.
As for these faceless *profit-obsessed* Developers, they are on-a-winner, irrespective of whether those flats sell or not, since, if they don’t – as has happened routinely in the past – some gratuitously over-manned stupid bloody council, will buy them at a *lot* price, and then dish them out to newcomers to this country, who have yet to pay a penny-piece into the community-chest, or contribute anything else for that matter !
Currently Ealing Borough has unashamedly *admitted* to being £3M in the RED (yes, you did hear me right: three-million pounds in deficit), and I have to ask myself, is that because of senseless over-manning, and over-spending on Geo-Socio politically-partisan self-indulgence; albeit to the detriment and exclusion of any perhaps more-deserving *indigenous* Londoners, who currently are either *persona-non-grata* – where better housing is concerned – or simply *left-out-in-the-cold*; presumably, to get even-older and die in their by-now substandard, Jerry-Built accommodation, that truth be told isn’t fit to be used as cow-sheds !
Now most of the people who have to live in the above; nay, are condemned to live there, happen to be indigenous Londoners, whose lives are – however unfortunately – not distinguished by the fact they are aliens and never lived in this country before, and have never paid anything into making, building, and working in and for the country; let alone putting a uniform (and their lives-on-the-line), for, as most indigenous English people have done, on at least three or more occasions, over the last Century !
For the record, our Mock Gothic Victorian Town Hall is now up-for-grabs, to yet another set of , shall we call them *Self-Acquisitive Profit-Developers*, this stately edifice – that was bought-and-paid-for by public subscription – having been handed to these lurking-predators *on a plate*, pending transformation into an up-market Restaurant; albeit surrounded by (yes, you guessed it ) Luxury Apartments; the latter which – for the want of rich-buyers – will no doubt go the same *Primrose Way*, as routinely do, and did, the other luxury flats, to the former mud-hut dwellers, who now live in such luxury, complete with carpets, furniture and cookers provided, albeit to the total-exclusion and detriment of long-serving, fully paid-up local townsfolk who have lived here, and paid rate and taxes to support this borough, all their lives, and yet don’t get a look-in ?
As if this *wheeling-and-dealing* isn’t enough for the Profiteers, it might be worth taking a walk to view the charm and splendour of the fairly-recently-built Gurnell Swimming Pool, and the acres of undulating greensward around it, that surely qualifies it as one of London finest beauty-spots ?
Here, the game-plan is to demolish a perfectly-adequate, fully-functional, modern swimming pool and gymnasia, in favour of building a NEW ONE, if you please; the hidden extra being that the whole complex will be ringed by (yes, you guessed it), blocks of luxury apartments…and no prizes for guessing who those homes will go to, if they don’t attract big-spenders…as if we didn’t know !
One thing is sure, and it is that I won’t be allocated one; this even though I served for three years in the Royal Air Force – 60 years ago – working (in the Defence of this country), on the H-Bomb Testing Ground of RAF Christmas Island, and then – over a period spanning 30 years – served all over the world as a teeth-arms soldier, and military specialist; seeing my share of *active service* in more than five warlike campaigns for this country !
In addition, I happen to an Englishman, and a former standard-rate tax-payer, who, still working globally, as an actor, lives in a permanently-abused and partially-neglected Sheltered Housing complex; one which lacks a full-time warden, and is indignantly obliged to be (under protest), reluctant host to all the scroungers and petty-criminals in the area, who do everything under the sun that is patently-illegal; this not excluding this vulnerable people’s haven of rest being used by those who shouldn’t be there at all; who yet routinely use our washing machines and dryers into the bargain, perhaps, in the knowledge that they are already Ocean-going *losers* and therefore have nothing to lose by their brazen criminal conduct !
As for the high-rates in this Borough – and I refer specifically to retail shop-rates, where – because of they are so expensive, small traditional *small-shopkeepers of old* can’t afford to move into them – this could be corrected *at-a-stroke*, and simply by reducing manning-levels by 75 per cent at Ealing Borough, which currently is ludicrously over-manned, and particularly because most of the work-load of the incumbent workers has been off-loaded to outside contractors and a sundry self-employed, a-hem, practitioners, with the effect that we are now paying twice for the same operation, in every outside-deputed (more like *off-loaded*) department !
In 1955, Ealing Borough’s total manning amounted to the following: 1 x Borough Surveyor; 1 x Town Clerk; 1 x Parks Director; 1 x Head of Highways; 1 x Mayor’s Attendant, plus a handful of sundry clerks and shorthand-typists. and an RSPCA-inspector, who put-down your dog or cat when it was sick !
No small wonder then, that NOW – after aeons of rampant bureaucratic *Empire-Building* – they can’t all fit – amply – into the Public-Subscription funded Town Hall, whose fate, and change-of-use, is now in the balance ?
Now – thanks to a callosus of *Empire-Building* within – Ealing Borough has even out-stripped the recent designer-built Perceval House, so *the word on the block* suggests that they are going to demolish these very expensive *model* premises, and in its place, erect dare I suggest a Tower-of-Babel to accommodate possibly an ever-larger influx of the usual barely-fluent *otherwise-unemployable* economic migrants who are next to set-foot on our *bulging-at-the-seams*, job-less, sans-manufacturing-base – once-worth-fighting-for – former *Green-and-Pleasant-Land ?*
In 1955 – along with most other Boroughs, up-and-down the country – the total manning of each Bureaucracy was no more than one-hundred-personnel, maximum !
Today – in a *Lame Duck* age where a-hem *Carers* et al, are palpably *thrust* on unwitting elderly people – Ealing Borough’s establishment, along with all its ancillary *quangos*, is said to stand at somewhere around 3,000 bodies; these including effective and non-effective, depedent upon whether they are pregnant or not !
God-in-Heaven – do we *really* need that many unskilled-newcomers – and why-why-why are we employing them, when our skint-Borough can’t even afford to pay its accrued indebtedness, as it is ?