The headline 'We must win the shoppers back' raised a groan in our house.
We live within a few minutes' walk of Ealing Broadway Centre, and have always bought everything we can locally, as much as possible in independent shops.
Almost all our fresh food shopping is done at the Farmers' Market in West Ealing, which is rapidly diminishing.
But where in Ealing Broadway itself can you ask a butcher to prepare meat for you? Or find fresh, unpackaged fish? How can you buy a washing machine, or a carpet, except from a catalogue?
If you're over 15 and want to buy good quality clothes there's one shop on The Green; otherwise it's the usual chain stores. Westfield has them bigger and better. Central Ealing has no community leisure facilities, no arts centre, an appalling station and not even a cinema now.
It's fine if you want to buy cheap teen accessories, or trainers, or mobile phones, or get drunk, but for anything else you have to leave the centre. And once you're on the bus or in the car it's as easy to go to Richmond or Chiswick or Westfield as to stay within the borough of Ealing - and a lot more pleasant when you get there.
Successive councils of both political colours have sold out to the developers. The latest of these deals, the Arcadia site, could have been specifically designed to kill Ealing's centre for good.
With Glenkerrin announcing that it doesn't even plan to begin building the potential slums for which our council has given them permission for three years, the whole site will be under planning blight.
No existing retailer will want to renew a lease; no quality retailer will want to take one on. The rash of pound shops, charity stores and gaming arcades will spread. And what does the council propose to do about it? Free weekend parking in January. That should do the trick. The incompetence of both the elected councillors on the planning committee and the council's planning officers is staggering, as anyone who was present at the last public meeting on the Arcadia Centre will testify.
By pandering to greedy developers they have condemned both residents and businesses to years of deterioration, with only a promise of tomorrow's slums at the end. There is an alternative; Save Ealing's Centre has produced well thought-out plans for the integrated redevelopment of Ealing's centre. But will the council listen?
We'd love to shop in Ealing. Just give us the chance.