Five would traditionally have been a good turn-out for the Addison Ward Panel meeting, held every quarter.
But last Wednesday, about 30 neighbours packed into a small room at Addison Primary School to meet with Sergeant Shane Joshua, in charge of the ward's policing.
The majority of them had been stirred into attending for one reason – a murder on their doorstep. Just two days previously, a 27-year-old man, Randy Osei-Boateng, had been gunned down in Lakeside Road. The shooting happened in broad daylight, a matter of yards from where they were now gathered.
Some had stumbled across the shocking aftermath – the haunting screams of the victim's girlfriend, the paramedics frantically searching for signs of life.
I had expected the mood to be sombre and fearful, and probably angry. How had a killing happened in their enclave, one of the smarter areas of Shepherd's Bush? How had the police allowed it to happen?
I was worried for the kindly-looking Sergeant Joshua, and he seemed nervous too. But instead of accusations and recriminations I found something completely different: A steely resolve.
A resolve to rekindle the community spirit that has been be sucked away by the maelstrom of modern London living. A resolve to talk and look out for each other.
A resolve to work more closely with Sergeant Joshua to help stamp out the petty crime and drug dealing which has been creeping up over a number of a years.
A resolve to make things better.
The words early in the meeting of 83-year-old Bob Armit, who has lived in Lakeside Gardens nearly all his life, seemed to act as a catalyst.
"The biggest problem is people themselves – they don't want to get involved. I think they are scared to. We had a tenants association for many years but it frittered away. They don't want to know – but when something dreadful like this happens, they moan."
A flurry of ideas followed: A new community website, street parties, leaflets to encourage better attendance at panel meetings, the reintroduction of police street briefings. All were welcomed.
The pledges were made, and then came defiance. The issue of colour was debated hotly on W12 community forums in the days after the killing, with some suggesting Shepherd's Bush is becoming increasingly racially divided.
Black teenagers are said to feel marginalised by white middle-class residents, who are accused of acknowledging their presence only when reporting them to police.
The Addison panel meeting was implicated in the discussions, thought to be too stuffy and unwelcoming for young black people.
While the majority at the meeting were white and undoubtedly middle-class, the three black people there didn't recognise the description and rejected unequivocally that racism in the area has become rife.
"Not once have my kids and I come across racism," said Pauline Milnes, a black woman who worked at the Masbro Centre for nearly 20 years. "My children have grown up with white kids, they've played together, gone out together. From the bottom of my heart I can honestly say I don't see racism here and I don't see an area that's divided.
"A lot of what has been said by black kids on the blog sites I believe is down to peer pressure and posturing."
Sergeant Joshua, also black, acknowledged that maybe 'the two-sides sometimes misunderstand each other', but didn't believe the area was racially divided.
"From what I can see people do get on with each other. As an SNT what we want to do is definitely encourage people from all backgrounds to come along to these meetings.
"The people at this meeting are all very nice, I don't think it's stuffy."
James Johnstone, an Addison Primary School governor, was especially surprised at some of the forum comments, as he has launched a drive to make the meeting more representative of the community.
"Not only have numbers been creeping up, but there are definitely more black and ethnic people coming. Where once it was all-white, tonight in here we've got Indians and black people.
"We definitely want to see even greater representation but it's not just in terms of colour, there needs to be more young people, some shopkeepers, religious groups. "There is definitely a drive to make that happen."
Of course, none of this can bring back Randy Osei-Boateng. But what his horrible death seems to have done is fostered a sense of community the area hasn't seen in years.
And that, at least, gives some small glimmer of hope.