TONY Purton is asking what I am going to do about Ealing Council overcharging residents of CPZs at least £1.5million a year (Letters, August 30).

He asks am I going to put my personal money where my political mouth is? The short answer is no, I haven’t got the money to fund a court action.

What I am trying to do is get a Conservative administration elected in the borough next May 22 to protect residents from the depredations of a Labour council. Our record in power was that we froze parking charges for four years, from 2006 to 2010. Labour’s record is that they have doubled CPZ permit charges and increased some visitors’ vouchers by 350 per cent.

Labour is overcharging to the tune of at least £1.5m, I estimate. A Conservative administration will pledge to bring CPZ income and expenditure into balance and will end Labour’s unfair stealth tax on residents.


Opposition spokesman, transport and environment

London Borough of Ealing

Divert HS2 funds not the Piccadilly

My heart bleeds for the poor burghers of Turnham Green, who are ‘only’ served by the District line for most of the time (Piccadilly blues at Turnham Green, Gazette, August 30).

Having to put up with the relatively spacious and comfortable Underground stock and having to walk several feet across a platform to change to the Piccadilly line must be such a bind.

Of course, those of us who live down the line from Acton Town have the luxury of being served by only the Piccadilly line all the time, with its compact tube stock with little headroom. We also particularly enjoy the trains being pretty well permanently packed with Heathrow travellers and their baggage. An additional stop at Turnham Green to extend our luxurious journey and increase the friendly ambience of sardine impersonation is just what we need.

The campaign for the extra stop smacks of the well-heeled, well-connected and articulate looking out for their own interests. Perhaps users of Chiswick Park, Stamford Brook and Ravenscourt Park would also like Piccadilly line trains to stop there.

Of course, internecine squabbling of this sort could be rendered unnecessary given sufficient investment in the Underground and other public transport, but there is not enough money for that. Unless, that is, the waste of funds which is HS2 was stopped in its (projected?) tracks and the cash used for urban transport improvements in London and other conurbations.

Graham Nelson

Whitehall Road, Hanwell

All that is lovely about Southall

Being a westernised Indian man, I never appreciated the unique ambience of Southall Broadway. I always sought to go to commercial shopping centres chasing after big brands. Now I am an architect student and I have begun to appreciate Southall’s individuality,

I am averse to mass produced products and I look for the unique shops that sell items that you can’t buy anywhere else, and was proud to be part of the Little India. I hoped we could become on par with the likes of Camden but I fear we are losing the message of our brand and moving backward.

I use to get my hair cut at overpriced salons like Toni & Guy and last week I returned to get a hair cut in a small shopping centre on Southall Broadway.

I’ve never known the name but it has been there for 30 years, run by two brothers.

I learned that they are being pushed out so the landlord can split the centre into smaller units, similar to what has happened to the old cinema in South Road because it’s most profitable, in the short term.

Pound stores and cheap clones filled with cheap mass-produced consumables is not what we want our high street to be filled with.

It’s nice to see Quality Foods expanding, loosening the grip of Tesco and Sainsbury’s, and Ealing council’s plans to make Southall Broadway more pedestrian friendly are welcome but I’ve seen this before and it doesn’t make enough of an impact.

What’s missing is the social aspect, marketing that brings people here to buy our special products and services. The future of our shops doesn’t lie in selling to other Indians any more; it’s about selling to the people who want to experience something new and desirable.

Will Southall Broadway become just another high street? If so then why come to Southall? It’s our culture that makes us stand out from the other high streets.

India’s economy is booming and there’s no reason why Southall can’t follow – Little India can offer more than luxury jewellers, saree stores and restaurants.

Gurpal Singh Kular

by email

The benefits of skimpy cossies

RE: Note to Self with Rachel Agnew (Gazette, August 30)

Swimwear is not always about providing a peep show for voyeurs, advertising a product or stirring inaccessible lust. It’s about the sun feeling good on one’s skin, regardless of age.

So, quit perving, lady, and enjoy.

Elizabeth Gowans

by email

Dangers from lack of training

REGARDING the refusal of a judicial review of A&E closures in north-west London.

Dr Spencer considers the judge’s refusal of a judicial review a sensible decision, allegedly. The closure of Ealing Hospital A&E (the borough has a population similar to Iceland), will mean that there will be no acute services for children.

Dr Spencer has stated on numerous occasions that the A&E closures, combined with health care facilities devolved to general practitioners, will improve health care. Currently our UK childhood mortality and morbidity compares badly with Scandinavian countries. This is attributed to inadequate paediatric training of GPs, and extending GP training was recommended but not implemented as it was deemed to be too expensive.

If we are to avoid an increasing childhood mortality and morbidity, GPs should be urgently offered further training in the care of children. Nowhere in the consultation was this problem identified. It is imperative that devolution of care from hospital to community is in place before the closures are implemented.

My recent experience of arm and leg fractures not requiring acute hospitalisation demonstrated only too clearly that community care currently is non-existent. I was offered no support from Hillcrest surgery.

Clara Lowy

Rosemont Road, Acton