In response to the letter ‘Hotel developer jumped the gun’ (Ealing Gazette, June 14), while the developer has been quick off the mark, the fact is that the application for a new hotel on the corner of Melbourne Avenue and Uxbridge Road has been approved by the planning committee on May 15.
Furthermore, the proposed change of use to turn part of the ground floor shop into a betting shop also mentioned in this letter was passed by the planning committee on September 26 last year.
If I recall correctly, I was the only member of the committee that voted to refuse that particular application.
I argued that the loss of retail space on the high street should be sufficient grounds for refusal, given that there are already three betting shops in close proximity.
However, unfortunately, the other members of the committee overwhelmingly voted to support the officers’ recommendation and resolved to grant the application.
Cllr Nigel Bakhai
Lib Dem, Elthorne ward
Architects’ putting town into boxes
Readers of the Gazette might recall how I slated the new architectural design of the development which is intended to replace the demolished Red Lion public house in the middle of Greenford Town some weeks ago.
I was hoping that this area of human endeavour would improve but, lo and behold, it has suddenly got worse!
I would like your readers to look and see the new William Perkin High School, which is being built on the boundaries of Oldfield Lane North and the Western Avenue, in Greenford, and on the ‘old’ Glaxo Sports Ground site.
How can any person design such a hideous and ugly building?
This development looks terrible and is just a number of boxes with holes – again! In my view, this school building looks ugly and utilitarian.
Why is the council allowing such horrible buildings to be built in Greenford?
As far as Greenford building architectural design is concerned, it’s a race to the bottom which will make the environment here more brutal and ugly for all us residents.
I can recall a saying that ‘industry without art is brutality’. These two buildings are cases in point.
Welfare system needs to work
The issue of welfare reform is hugely important to many people.
Just last week the Evening Standard published a report by the respected polling company Opinion Matters that shows 87 per cent of Londoners are in favour of limiting overall welfare payments.
Londoners support the government’s introduction of a benefit cap and many believe it should be even lower than the current £26,000 a year figure.
Time and time again people on the door steps tell me that the whole benefits system is unfair.
A staggering £1.5billion is paid out in welfare benefits in Ealing alone and Labour have consistently opposed these changes.
This is why the Conservative opposition on Ealing Council raised this as our key motion for debate at last week’s full council meeting.
Finding employment means that households can avoid the benefit cap.
For those working 16 hours a week, or 24 hours for a couple household, then the cap is lifted.
For the first time, instead of simply handing out the benefits, officers at Ealing Council are now working hand-in-hand with Jobcentre Plus and other agencies to encourage people back into work.
There is advice available and those who are concerned are encouraged to seek that advice.
Meanwhile, this is a fundamental shift to encourage people to move off benefits and into work.
Councillor David Millican
Conservative Group Leader
Ealing Town Hall
City to coast is the Place2Be
With the summer months upon us, there could be no better time to get on your bike to join me in supporting children’s charity Place2Be!
The charity is calling on people across the UK to gear up for the London to Brighton Cycle challenge on Sunday, September 8, to raise funds to help transform children’s lives.
The challenge will see thousands of cyclists put their pedal power to the test for a 54-mile scenic ride from city to coast.
Setting off from Clapham Common, the route passes through Mitcham, Carshalton, Chipstead, Banstead and Haywards Heath, finishing on the sunny Brighton seafront.
So why am I asking you to take part?
Because beyond this being a fantastic chance to get fit and enjoy the cycle ride of your life, I know just how crucial the work Place2Be does with children is and the difference that your support will make.
While some of us are fortunate enough to recall happy childhoods, this is not the case for all.
Childhood can be a difficult, challenging time and I firmly believe that children need to have someone they can talk to, who will listen, when they need it.
Place2Be provides just that.
Working in schools across the UK, the charity supports children to cope with all sorts of issues including bullying, bereavement, family breakdown, domestic violence, neglect and trauma, helping them to grow up healthy, confident and resilient.
You can help them to continue to do this.
Registering could not be easier – call 0207 923 5553 or visit www.place2be.org.uk/support-us/fundraise/up-for-a-challenge/bike/london-to-brighton-cycle-ride,-sept-2013/
There is a £35 registration fee and a minimum sponsorship target of £100.
But you are not alone – Place2Be’s fabulous fundraising team will help you with fundraising and training tips and support you along the way!
So please, gear up for this cycle challenge today and help Place2Be to give more children the brighter futures that they deserve.
Craig MacLean MBE
Olympic and Paralympic medallist