I’ve just read a letter about ‘who should stop pathway cyclists?’ in your letters page; this is in answer to a letter from Margaret Porter.

The writer talks about asking a policeman why he didn’t stop a cyclist who shot past the policeman and writer. May I suggest to the writer and Margaret Porter that they contact the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

My sister walks a great deal and is fed up with cyclists nearly knocking her out of their way; she informs me that they obviously feel they ‘have the right to ride on the pavements’ because Boris Johnson has said this is perfectly acceptable.

I’m a driver, and find cyclists a menace; when I am waiting at the traffic lights, cyclists seem to think they have the right to cycle past a red light with no consequence of what danger they are putting other drivers and pedestrians at.

Elizabeth Burke


by email

Shamed into an apology for slur?

Some time ago Ealing’s UKIP Councillor Benjamin Dennehy earned notoriety by attacking Southall. He claimed that crime was ‘endemic’ in the town and refused repeated calls to apologise for his slur.

Recently released official crime figures give the lie to Cllr Dennehy’s claim. These reveal that for the period June 2011-May 2013 the five Southall wards had, on average, a lower number of notifiable crimes per month than the average for the 23 wards which make up the Ealing borough.

But the real humiliation for Cllr Dennehy is that no fewer than two Southall wards (Dormers Wells and Lady Margaret) actually have a lower crime rate than the ward he represents on Ealing Council (Hanger Hill).

Will these facts shame Cllr Dennehy into an apology for his attack on Southall? I very much doubt it. People like that never let the facts get in the way of their prejudices.

Robin Taylor

Organising Secretary,

Middlesex Anti Racist Action.(MARA).

Rally round after vicious assault

I WAS horrified to hear of the vicious and unprovoked assault suffered by staff at Northfields Station and it is all the more distressing as this week I was praising the ‘open office door’ policy of the Northfields team to Mike Brown: the managing director of London Underground.

From the cheerful ‘thought for the day’ sign board to the willingness to help passengers with advice and assistance, as well as the welcome policy of keeping the office door open to reassure travellers, the staff at Northfields station are just marvellous and deserve our wholehearted support.

I hope that Gazette readers will do what they can to help the Transport Police collar the thugs guilty of this crime and also pause and have a word with Mark and his colleagues.

Now is the time to rally round those who have done so much for us.

I wish everyone a swift and full recovery as well as offering my deepest sympathy.

Steve Pound MP

by email

Clearing up detail on NHS proposals

There are a number of inaccuracies in Mr Leach’s recent letter (August 30) about local health proposals which I would like to correct.

As an Ealing GP I can say quite definitively that doctors from across north west London have been leading these improvements to health services for its residents for several years, and continue make sure residents get the improved care they deserve.

Public engagement has been a fundamental part of this process – we held three major public meetings before consultation began and then ran a 14 week public consultation from July to October 2012 during which time we attended over 200 meetings and met over 5,000 people at roadshows, hospital site events, meetings with community groups and events such as public debates.

It is also incorrect to suggest Ealing Hospital will soon close and be demolished. Whilst it is proposed that the A&E be moved, the majority of patients who currently attend Ealing hospital will still be able to do so. Some unused land may be offered for sale but the proceeds from this will go back into improvements to health services for local residents. Before we make any changes, we will improve care out-of-hospital and invest £190m, over the next three to five years, to enable more people to be treated closer to home.

The £83 million new hospital proposed represents a significant investment to improve the quality of care in the borough and is a result of the feedback we heard during the public consultation. This would provide a state-of-the-art health and social care hub that serves the needs of the local population. This built-for-purpose facility will include a 24/7 Urgent Care Centre which would be able to treat the majority of patients who currently seek emergency treatment at the hospital.

Dr Mark Spencer

Medical Director,
Shaping a Healthier Future

Marylebone Road, NW1 5JD

Vote makes many rents unaffordable

In regards to the historic vote that took place in City Hall last week, developers can now set ‘affordable’ rents at 80 per cent of the market rate.

I supported a motion to block the changes which would have caused the Mayor to rethink his London Plan – his planning strategy for the capital – but we were unable to secure the two-thirds majority needed. This will unfortunately lead to many new properties in London becoming totally unaffordable for people on low and modest incomes.

Numerous boroughs all across the capital of all political persuasions, including Ealing Council, are against these changes as they will have a significant impact on Londoners. Ealing Council believes that “it should be for the boroughs to determine local rent targets”.

Mr Johnson is ensuring the capital is for the rich only and he’s neglecting hard working Londoners. These plans are going to cause real hardships and drive up the benefits bill.

Maybe he should spend less time worrying about bankers and bonuses and stand up for the people he is supposed to be representing. Instead, he is forcing through his London Plan which will make the lives of Londoners even harder.

Dr Onkar Sahota

London Assembly Member for Ealing & Hillingdon