LOBBY YOUR COUNCILLORS and LOCAL MPs

We all must lobby our Councillors to insist Ealing Council puts together an overarching integrated development plan, that combines residential, retail, transport, infrastructure and community facilities for Ealing Town Centre. This will attract the right type of developer for our prime sites and ensure that the developments, as a whole, will provide the right mix of facilities that will make Ealing the centre of the community once again.

Please attend the Ward Forum Meetings and give your views. 

Please write to them - See their email addresses further down this page.

Many senior councillors continue to make statements in support of proposals to overdevelop the Arcadia and Dickens Yard sites.  They have also been dismissive of the residents who have expressed concern about aspects of the developers planning applications. The more the ward councillors are aware of their residents’ concerns, the easier it is for them to lobby the senior councillors. See the section titled 'Can your Councillors represent your views?' at the bottom of this page for more info.

Lobbying Councillors at Your Ward Forum

A good chance to put pressure on councillors about Arcadia, Dickens Yard and the town centre re-development generally will come with the first meetings of the new ward Fora, as they will be known.  The first set of dates for these has just been published, and the relevant ones for the centre of Ealing are below.
 
Anyone can attend any of these meetings, which are NOT restricted to residents in the ward concerned, despite what some councillors have been trying to suggest.  However you should be aware of the potential barriers. Here are some hints on how to overcome obstacles which may be put in your way.
 
Each Forum is controlled by the councillors for that ward, although in some cases (eg Hanger Hill) they may ask an independent person to chair the meetings.  They will be assisted by a Neighbourhood Project Officer (a Town Hall clerk), but formal minutes will be taken by the NPO only once a year, at the meeting (probably December) when decisions are taken about spending priorities for the following year. Otherwise the process is meant to be informal.  
 
The councillors have the power to refuse discussion of any item which they consider does not concern their immediate ward. Where your ward does not cover any part of the area designated as the Town Centre (see the list below), you could instead use the route of raising your question under the heading of the Local Development Framework,the umbrella document which governs the planning and development of the Borough for the next 12 - 15 years. 
Don’t be put off by being told you should have given notice.  No formal agendas have been issued for the first meetings anyway, and generally councillors are meant to encourage residents to raise issues under “other business”.  If you are not a ward resident, you could be asked to give advance notice and the councillors (at least where they are all from the same party) may refuse to let you raise the issue.  The best route is not to antagonise other members of the public, but to find a sympathetic actual resident beforehand to support you.
 
Some councillors may also say that the Forum should not be used to discuss large developments in the centre, as they are planning issues and this places constraints on them. The answer to this is that the code of conduct for members of the Planning Committee says that “if you are taking part in a decision on a planning matter [you] should not make up your mind how to vote prior to consideration of the matter by the Planning Committee and therefore you should not give any definitive commitment in advance of how you intend to vote.  This provision will not prohibit your ability as a ward member to represent the views of your constituents throughout the planning process, provided that you make it clear that those views are not necessarily your own.” [Our italics.] This means that you can argue that all councillors have a duty to listen to and represent the views of their voters, even if some cannot express a personal opinion.

 
Final details about the meetings should be published in “Around Ealing” by the start of next month.  Do go to yours!
 
WARD FORUM DETAILS
 

Final details about the meetings should be published regularly in “Around Ealing”   Do go to yours and make your thoughts known! 
  

The dates and times are also listed in full here:-https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/200916/ward_forums

COUNCILLOR E-MAIL ADDRESSES 

 You can find full details of your councillor here :- http://ealing.cmis.uk.com/ealing/Councillors.aspx
 
Can your Councillors represent your views?

A number of councillors appear to be unclear as to how they can and should respond to enquiries about planning matters from their residents.  Some appear to be attempting to exclude themselves from this dialogue with their electors.  You may find the following helpful if you encounter problems.
 
In December 2007, the full Council approved the following advice from the Council’s legal officers:

·                “The Code contains important guidance for all members of the Council not just those serving on the Planning Committee.”  (Introduction)

·                “If you are a member of the 
Planning Committee taking part in a decision on a planning matter you should not make up your mind how to vote prior to consideration of the matter by the Planning Committee and therefore you should not give any definitive commitment in advance of how you intend to vote.  This provision will not prohibit your ability as a ward member to represent the views of your constituents throughout the planning process, provided that you make it clear that those views are not necessarily your own.”  (paragraph 1) 


CONTACT YOUR MP

Don't know who your MP is?

Visit http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/ and simply put your area in the "Keyword" box - Ealing or  Hounslow. Their contact details including e-mail address can then be seen by clicking on their name.