The Ealing Labour Party has launched preparations for pulling together its manifesto ahead of the 2018 local elections. To attend, please register below. Manifesto Coordinator Cllr Peter Mason outlines the future opportunities and challenges the borough faces:
Ever since being declared a turnpike by act of Parliament in 1715, the graveling of what is now the Uxbridge Road set Ealing off on a path that has transformed the seven towns that now comprise our Borough. Each and every transport infrastructure investment that followed has done the same.
The construction of the Grand Union Canal allowed for the industrialisation of rural Middlesex and further East at Old Oak Common. The construction of Brunel’s Great Western Railway viaduct through Hanwell and its stations along the route provided the impetus for the rapid construction of a new suburbia on the West side of the growing London metropolis.
The expansion of rail lines and their incorporation into their modern London Underground identities in the Piccadilly, District and Central lines would secure the growth of Greenford, Northolt and Perivale.
The arrival of Heathrow in the post-war era secured West London’s economy for a trajectory of growth. It ensured we have not faced much of the challenges as the deindustrialised communities to the East of London have experienced, and took an Olympic effort to turn around.
At the eve of the advent of Crossrail, and with High Speed Two edging closer to being realised, we stand at the edge of the next great change to our neighbourhoods. Within just one generation, our Borough will be radically different, just as it was radically different two hundred years ago from how it is today.
We now have to decide how we will grab the opportunity they could provide.
By contrast, the challenges families who have chosen to stay here, or arrived here to call it home are greater than they have ever been.
So much of the change Ealing has undergone manifests itself in roads and pavements, bricks and mortar. The impact of these changes is felt by people. There are and will continue to be consequences for the people who make up our communities.
Whilst our city grows, so does the cost of housing. Whilst unemployment shrinks, the income inequality gap is rapidly expanding. Whilst we live longer lives, we live more of those years in poor health that at any time in history.
How we harness the change that is about to happen to our Borough, for the benefit of the people we week to represent is the biggest and most fundamental question we need to answer.
What will Ealing look like in 2030? Will diversity of the people who comprise our Borough have a chance at a home they can afford to live in and call their own? Will they have a chance at a job that pays them enough to live in London, not just survive in London? Will they have comfort to know that they can enjoy a life of health and happiness for themselves, their family and their neighbourhood?
In the two terms the people of Ealing have entrusted us to run the Borough, we have built some solid foundations on which Ealing Labour’s administration of the Council is based. Prudent with our finances, securing major investment, freezing Council tax and growing business rates, we are slowly but surely growing ourselves out of government imposed austerity.
In the face of £180 million of cuts passed on to us from the Tories, we have made very tough decisions whilst maintaining the best of what we do. Our children’s’ centres are still open and our schools are good or outstanding. We are delivering major investments on time and on budget, and our efforts to regenerate our estates, rebuild Gurnell Leisure Centre and deliver Ealing’s cinema will stand the test of time. We continue the fight to protect Ealing Hospital and save our A&E.
From those foundations, over the coming months we will start the process of articulating what our vision for the future will be. We will draw up our answers to the question of how we will continue to shape our Borough for the better. In May 2018 we will take that vision to the people of Ealing and ask them to endorse it once again.
To reach that vision we need to begin the conversation. We will need the help of the collective experience, knowledge and ideas not only of Ealing’s elected representatives, but from across the diversity of our Party membership, and vitally, the public.
That process starts in November at Ealing Labour’s 2030 conference. Please join us and be part of shaping our collective vision for the Borough.
Cllr Peter Mason
Cabinet Member for Prosperity & Transformation and Manifesto Coordinator
The full programme and keynote speakers will be announced closer to the date. Please RSVP and save the date in your diaries now.