Councillor Alexander Stafford’s campaign to protect Ealing businesses from rate rises

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Councillor Alexander Stafford, the Shadow Cabinet Member for Business, has launched a campaign to protect Ealing’s businesses from excessive business rate rises in 2017, with a meeting with Tony Devenish AM. The member of the Greater London Authority for West Central is a supporter of Ealing businesses, having recently addressed the Ealing Business Club where Councillor Stafford challenged him about the effects of the business rate rise on local businesses.

Ealing businesses will have an average 13% increase at the next valuation date of April 2017, which will have a significant impact on local businesses.

Councillor Stafford commented:

“I welcome the permanent increase to small business rate relief (SBBR) which takes 600,000 small companies out of the business rates system across the UK. This reduces the burden on the most vulnerable small businesses, who are currently disproportionately affected by the cost of business rates. However, many small businesses in Ealing are not able to access SBBR, due to rateable values being too high. A 13% increase would have a crippling effect on many small businesses and I will do everything I can to get a better deal for Ealing businesses.”

The FSB is calling on the Chancellor to create an increased inner and outer London SBBR threshold that reflects the specific problems faced by small businesses in the capital. In outer London (which includes Ealing) where rateable values have increased by a lower percentage, the FSB believes that the threshold for 100 per cent relief should be set at £15,000 tapering to £18,000. Councillor Stafford is meeting with the FSB in January to discuss their proposals and to fight for a better deal for the businesses of Ealing.

If you are a local business and wish to raise the issue of business rates in Ealing or want to know how they will affect you, please do get in touch.

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Councillor Alexander Stafford continues to fight against Longfield Avenue changes

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Councillor Alexander Stafford has been supporting residents against the Longfield Avenue changes. Following the introduction of charges on July 4th this year, Labour-run Ealing Council began to fine drivers for turning right into Longfield Avenue from Uxbridge Road, and left into Uxbridge Road from Longfield Avenue, claiming it would ease congestion and boost safety following a “number of accidents” at the junction. However, in the period July 4th to October 7th this year, a total of 4,650 motorists were given a Penalty Charge Notice for breaching the ban, on average 48 fines a day, rather than the originally estimated two fines a day. This has cost residents £229,684 so far.

Councillor Alexander Stafford commented:

“This exorbitant amount of money fined demonstrates that the changes to Longfield Avenue were made purely as a money-raising exercise. Time and time again the residents and motorists have been against these changes and it is a disgrace that the Council went ahead without any real consultation. If there were genuine concerns over safety, residents would have been fully consulted prior to any changes; however, this has not happened. The signage is wholly inadequate, and is clearly designed to catch people out. It is a phenomenal amount of money – up to a million pounds a year – and is a tax on motorists. It is astounding that it has raised this much money in such a short period of time.”

Councillor Alexander Stafford’s comments have been reported in the Daily MirrorEaling Gazette and Get West London.

Councillor Stafford supports the Royal British Legion

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The theme of this year’s Remembrance Day was Rethink Remembrance, recognising the sacrifices made not just by the Armed Forces of the past, but by today’s generation of service personnel too.

For many people, Remembrance Day is associated with the fallen of the First and Second World Wars. But this year, the Legion wanted to raise awareness of a new generation of veterans and Service personnel that need support. From Northern Ireland to Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan, the last few decades have seen service personnel face a myriad of dangers and threats, often resulting in casualties.

To help support these brave service people, Councillor Stafford volunteered with the Royal British Legion by selling poppies to raise funds for all their good work helping the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families all year round.

Councillor Alexander Stafford said:

“On this, the centenary of the the Battle of the Somme, it is now more important than ever to commemorate those who fought and died for us, protecting our liberties, our freedom and our way of life. The Poppy Appeal is one small way which we can all show our respect and appreciation for all those who made the ultimate sacrifice over the years as well as those that continue to protect and safeguard our freedoms.”

To make a donation, please visit the Royal British Legion.

Councillor Stafford comments on Halloween crime in Ealing

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Councillor for Ealing Broadway and Shadow Cabinet Member for Community, Alexander Stafford, responds to the Halloween attacks at the Ealing MacDonald‘s:

“I am appalled and saddened by this senseless violence last night in Ealing. Halloween is a time for children and communities to have fun together – but this horrific incident has shocked Ealing to it’s core. We are all praying for the speedy recovery of those injured and I am appealing for all witnesses to come forward, support the police and help take these knives off our streets before anyone else is harmed.”

Councillor Alexander Stafford is in regular contact with the police to ensure the safety of residents and businesses in Ealing. If you have any information about this crime please contact Ealing police or Crimestoppers anonymously.

Councillor Stafford’s comments have been reported in the Ealing Gazette, Get West London, Ealing TodayDaily Mail and the Evening Standard.

Ealing Gazette 04.11.16

Councillor Stafford’s suicide prevention campaign to be expanded

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Following recent successes for Councillor Alexander Stafford’s suicide prevention campaign, he has expanded the campaign to try and prevent suicides across UK railway hotspots.

As part of mental health week on the BBC, Cllr Stafford was interviewed on the BBC London 6.30 pm News, highlighting his wider suicide prevention campaign.

This suicide prevention campaign also featured in the Old Priorian Newsletter – the newsletter that goes to all those who attend St. Benedict’s School, in Ealing, which is within Ealing Broadway Ward.

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Suicide prevention campaign in the OPA newsletter

Welcome news for Councillor Stafford’s battle to preserve Ealing’s heritage

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There has been welcome news for the preservation of Ealing’s historical town centre. Councillor Alexander Stafford’s high-profile campaign has aided the decision on the 9-42 The Broadway site to be “called in” by the Secretary of State. This means that the plans are on hold until a fully independent public inquiry has taken place. The inquiry will commence on 9th May 2017 and could last up to 12 days.

The current plans involve the demolition of some of Ealing’s much-loved Victorian and Edwardian heritage and the inclusion of an 18 storey tower block looming over Haven Green.

This success, and Councillor Stafford interventions, have been reported in the Ealing Gazette. Responding to this promising news, Councillor Stafford commented:

“This is welcome news for all who value our history and heritage and for those who don’t want Ealing to be turned into an identikit town centre, with looming skyscrapers and no personality. We have not won yet, but this call-in has demonstrated the government’s willingness to listen to the people of Ealing, rather than the Labour-controlled council who care little about turning Ealing into a dystopian nightmare.

I will continue to play a full and active role in trying to stop these vandalistic measures that will denigrate our town centre. I encourage everyone to take part in the inquiry so that the voice and opinions of Ealing residents are fully heard. We cannot allow our history to be at the whim of the developer’s wrecking ball.”

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9-42 The Broadway to be called in by the Secretary of State

Councillor Stafford addresses Ealing school on Bolivian street children charity

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Following Councillor Stafford’s recent time spent with the Alalay Foundation in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where he learned about their work as well as helping out, he was invited to address a full school assembly at St. Benedict’s School, Ealing.

He addressed the morning meeting of all pupils and staff to explain about the work of the charity and lessons that can be learned from their good work. The Headmaster, Mr Cleugh, has also promised that in the new academic term, St. Benedict’s will support the Alalay Foundation as one of its annual charities.

Commenting on the address, Councillor Stafford said:

“It was a great privilege to address the whole school assembly at my old school to tell them about my experiences in Bolivia. After the talk I was approached by several students and teachers who were keen to find out more and get involved. I look forward to working with the school to help support the excellent work being done by the Alalay Foundation in Bolivia.”

The visit to Alalay was also covered in the Old Priorian Newsletter magazine:

Councillor Stafford in the OPA Magazine

Suicide prevention campaign making a real difference at Ealing Broadway Station

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Following on from the launch of the campaign to reduce suicides at Ealing Broadway Station, Councillor Alexander Stafford is pleased to report the introduction of retractable barriers has taken place, reducing access to some the fastest through platforms at the station. These will help to reduce accessibility at this suicide hotspot and potentially save lives.

These measures (pictured below) have garnered significantly support from Ealing residents and members of the public.

Councillor Stafford has received many letters of support from members of the community for these measures, including the below message from one witness to suicides at Ealing Broadway station:

“I witnessed the double suicide of the mother and daughter at Ealing, and I can honestly say that I have never quite recovered. It is a day I will never be able to forget.

To see that you have campaigned so hard for these improvements means a great deal to me, and I can only assume to many others as well…the retractable barrier that has been put in place, however, has put me at ease far more than I thought possible. I feel far safer and less anxious at the station than I have done in a year…these barriers are not only preventing suicide, but they are helping to prevent the effects that viewing such atrocities can have on those nearby, such as PTSD. I know my suffering has been in no way comparable to the families of those who have lost their lives, but I can only relate my own experience to you.  

Once again, thank you, Councillor Stafford. Your efforts and achievements are very much appreciated, and I wish you the best of luck continuing with your campaigns.” 

Councillor Stafford fights to preserve Ealing’s historic town hall

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Councillor Alexander Stafford is leading calls to keep Ealing Town Hall as a community asset. This follows the Labour-led Council agreeing to lease Ealing Town Hall – an Edwardian community asset originally paid for by public subscription – to a hotel group. His campaign has been featured on the front page of the Ealing Gazette.

The Town Hall has been an iconic building in the heart of Ealing for over a century and has been used for hundreds of thousands of weddings, community events and grand occasions. From bringing together the community for Royal weddings to during the First World War, when a tank was parked outside to promote voluntary contributions towards the war effort, the Town Hall has always been at the heart of Ealing. The new plans give Mastcraft the public building for a lease of 245 years.

Councillor Alexander Stafford comments:

“By effectively selling off this cultural icon, the council is tearing the heart and history out of Ealing. The council is betraying the generations that have known, lived and loved through the Town Hall in Ealing. It will no longer be the hub for community activities and events and will seriously damage the voluntary sector in Ealing, which relies on the facilities available here.  

I will do everything I can to make sure that this building is preserved for future generations and not merely turned into the haunt of a privileged few. The council clearly know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Ealing Gazettee

“Tearing the heart and history out of Ealing”

Councillor Alexander Stafford supports Ealing’s night-time economy

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Councillor Alexander Stafford, Shadow Cabinet Member for Business and Community, has been asked to support the development of Ealing’s night-time economy. The Ealing BID team has launched a steering group to aid Ealing Broadway and West Ealing’s night-time economy. Councillor Stafford has been asked to sit on it as the Councillor representative. Other representatives on the steering group are from the BID, Ealing Council, police, pubwatch and local businesses.

The group is aiming to get Ealing signed up to two schemes:

  • Best Bar None –  a National Award Scheme supported by the Home Office and aimed at promoting responsible management and operation of alcohol licensed premises, with the objective of getting at least 10 Ealing premises signed up to this in the first year. The scheme in Ealing will launch at the end of July and at the end of the first year there will be an awards ceremony for businesses who have taken part.
  • Purple Flag scheme – an accreditation process similar to the Green Flag award for parks and the Blue Flag for beaches. It leads to Purple Flag status for town and city centres that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy.

Councillor Alexander Stafford comments:

“I have been involved in the night-time economy for some time, including being on patrol with the Ealing Street Pastors, and therefore it is a privilege to be asked to sit on the steering committee. Ealing has a wonderfully  vibrant night-time economy with a good mix of bars, restaurants, pubs clubs and other activities. I am committed to boosting it further, making it a more diverse, accessible and inclusive part of people’s night-time plans. If you are a local business and would like to get involved with these schemes – or a resident who has an idea on how to improve our centres – please do get in contact, I’d love to hear your views.”