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12:38pm Tuesday 11th November 2008
What’s happening to housing in Ealing and Acton? Like the rest of the country, house prices have been falling, which is a mixed blessing, depending on whether you are trying to get in or out of the market. But given the credit squeeze and the fact that prices are only back to December 2006 levels, there is, in practice, little opportunity for those on low or average incomes to buy. Which makes the subsidised housing market more important in west London than almost anywhere else in the country. Yet the Mayor, council and some housing associations are doing little to help families or single people.
12:37pm Tuesday 11th November 2008
Since I last wrote this column the financial crisis has certainly got worse, with HBOS taken over by LloydsTSB and Bradford & Bingley nationalised and large fluctuations on the world’s stock markets almost a daily occurrence.
12:35pm Tuesday 11th November 2008
I thought that I’d reached that stage in life where absolutely nothing had the capacity to amaze me any more when I walked into a fairly typical Ealing home to find a 40-piece philharmonic orchestra, a former England football manager and an eager crowd awaiting the first note of what was billed as The Last Night of the Waldeck Proms.
10:23am Thursday 18th September 2008
10:21am Thursday 18th September 2008
10:19am Thursday 18th September 2008
10:50am Thursday 14th August 2008
10:48am Thursday 14th August 2008
10:47am Thursday 14th August 2008
If the utility providers were still public companies – like British Gas, the London Electricity Board and the Water Board were – then central government could control price rises with a stroke of a pen.
3:34pm Friday 18th July 2008
All three town centres in my constituency have been causing controversy this month. The biggest fuss - appropriately - is over Shepherd's Bush where the giant Westfield shopping centre is due to open in November.
3:32pm Friday 18th July 2008
Knife crime, especially amongst young people, is at the top of the country's political agenda and, sadly, it has blighted our own local area. Only this week a 16-year-old was in court for possession of a knife in Greenford and during the past year there have been tragic deaths of two young men in West Ealing and Windmill Park. Suggestions as to how we tackle this problem are coming thick and fast and talk shows and the tabloids are in overdrive.
3:28pm Friday 18th July 2008
My parents' first son was born and died in 1946, their second in 1947 and I was born with the NHS in July 1948. Sometimes we take this amazing institution for granted but, to many people, the NHS was - and is - the difference between life and death.
11:10am Thursday 5th June 2008
11:04am Thursday 5th June 2008
During the past month the world has witnessed two terrible natural disasters, the earthquake in Sichuan Province, China, and Cyclone Nargis in Burma. The response of the two affected countries' governments has been a marked contrast.
11:02am Thursday 5th June 2008
9:41am Friday 9th May 2008
9:32am Friday 9th May 2008
Conservative Ealing Council is pressing ahead with a grants commissioning process that will halt council funding to Southall Black Sisters (SBS). This is a serious mistake by the council, as by its own admission, it will have an adverse impact on the services provided to black and minority ethnic women in the borough suffering from domestic violence. It could also lead to the closure of this internationally renowned organisation that has been at the forefront of helping some of the most marginalised women take control of their lives when they have been blighted by domestic violence.
9:26am Friday 9th May 2008
I've become obsessive about the legalised highway robbery that allows clamping companies to immobilise vehicles and cart them off to some farm deep in the countryside where they are held to ransom just for the crime of parking for a few moments on private land.
10:37am Thursday 10th April 2008
Ealing Centre for Independent Living (ECIL) is a local charity with national ambitions. Under the dynamic leadership of Sian Vasey, it provides both a voice and a wide range of services for disabled people living in the borough.
10:32am Thursday 10th April 2008
10:29am Thursday 10th April 2008
I'm naturally inclined to support the police when they ask for a change in the law to enable them to do their job, but I have to admit to some pretty serious doubts about the proposal to increase the period in which a terrorist suspect can be held without charge from 28 days to 42.
10:19am Thursday 6th March 2008
10:18am Thursday 6th March 2008
THE Post Office's proposals to close eight branches in the borough and 169 across London has prompted fierce opposition from local people and elected representatives, including myself and other local MPs, the Mayor of London and local councillors.
10:19am Friday 8th February 2008
LAST Sunday was Holocaust Memorial Day. January 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and was chosen as the most symbolic day to remember the worst crimes against humanity in our recent history.
10:16am Friday 8th February 2008
THE time for local people to make their views known to the Government about proposals to expand Heathrow Airport with a third runway and sixth terminal is running out. The consultation ends on February 27.
10:04am Friday 8th February 2008
2:13pm Thursday 10th January 2008
ACTON, I was once told, holds the record for the number of stations with the same place name - and once you begin to add them up it rings true: whether on the mainline, north London line, Piccadilly or Central, there are indeed many variations.
2:08pm Thursday 10th January 2008
THERE'S scarcely a day that passes without my giving thanks to a merciful and benevolent God for arranging for the two most contentious issues in the past five years of Ealing's life to have been planned outside the constituency of Ealing North.
2:41pm Thursday 6th December 2007
2:39pm Thursday 6th December 2007
2:35pm Thursday 6th December 2007
6:14pm Monday 12th November 2007
Gordon Brown's first Queen's Speech as Prime Minister set out a substantial and in some cases controversial programme of 28 Bills and draft Bills for the next Parliamentary year. I am particularly pleased that there are measures on the improvement of public services and on social policy that will directly benefit many people in this borough.
6:12pm Monday 12th November 2007
WHEN Parliament returned after the summer recess in early October I decided to take the plunge and give my maiden speech on what was only my fifth day in the House of Commons. It was a nerve-racking experience but one that I did genuinely enjoy.
6:10pm Monday 12th November 2007
THIS year Remembrance Sunday was actually on November 11. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month was marked, as usual, by a wreath laying and ceremony at the Greenford War Memorial and, if the past years are a guide, the parade organised by the Greenford Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) was even bigger and the best yet.
5:11pm Friday 5th October 2007
5:09pm Friday 5th October 2007
5:03pm Friday 5th October 2007
11:38am Friday 7th September 2007
11:31am Friday 7th September 2007
11:28am Friday 7th September 2007
10:39am Monday 13th August 2007
10:38am Monday 13th August 2007
I WOULD like to say a very big thank you to everyone associated with the recent Parliamentary By-election in Ealing and Southall. To my fellow candidates, to the police and Town Hall election staff, to all those who made the effort to vote, especially those who voted for me as the Labour candidate and to everyone involved in my campaign. Thank you again.
10:29am Monday 13th August 2007
THAT great philosopher - and promotion-winning manager of Fulham - Mickey Adams was fond of saying that failing to prepare means preparing to fail and I've been using a little of the quieter time in Westminster this week to look at the work we'll have to be doing in the new session of Parliament in the autumn.
1:55pm Friday 6th July 2007
1:46pm Friday 6th July 2007