THE past three weeks have brought me nothing but good news locally. I am beginning to believe what I read in the Daily Mail that Gordon Brown's elevation to PM really has ushered in a new golden age.

First, the election of Virendra Sharma as Southall's new MP, then the selection of Bassam Mahfouz to fight the new Ealing Central and Acton seat for Labour. And last week Transport for London's (TfL) decision to abandon the West London Tram.

Virendra has worked tirelessly as a local councillor and community activist for more than 30 years in Southall. He was pitted against a Tory opponent who had opportunist written all over him - who didn't in fact seem to know what party he supported.

His victory was therefore all the sweeter - and as a sprightly 60 year old he is likely to be around for a very long time.

So too is Bassam - who at 26 will be one of the youngest MPs if elected, as well as the first of Arab origin. But you wouldn't think Bassam was that age is you looked at his CV.

He is rooted in Ealing, won a council by-election and is already in the Labour shadow cabinet, chairs a school governing body and works for two of the most experienced - and demanding - MPs, Steve Pound and Karen Buck.

His Tory opponent must be pacing the halls of her Cirencester home with anxiety.

Both Virendra and Bassam were, like me, campaigners against the West London Tram. So we all took comfort last week from TfL's announcement that it was dead in its tracks. But actually the news is better than that.

I always believed the tram would never be built - the price was just too high and the route too impractical. What I feared is that when it went the money would go with it. But I am pleased to say that TfL has been mature about its climbdown and is pledged to invest smaller but more realistic sums in an improved bus network along the Uxbridge road.

This is good news for passengers as well as the residents and businesses who feared the disruption of the tram. Good news, in fact, all round.