A PETITION has been launched to compel Ealing Council to embrace the Olympic spirit.

It was signed by disabled people and those working in sport in Ealing at a meeting convened to discuss the Paralympics with Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell MP.

The petition asks that: "The council implement a new action plan to ensure that the borough makes the most of all the opportunities the games present, and that local people are involved and benefiting from the games."

Organiser Dan Whittle said: "Every child in west London wants to be a gold medallist in 2012.

"Ealing needs to raise its voice if those children are to get the help they need.

"The support for my petition shows that west Londoners want to see action taken so that we don't miss out while other boroughs embrace the opportunities of 2012."

Those signed up to the petition include representatives from Ealing Southall and Middlesex Athletics Club, Ealing Mencap and Ealing Swimming Club.

Cllr Sonika Nirwal, leader of Ealing Council's Labour group backed the petition, saying: "I just think that we don't seem to be doing all that much as a borough about the Olympics - and that is a real shame.

"I really think we should be taking the initiative on this. Tessa Jowell said that local councils should be working with local voluntary groups to ensure that they get the most from the Olympics but I don't see the council doing anything. They are meant to be community leaders so why don't they lead on this matter?"

But Cllr Barbara Yerolemou, Conservative chief whip and cabinet spokesperson on Olympic matters, refuted the claims saying: "The Conservative administration is determined to ensure Ealing benefits from the Olympics and has been actively taking ideas and potential opportunities forward since we came to power.

"Cabinet members and officers are meeting with a variety of people and organisations to further progress Ealing's support and involvement in the lead up to the games.

"This administration has already extended the lease of the 50m Olympic size Gurnell swimming pool to 2017, which means it can be used as a training pool and we have a number of other facilities in our borough which can be offered as training venues.

"We should be able to build on the facilities of Perivale running track with its successful youth and paraplegic games programme as well as the myriad of other sporting clubs in the borough.

"I welcome any constructive suggestions on how the council and our borough can continue to try and ensure we make the most of the Olympics."

The Ealing Centre for Independent Living hosted the event on September 14 at which the Olympics minister spoke to around 50 Ealing residents.