Seeking to realign budget to meet manifesto pledges
A significant programme of new spending is to be considered by the first meeting of the Ealing Council Cabinet after the election.
The proposals will be put to the meeting on Wednesday, 18 May as the Labour administration looks to make good on its manifesto pledges including paying the London Living Wage to care workers in the borough.
The party increased its majority on the council after the vote on Thursday, 5 May and now says it will implement a package of measures with £23 million over four years. The proposals will require a significant realignment of pre-existing spending plans and the leadership will be seeking approval of an initial allocation of funds before the schemes are fully-costed.
The proposals includes a staged increase in pay for homecare workers in the borough to achieve London Living Wage compliance which was a key demand of the Accessibility Assembly organised by Ealing Citizens and held just before the election with all the main party leaders in attendance including Labour's Peter Mason.
In addition the council wants to plant an extra 50,000 trees, doubling the number planted each year and increasing the proportion of the borough covered by tree canopy to 25%, increase the number of bike hangers to at least 150, reduce the cost of a bike hanger permit to no more than one sixth of the cost of an equivalent car parking permit and increase the number of electric charging points to at least 2,000.
In addition it is intended to expand the schools streets programmes to reach the council’s target of 50.
The council also plans to establish a civic leadership development programme for underrepresented communities and deliver a schools action plan to reduce the disproportionate exclusions from schools of Black Caribbean children and young people.
It also promises improved street lighting to enhance safety and the use of energy efficient technology on street lights to reduce costs.
An extensive Platinum Jubilee programme is being planned including Big Lunch, Proms in the Park, beacon lighting, and grants for nearly 150 street parties across the borough.
Councillor Peter Mason, leader of Ealing Council, said, “I am delighted that Ealing Labour have been re-elected to serve a historic fourth term, and humbled that I will be continuing to lead the administration.
“Working with residents and communities across our seven towns, we want to continue building an open, transparent, and inclusive council and start work immediately on what we know are your priorities as well as what you have told us needs to change for the better.
“Our three main priorities remain the same: creating good jobs, fighting inequality, and tackling the climate crisis. On Wednesday, our cabinet will be asked to set aside a package of £23 million in cash terms over four years to start immediate delivery on a range of important local projects. Many of these projects and commitments have emerged through our engagement with residents across Ealing carried out over the last few years.”
He added that details of how the election pledges would be implemented would be released over the coming weeks but that work on some measures has already started saying, “Others will require us to work together, in a new relationship with you. Where we work with you, so we understand what you think is best for you, where we understand and act to find new ways to serve your needs better. Where we build a good, vibrant, and rich community, where each and every one of us can feel proud to call our home.
“We did it during the pandemic, we’re going to do it during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and we’ll do it again as we build a successful and prosperous borough in the years ahead.”
Councillor Gary Malcolm, Liberal Democrat Opposition Leader, said, "Liberal Democrats agree that care workers who do so much good work in the borough she get paid fairly. The Council has been very much behind the times in terms of electric vehicle charging points and cycle hangers and it is good that they will be expanded across the borough. I notice there is no details about Ward Forums and they should be brought back so that local schemes such as charging points and cycle hangers can be implemented where residents need them. On street lighting the Liberal Democrats led the campaign over the last year and we need to see many more streets lighting improved especially from where lone residents are going home late at night from working outside Ealing. Again local councillors and Ward Forums can help identify locations for reversing the lighting dimming that Labour introduced in 2016."
Cabinet members will be asked to consider a budget amendment report that makes an advance commitment of funds allowing them to be realigned to move forward with these schemes whilst a long-term council plan is being costed and developed.
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May 12, 2022