Around Ealing February 2018 - Page 5

“Future Ealing has already started to bear fruit and begun to improve peoples’ lives as well as saving money. For example, the council has significantly reduced the number of children who are looked after by the council by carrying out intensive work with families to help them stay together – this improves children’s lives while saving millions of pounds. You can read about another example on page six of this magazine, about a scheme called Better Lives which personalises adult social care. “This is the type of smarter working that will help us find our best path through these intensely difficult times; we will increasingly be working ever more closely with residents, community groups and other organisations to get things done and make sure our borough remains a great place to live and work. PROJECTS TO IMPROVE BOROUGH “In addition, we will continue to secure investment in much-needed housing; and for other projects like the impressive new sports facilities being built at Gunnersbury Park and the restoration of its heritage features – which you can read more about on page 13. Likewise, there are ongoing heritage projects at Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing and Southall Manor House, the latter of which will transform the building into a training hub for local people and also a top dining destination; and there is also a football centre being developed at Rectory Park in Northolt with the Football Association and others.” Nine key aims for borough’s future Leader’s Notes In February councils across the country will be setting their budgets for the coming year –including making a decision on council tax rates. Seven years of austerity cuts are causing the UK real pain and mean further cuts here in Ealing are unavoidable. Yet demand for services, especially for social care, is increasing year-on-year and we cannot turn our backs on the most vulnerable members of our community. So, as well as making difficult decisions on where the council can make savings, we have set ourselves an ambitious challenge to review services and find ways to improve them with less money; be creative and innovate – including harnessing digital technology. We have also been working to grow our way out of austerity. Our regeneration projects have helped secure transport improvements and more decent and affordable homes; and, by encouraging new businesses to locate to the borough, new jobs have been created and more income has been generated from business rates. Through careful financial management, we have tried to avoid placing too much of a burden on residents’ pockets and there has been a freeze on core council tax rates in Ealing for 10 years. I will be writing to you all in the coming weeks once a decision has been made by the council on whether that freeze can continue in 2018/19 or whether the pressures on our borough’s finances are too immense this year. I can tell you now, though, that councillors have agreed to increase council tax support for our poorest residents. If you are quick you can still sign the Save Our Hospitals campaign petition at before we take it to NHS decision-makers in February. I urge you to turn to pages 12-13 to find out why you should do, if you have not already done so. We will also be holding a public event on 15 February at The Dominion Centre in Southall to state our case further – see around ealing