Ealing specialists will be no strangers to the row over the moving and refurbishment of a selection of 100 year old lamp posts in Hanwell. It’s been all over the Ealing Times for weeks.
Essentially, Ealing Council wants to remove a number of antique lamp posts, as they don’t light the street they are on to present British Standards. The row has sprung up, ironically, because they won’t be scrapped.
As Councillor Jason Stacey, leader of the council, says: "Overreaction is the theme of this whole thing. The problem is most of the lamps are not fit for purpose as they are unservicable.They have got to come out, there is no way we can leave them in and bring them up to standard. The initial lot were taken out years ago and either discarded or sold. It is only since I got involved we have looked into saving them."
So, they are to be refurbished, and put back on the street – just a different street, one in Hanwells new ‘Heritage Quarter’ where they can light the streets to British Standards, hence the row. It may seem odd, but in fact it’s sensible that different lamps with different levels of light are required on different streets – what’s perfectly suitable for a narrow, quiet side road may be inadequate for a wide, busy road.
The Heritage Quarter itself has a multi-million pound investment planned, now just opening for consultation. The £2.8million investment includes for improvements to Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, and £300,000 for Walpole and Lammas parks.
The story thread on the Ealing Times site has attracted over 40 comments, which in local press terms is a major torrent of opinion. It also caused noisy scenes at a Council meeting yesterday when around fifty angry protesters attended.
Watch this space, this story could run as long as an energy saving lightbulb, or until someone understands this is regulation driven, rather than by a desire to add somewhere else’s heritage to Ealing’s Heritage Quarter.