21 Southfield Residents Turn Up for Virtual Ward Forum

Issues raised include rubbish collection, food parcels and coronavirus

Councillor Gary Malcolm taking part in the Virtual Southfield Ward forum


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The first virtual ward forum meeting to be held in the borough of Ealing took place this month.

The scheduled meeting for Southfield ward was due to take place on 1 April but had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Southfield ward covers the northern part of Chiswick which is part of Ealing borough as well as some streets in Acton.

Local Liberal Democrat councillors decided to hold the meeting on Wednesday 22 April using Zoom conference software. Twenty-one residents took part.

Issues raised included the coronavirus itself, food parcels for the vulnerable, recycling, rubbish collection, planning, air quality, trees and electric vehicle charging points. There were a total of 17 questions that residents sent in advance which meant they could all be answered during the meeting.

Southfield Councillor Gary Malcolm said, "When we heard that the face to face Southfield Ward meeting was cancelled on 1 April we quickly scheduled a virtual equivalent meeting. It was a great turnout given the short notice. Just because we are in lockdown doesn’t mean democracy has to stop. Scrutiny by residents is even more important in this period.”

Southfield Ward Forum Chair, Councillor Gary Busuttil said, "There were so many questions that residents asked in advance and the feedback from residents who attended was very positive. Liberal Democrats commit to running some virtual meetings even after the Coronavirus lockdown is reversed as some people said they would not be able to attend face to face ward meetings because of child or family responsibilities."

Before the Coronavirus outbreak Liberal Democrats managed to get the Council to make a U-turn to allow ward forums to carry on for a year. Ealing Council plans to run a number of virtual meetings over the next couple of months but it shows that there is demand for virtual meetings.


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April 27, 2020

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