On March 21st, Southall Manor House grounds played host to a kids fun day aimed at celebrating different reasons to love Southall.
Guided by our colourful stilt walker and the Mayor of Ealing, pupils from Clifton Primary and St. Anselm’s Primary were brought on a procession through the park.
At the first stop, the pupils were shown the amazing Pala Period figurines, which are perfect replicas of the originals which were set into the back of the Manor House until 2009 when they were removed to protect them from further damage.
It was suggested that someone associated with Southall Manor House might have acquired them in India when serving either as a missionary or a soldier. The originals are to be displayed on a temporary basis in Gunnersbury Museum with the replicas forming part of the refurbishment of the Manor House.
At the second stop, the pupils from Clifton Primary School showed the fruits of their ‘We Love Southall’ project, which included a series of photographs taken of things they loved about Southall, and some they didn’t! These ideas were then shaped into a piece of artwork which were displayed in the park during the day.
At our third stop, it was over to the pupils from St. Anselm’s Primary, who had worked together with a local charity, Mael Gael, to create decorative mosaics depicting the old aviary at Southall Manor House Grounds. Community arts group Art4space worked with pupils from St Anselm’s RC Primary School, the Mael Gael Elderly Group, the Dormers Wells Nursery and the Dominion Arts Centre to make hundreds of ceramic birds, leaves and flowers for the mosaics. The seven brightly coloured panels will be installed this spring onto the newly repaired wall where the old aviary once stood.
The day wrapped up with a series of fun activities ranging from jewellery making to learning about horticulture, a mini-olympics and speaking to the Police about what their job is really like!
We came across this beautifully illustrated map of Southall designed by James Merry …
Community Channel TV present their take on the Southall Big Picnic – a community event ran last September by Jamilla Sarwar for organising the event. Our thanks to Jamilla for all her hard work on the day and for being one of Southall’s greatest supporters!
At a recent meeting of the Council, a series of improvements to a number of shopping parades was agreed. This includes the Western Road parade, from the corner of Featherstone Road and also 177-203 Lady Margaret Road. You can find out more about this announcement here.
An example of Ealing’s parade improvements
Southall was recently included in the Guardian’s architecture and design blog, as one of a series of neighbourhoods which will take part in the Architecture Foundation’s “open office” initiative, in association with a young architecture practice We Made That.
Southall included in Architecture Foundation’s ‘open office’
Conceived as a ”Citizens Urban Advice Bureau”, we’re delighted they’ve selected Southall for further exploration as we believe it to be one of London’s most exciting neighbourhoods, with some of the best potential to develop positively in the coming years. Find out more about this initiative on the Foundation’s website.
Today (December 13th, 2012) is launch day for the Southall Charter. The Ealing Gazette placed the Charter on the front page of their most recent edition. Read more about the Charter on their website: http://bit.ly/Z2ZymT
At the recent public events to raise awareness about the Southall Charter, the partners committed to coming together with some of those we’d met along the journey to undertake an early action around one of the projects in the Southall Charter.
The Cleaner Southall campaign has three elements which are intended to change people’s behaviours and attitudes in relation to the environment in Southall, namely education and marketing, community action and enforcement. On a wet and windy Friday morning in Southall (October 26th), the partners (Ealing Council, the Met Police, Southall Community Alliance and A Rocha) all came together to undertake a clean-up and education event at the Grand Union Canal. Further information about this event is available at http://www.ealing.gov.uk/news/article/517/clearing_away_crime_at_southall_clean_up
Overall it’s good news but we’re certainly not complacent. Crime in Southall across all 5 wards is currently going down. In Dormers Wells for example it is down 25% in the last 12 months. The Southall policing team have been working with the Council and local community to identify persistent offenders and reduce the harm they cause to the area.
Lady Margaret Ward has also seen crime fall by 12.5% and notable successes in tackling the proliferation of drugs, including the recent discovery of a cannabis factory. Through the Southall Big Conversation and in the development of the Southall Charter, the community and those that work in Southall spoke often about the harm drugs was causing to the community in Southall. The community and the partners stressed the need for all to be involved in the war on drugs, with the discovery of the canabis factory being an excellent example of what can be achieved when successful action is taken on behalf of communities who report suspicious activity to the Police.
Over in Norwood Green Ward, there has been a 12.7% reduction in crime. The team have recently been working with the Council and partners to address drug crime in and around the Havelock Estate.
Southall Broadway and Southall Green wards, busy shopping, business and residential areas, see the most crime in Southall but here too crime is down 9.5% and 5.9% respectively. The Council-funded Problem Solving Team have been leading Operation Goring, tackling drug dealing, which has also had an impact on reducing robbery and violence often associated with drugs. They have arrested over 250 offenders in the last 9 months help to make Southall safer. The Southall Jewellery Watch is also helping to make Southall safer, with Jewellers linked by radio into the Council CCTV to report suspicious activity. During October and November Operation Apollo and Operation Winter Nights commence with the aim of having more officers on the streets preventing and detecting crime. On Diwali on the 13th November Chief Inspector Colin Wingrove who leads Safer Southall will be hosting a live interactive Web broadcast from the top of Southall Police Station, with the festival of lights illuminating the background.
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The overall emphasis of our work is Southall has been to create a safer, healthier, more prosperous and better connected town. Of course, this involves a huge amount of joint working and we hope that by providing positive images and key messages about life in Southall we can help strengthen the sense of civic pride in the town.
As an umbrella organisation working with various small Southall based organisations, Southall Community Alliance have supported and co-ordinated many excellent initiatives, since March 2012. These have included:
- Raising over £800,000 to start the re-build of a sports pavilion in Spikes Bridge Park. The re-building has started in June and should be completed by December 2012.
- Arranging community research skills training for 12 people, enabling them to act as Community Ambassadors who can carry out research about local needs
- Continued delivery of 7 weekly health walks in Southall to encourage residents to be more physically active
- Working with Jamila Sarwar and partners to arrange the first ‘Big Picnic’ event in Southall Park
- Arranging IT training for residents in Norwood Green and Dormers Wells based around health improvement. In the first month alone over 80 people were registered by the project.
- On-going delivery of healthy cooking classes at Dormers Wells Community Centre helping people understand how to cook healthily, learning to cook on a limited budget and reducing salt/fat/sugar in our diet.
- Due to start accredited Arts Awards training for young people, supported by a grant from local business. The course will involve working with 25+ young people and help them acquire new artistic skills that can portray a positive vision of Southall
We want to celebrate the cultural diversity of Southall but recognise that the social and economic problems that affect our communities need to be tackled at the same time. SCA’s focus upon improving health, strengthening the voluntary sector, bridging the ‘digital divide’, improving community facilities etc is meeting this challenge head on.
The key to the progression of the work in Southall has been the high level of co-operation and partnership work in evidence. The ‘Southall Project’ has acted as a catalyst for making partners work together and solve problems in a holistic way. These partners have included Ealing Council, Police, Southall College, Job Centre Plus but also a host of community partners such as : Mael Gael, Southall Day Centre, Dormers Wells Community Centre, Golden Opportunities Youth Association, Helplink, Tamil Community Centre, Access for Support & Development Centre etc.
This high degree of joint working has already been visibly demonstrated in the ‘Big Conversation’ consultation process which started in March 2012. The process of asking residents about their priorities for change in Southall generated an unprecedented response, with over 1,200 people contributing. Once again this would not have been possible if all the partners in Southall had not worked so closely and efficiently together. In Autumn many of the Southall partners will be involved in a Cleaner Streets campaign and we hope that our recent experiences will enthuse everyone to get out and be active in tackling environmental hot spots in Southall.