Cllr Phil Taylor (still smarting the week after the Feb “Ealing Centre in Crisis” meeting that saw Ealing’s Tories jeered in a packed Town Hall by some 300+ locals) may refuse to accept that the shops in Ealing have gone to pot under the present Conservative administration, but the BBC’s local news bulletin tonight does seem to acknowledge the scale of the problem. Their camera crew was in West Ealing which was depicted as a worrying example of suburban blight.  Clearly the Conservative council in Ealing has no strategic plan to retain businesses who are leaving in droves. Although Ealing Broadway was the subject of the meeting the other week, a couple of bus-stops up the road West Ealing makes that particular dilapidated stretch of shops look good. Ealing has weathered recessions before but it’s never looked like a bomb-site in the same way it does now.

Rather like Taylor used to have a running tally of people stabbed in the capital (until his mate Boris got elected, funny that) this blog will be running a shop watch feature when closures come to my attention. Ok so in the last couple of weeks (since the Save Ealing Centre meeting) I note:

– Oxfam, West Ealing: closed

– Ethel Austin, West Ealing: closed

… adding to a long list of corpses including WHSmiths, Marks and Spencer, Our Price and Mothercare in my recollection plus McDonalds and Poundland (yes you did see that word, Poundland) more recently

– Monty’s, Ealing Broadway: closed

– Sue Ryder Cancer Care, Ealing Broadway: closed

… again adding to several others. The sight that hits anyone exiting Ealing Broadway station is of desertion and dereliction: Chandlers pub, the Feathers (once busy enough to be targeted by an IRA bomb) and Kinleigh Folkard estate agents are an unholy trinity you don’t even need to seek out.

I wish this would be the end of the list but somehow I suspect it won’t be…