Friday 31 July 2015

Storeys - Pop-Up Street Food Comes To Wood Lane Today

Pop-Up Food in the old BBC Car Park
is a new pop-up street food market for the Bush, located (slightly implausibly) on the roof of the multi-storey car park of the old BBC TV centre on Wood Lane.

The car park is scheduled for demolition, but in the meantime we can munch on street food and admire the views.

Thursday 30 July 2015

The Best Mexican Restaurant of the Year is ... on Uxbridge Road!

Congratulations to HABANERA which has scooped the LUKAS Best Mexican Restaurant of the 2015.

You may be surprised to hear, firstly, that there is a top Mexican Restaurant on Uxbridge Road, traditionally the home to the nation's top kebab and chicken shops, and secondly that it only opened last summer.

Review - The Invisible at the Bush Theatre

The Invisible
The Invisible is a new play at The Bush Theatre by From Rebecca Lenkiewicz‎. It is a story about poverty and law, about the difficulties faced by those of very limited means seeking access to justice in an age of legal aid cuts.

What do you do if your benefit is cut, your housing is withdrawn, you are denied access to your children, you can't afford a solicitor and you don't understand how the legal system works?

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Shepherd's Bush Police Station Is Not Welcoming Visitors

Shepherd's Bush Police Station - Forbidding?
Shepherd's Bush police station is not the most beautiful building in our neighbourhood. A 1960's-style concrete block on the Uxbridge Road that makes Moscow's Ljubljanka seem friendly and welcoming, our local cop shop has not been improved by the closing of the public counter back in 2013.

In other words, the one thing you need from a local police station - the ability to report a crime - is now not possible. So, what exactly is it for, then?

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Shepherd's Bush Market - Back to The High Court

Royal Courts of Justice. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Spare a thought today for the traders of Shepherd's Bush Market as they return to the High Court today to do battle once again with their landlord Orion, in the latest episode in the five-year dispute over the Market's future.

Today's hearing will focus on the decision made by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles last year to uphold a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) over a row of shops on the Goldhawk Road.

Whatever the outcome, this endless legal battle is surely no way to settle such matters.  Why can't the Council intervene to broker a deal that would permit development of the Market (which everyone is in favour of) and also protect the interests of the traders who make their living there?

Sunday 26 July 2015

Why Can't Drivers Turn Left from Uxbridge Road into Wood Lane?

Why no left turn onto Wood Lane?
Why can't traffic on the Uxbridge Road turn left into Wood Lane?  It's inconvenient for drivers and it makes no sense, pushing traffic into residential side streets instead. After all, it is generally right hand turns that cause traffic delays, not left hand turns. Why not free up the traffic on the Uxbridge road and restore the left hand turn? Well, TFL (who are in charge of such things) say that a left turn would bring a "loss of capacity" (whatever that means) and also that "the corner is too tight" - which it isn't.  It's roughly a 90 degree angle, just like most left turns.  The bigger problem here is the lack of accountability at TFL since, unlike the Council, we can't vote them out, and as a result they get to do whatever they please. Which, in this case, is nothing at all.

Thursday 23 July 2015

What's (Not) Happening With Poor Old Wormholt Park?

Wormholt Park. Image: Wikimedia Commons
What's (not) happening with poor neglected Wormholt Park? New improved playgrounds have been promised by our Council since at least 2009.  Wormholt Park has the potential to be a beautiful green space in a part of the Borough which could use a lot more of it, but right now it feels generally dilapidated and underinvested. Why has Wormholt been neglected by our Council when so many other parks in the Borough have been significantly improved?

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Explore the History of Shepherd's Bush With West London Walks

West London Walks - just £5!
Until the late 19th century Shepherd's Bush was just a collection of fields, but that doesn't mean we lack history.  For those who want to explore the rich history of our neighbourhood and the neighbourhoods around us, Caroline MacMillan of West London Walks offers a series of personally led walking tours.  Her walks are "informal, full of interesting and unusual facts and, most of all, are to be enjoyed".  Best of all, Caroline's walks start at a very reasonable £5.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Hammersmith Park - Saved?

Hammersmith Park
The consultation of the future of Hammersmith Park has closed, and the results can be seen here. Of those local people who took part and offered a view, the majority voted for free tennis courts, no acoustic fence, no car park for private parking, the new bar to close early, and also a multi-use games pitch.  In addition, the Council have retained full possession of the Park, replacing the long lease agreed by the last administration with a renewable seven year contract.  So, a good outcome overall for Hammersmith Park?

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Tories Kill Off Buy-To-Let

Treasury offices, Great George St.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The changes in tax credits may have made the headlines, but in fact private landlords were the biggest losers in last week's budget, when chancellor George Osborne changed the rules for the deductibility of mortgage interest for rental properties, effectively killing off the economics of buy-to-let.

From 2017, the amount of interest that landlords can claim in tax relief will be limited to the basic rate of tax – greatly increasing their tax bill.  The treasury described this as a way to "level the playing field for homebuyers and investors" - but in fact it does nothing of the kind.  It is simply a tax grab directed at landlords, greatly worsening the economics of renting property, and meaning that landlords will pay tax on money they have not even earned.

Sunday 12 July 2015

To Heathrow From The Bush on Easy Bus - For Just £2

Easy Bus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Easybus has launched the cheapest way to get from the Bush to Heathrow - a new direct bus service with tickets on offer for just £1 (good through July 14). After July 14th, prices will start at £2. The bus picks up and drops off passengers in Holland Road, just south of Shepherd's Bush roundabout. It goes to Heathrow Airport Central Bus Station between Terminals 2 and 3.

Saturday 11 July 2015

Little Feast: Street Food Comes to Shepherd’s Bush Market

Little Feast - just off Goldhawk Rd
Shepherd’s Bush Market is hosting a six-week street food festival called Little Feast - launched on Thursday 2 July in a space at the Goldhawk Road end of Shepherd's Bush Market.

Little Feast is open on Thursdays through Sundays, bringing imaginative street food to our neighbourhood.

Friday 10 July 2015

Traffic Chaos Likely in Hammersmith as Flyover Closed This Weekend and Next

Hammersmith Flyover. Image: Wikimedia Commons
The Hammersmith Flyover will be closed for the next two weekends as TFL enter the final phase of work to strengthen it, as part of their road modernisation plan.  The flyover will be closed Eastbound (ie heading out of town) from Friday 10 July until Monday 13 July.  Works begin from 22:30 Friday to 05:00 Monday.  It will be closed Westbound (heading into town) from 22:30 Saturday to 10:00 Sunday.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Westfield Evacuated Following Scare Over Unexploded WW2 Bomb

Westfield. Photo: Wikipedia
Police have locked down streets around Wood Lane and evacuated Westfield following the discovery of an unexploded WW2 bomb in Ariel way, in the building site north of the shopping centre.  So this is not, as first feared, a terrorist attack. As we reported back in March, Westfield is a potential terrorist target, highlighted by the terror group Al-Shabaab. Right now the area is cordoned off - so avoid Wood Lane and Westfield. You can see the full story at the Standard here.

Tube Strike Starts at 6pm Tonight

No trains from 6pm tonight. Image: Wikimedia Commons
ASLEF , RMT, TSSA, and UNITE - in short, all the London Underground train driver unions, are on strike from 6pm tonight, continuing into Thursday July 9. The whole of the London Underground system will grind to a halt. Time to plan for the worst - and remember that the roads will be even busier than usual. If you can, work from home on Thursday.

Heathrow's Newest Flight Path - Directly Over Shepherd's Bush?

Could this be Shepherd's Bush? Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Local MP Andy Slaughter is leading the campaign against the Third Runway at Heathrow, largely because its flight path will lie directly above Shepherd's Bush and Hammersmith. That's very bad news for pretty much everyone in our neighbourhood. As a result, opposition to the new runway crosses party lines, with both Labour and local Tories coming together in a rare expression of solidarity to oppose what could be a very, very noisy addition to Shepherd's Bush.

Wednesday 1 July 2015

The Battle For Shepherd's Bush Market - Who Will Win?

Shepherd's Bush Market in 2013. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The latest round in the battle for Shepherd's Bush Market returns to the High Court on 28 July.  Market stallholders and Orion, the developer, have been locked in a five-year dispute over the Market's future. Will Orion get their way? Or will the traders successfully block the development? The hearing on July 28 will focus on the decision made by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles last year to uphold a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) over a row of shops on the Goldhawk Road.  Leigh Day, Solicitors for the stallholders, argue that Pickles' decision was unlawful, and seek to have it overturned. So, what is the basis for this latest challenge, and who is likely to win?