Ealing Councillor Accused of 'Intimidating and Unneighbourly Behaviour'

Praveen Anand denies allegations in boundary dispute at parents' Acton home

Cllr Praveen Anand denies accusations

A Labour councillor who represents Ealing Common ward is at the centre of a neighbour dispute over boundary issues.

79-year-old Mary Di Lullo from Highfield Road in Acton has complained to Ealing's Council Leader, Peter Mason, about Praveen Anand who was elected in 2018.

She claims roof-work on the property next door to her house was done without any notice, has encroached on her land and caused significant issues with damp.

But Cllr Anand says that this is his parents' house and there has been a historical boundary dispute problem with the neighbour.

Problems with roof and boundary wall at Highfield Road

In her complaint, Mrs Di Lullo writes, ''I asked for the work to stop so that I could get legal advice or advice from the borough. I was told by Mr Anand 'I'll do as I want' and he instructed the builders to continue. Two neighbours witnessed this. Later that day, he called to me over the hedge and told me not to waste money on legal advice.''

She has also made allegations of ''bullying behaviour'' after finding her recycling bin full and allegedly containing items with Mr Anand's address which she proceeded to put over the wall into next door's front garden. She says the Councillor then ''pounded on my front door shouting that he would call the police.  I told him that I would wait in for them.'' 

Mrs Di Lullo says, "I am an 79-year-old widow in poor health and live alone following the death of my husband in September 2016.  I find this repeated bullying intimidating and distressing.  Such behaviour is particularly unacceptable from an elected representative.

''I ask for this matter to be investigated with a view to (a) amiably persuading Mr Anand to end the encroachment and rainwater discharge onto my property, and (b) ensuring that he is reminded of his duty to set an exemplary behaviour in the community.'' 

Councillor Anand has categorically denied the allegations saying, ''This is not my neighbour but my parents' neighbour there has been years of disputes over boundary lines. My parents are elderly and lived in the house since 1967 they had instructed builders to repair a leaking roof.''

He claims that it was his parents' neighbour who was rude and intimidating, preventing work to be carried out, making wrong allegations of trespassing and threatening to call the police,

''I was present to supervise the works and in their bubble and their carer during lockdown. I told her we are in our own property. Yet again a few weeks during lockdown a satelite engineer came to carry out work and again the engineer on my parents' land was again approached in the rude manner. I told the neighbour just let us carry on with our work.  On both occasions nothing rude was said.  In return this lady is rude always and unneighbourly with all us.

''This  boundary  dispute has been going on for over 20 years. Legally she is in the wrong and continues to show unneighbourly gestures, my parents years ago had  legal advice that confirmed that there was no encroachment to the neighbour land. A separate occasion during lockdown the neighbour threw lots of cardboard boxes from her bin into my parents' front garden. I have very good relations with my neighbours where I live, unfortunately there is long history attached with my parents neighbour and this complaint toward me is totally wrong and incorrect.''

Labour's Chief Whip, Councillor Gareth Shaw, has been given the complaint to investigate and writing to Mrs Di Lullo, he says, ''I am very sorry to hear of Cllr Anand's attitude towards the issues of the roofing work that you have raised with him. I note that in the first instance you wish to 'amiably persuade' Cllr Anand to resolve the issues of the roofing work and remind him of his responsibilities as an elected representative. I will be very happy speak to Cllr Anand and see if this is possible in the first instance.''

The Council has a 'code of conduct' for Councillors and a Standards Committee that investigates complaints against Councillors independently.

Details can be found here .

Annemarie Flanagan

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July 14, 2021