Green Garden Waste Scheme Review

As a result of £125m cuts from Central Government since 2011; the Council has had to make tough decisions and look at ways to reduce spending alongside maintaining vital services for our most vulnerable.garden_waste.png

Leader of the Council, Councillor Jas Athwal said "balancing much loved services against the ongoing costs required to provide vital care to the elderly and vulnerable, alongside continued government cuts, is challenging and means we must consider innovative changes to every service we provide".

Following a trial of a fee paid green garden waste service over the past eight months and consultation through the Our Streets commission and listening to resident feedback the Redbridge Labour Administration has carefully reviewed all elements of the green garden waste service.

Cllr Athwal also said, “following the Our Streets commission report, we've reviewed the service as I promised earlier in the year, and after considering all the options we have decided a free fortnightly service would be the best way forward”.

This new free fortnightly service will begin next year from March to November using the ‘old style’ bag, which will be provided to households with a garden.

There will also be a ‘Christmas Tree Amnesty’ early in the new year for collection of dead Christmas trees.

Further details will be outlined in a forthcoming cabinet report in November.

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Conservatives 'play theatre' over future of Kenneth More Theatre

Following a ‘letter to the editor’ by Conservative Councillor Joyce Ryan in the Ilford Recorder yesterday, Leader of the Council, Cllr Jas Athwal said “let me assure you that my Labour administration has NO plans to close the KMT”. kmt.jpg

Cllr Ryan enjoys spreading fear to residents without explaining circumstances and reasons why decisions are made. Negotiations with the KMT have taken some time, and we are very close to finding a suitable arrangement which will go to Cabinet in the coming months”. 

Cllr Ryan is very vocal about the arts in Redbridge; and rightly so. Labour is a big supporter of the arts; and we are passionate about encouraging and building our culture and identity in this great Borough. 

The Central Government run by Cllr Ryan’s Conservative friends have cut Redbridge’s local council budget meaning savings of around £42.6 million over the next five years must be found. These unprecedented cuts are producing significant pressures on the Council, meaning Council are having to decide whether to provide support to the theatre company or whether to support our most vulnerable people like our children and elderly.  

The Council has historically provided both company secretary support; and financial management support to the KMT, this has been both time consuming for council officers above their assigned duties; and additionally could have been seen as a conflict of interest between Council and the Board.  

Cllr Athwal further pointed out that the original lease expired in 2010, whist Cllr Ryan and her Conservative administration were controlling the Council – and they failed to negotiate a lease. The Labour led Council have been in considerable negotiations with the KMT Chairperson and Management Team to find mutually exclusive lease arrangements that will see the continued viability of the KMT; and fits with the Council’s plans for Ilford Town regeneration.  

The continued success of the KMT relies on it being able to be financially stable on its own; and Cllr Athwal wants to personally see this continued success in whatever form the Board sees is the best – and says “Councillor Ryan needs to be considerate of the way ‘times have changed’ and that in the current economic climate we need to all work together to ensure our arts and culture offer can continue to thrive”.  

Cllr Athwal has recently become a member of the theatre himself; and I would encourage residents to become a members too to help ensure its continued success - www.kmtheatre.co.uk  

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Councillors Welcome Outcome of Wanstead and Snaresbrook Parking Consultation

Redbridge Council has today released its final report following the detailed public consultation that took place after successful lobbying by vocal Community Members and Redbridge Labour Councillors, Sheila Bain and Paul Merry.

Cllr Sheila Bain said “I thank Cllr John Howard and the Leader for taking on board the concerns of residents and myself and undertaking a full consultation – thank you to everyone who returned consultation forms or took part in the online survey.”

The results of the consultation mean that a permit parking scheme will be proposed on several residential roads as requested by local residents; and a pay and display system will be proposed on Wanstead High Street, which is consistent with other high streets around the borough.

The results have shown there is a need for parking controls on some side roads; and on the High Street.

Recent parking restrictions put in place by neighbouring boroughs of Waltham Forest and Newham, have meant that more and more vehicles are using the Snaresbrook and Wanstead area as a free car park to the detriment of residents and genuine visitors and shoppers using the High St.

Cllr Paul Merry said “Due to the increasing pressures on parking in and around the High Street, I believe the new parking offer will improve footfall and paying consumers to Wanstead High Street by encouraging less long term commuter parking”

The next phase is the statutory and legal feedback process during which residents, businesses and users will have 21 days to have a further say about the proposed scheme. Full details of the results are available on the Council’s website: https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/parking/parking-changes/

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Statement on Redbridge Estates and Fire Safety

After the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower on Wednesday 14 June, our thoughts and sympathies are with all those affected.Orchard.jpg.gallery.jpg

After the incident, we immediately reviewed the fire safety arrangements for all of our 18 tall blocks of accommodation and Council has established that none have the same cladding which was used on the Grenfell Tower. Six of our tall blocks on the Orchard Estate do have a partial cladding system which was installed in the 1990s. Tests and surveys have been carried out on this cladding and it does not contain Aluminium Composite Material.

There are two types of cladding on Orchard Estate, one has been determined to be fine; the other is solid aluminium panelling but we have taken the decision to upgrade this as a matter of urgency. The safety of our residents and our housing blocks is of critical importance to us as a Council and our staff regularly carry out Fire Risk Assessments on all of our housing.

We are currently investigating options and ability to install a sprinkler system and smoke alarms in communal areas across all blocks above five storeys high. We will also be following any additional safety guidance from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the London Fire Brigade (LFB). Our Housing department has met with the LFB Commander to outline the action we have taken and we will continue to work together closely to ensure the safety of our residents.

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Joint community statement following terrorist events in Islington

This afternoon, Farouk Ismail, Chair of Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations and I released a joint statement following the dreadful terrorist events in Finsbury Park in the early hours of the morning. This event; and other recent events have led to concerns among our community and in particular within our Muslim community.

The safety of our residents is extremely important and we want people to feel they can go about their daily business without living in fear. We are working together and with other community and faith groups as well as with the Police to monitor the feeling in the Borough and to increase police patrols.

Ramadan is a particularly important time for our Muslim community, a time of peace and reflection and is of course when more of our Muslim community will be attending prayers in local mosques. So it’s important we continue to speak to one another and look out for each other.

We know that terror attacks like this seek to divide us as a community but in Redbridge we are strong and resilient and stand as one. We urge local residents to send out a clear message to those who seek to break us by carrying on and to carry on as normal, but to remain vigilant and aware.

In Redbridge we have a strong community spirit which knows no boundaries. We know every day that people help each other out, show compassion and care for their neighbours and fellow communities and this is demonstrated across all religions and faiths.

We stand together as a one and will continue to support one another. Our heartfelt thoughts are with everyone affected by the appalling attacks in Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge and Finsbury Park.

Regards


Cllr Jas Athwal

Leader of the Council
London Borough of Redbridge

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Redbridge Central Library £208,000 Hub Central Launch

Today I was very proud to launch the new Redbridge Central Library Hub Central, which incorporates new centres of enterprise, technology anLibraryHubOpening19062017.jpgd heritage. The new services, which have been made possible with investment from the Arts Council England of over £208,000, will enable digital learning, help businesses to develop and support residents to secure employment. They will also connect residents to the Borough’s rich heritage.

Our Libraries are important to us here in Redbridge, this is why I made a commitment that this Labour administration would not close any libraries. We know that libraries are important to our communities. In fact working with Vision, Redbridge Council has and will continue to support and invest in our libraries here in the Borough. In whatever for they take on in the future.

Hub Central gives a permanent base for our Work Redbridge partnership which offers 1:1 information, advice and guidance to residents looking for work, training, volunteering or self-employment. The Work Redbridge team deliver employability support from Hub Central five days per week. They also now offer 1:1 independent business advice from their Business Support Adviser who is able to support both start up and existing businesses to start, stay and grow in Redbridge.

The Library's 2nd floor is our new Heritage Centre - a modern, new space where anyone can explore our rich range of historic archives to discover the people, places and events in over 200,000 years of history in Ilford, Wanstead and Woodford. The Redbridge Heritage Centre contains a range of resources to help people research the history of their family, their house or the local area.

Redbridge Museum and Heritage Centre will jointly run regular workshops, talks and events to help residents, visitors and schools discover the Borough’s diverse history and encourage them to undertake their own research. The Museum and the Heritage Centre will also help community groups to apply for funding for their own heritage projects and offer a range of professional skills training including archiving, exhibitions, film making, oral history and research.

Finally on the ground floor Lab Central has been created, this is a dynamic makerspace and digital learning lab which positions Redbridge Central Library as the main technology hub for Ilford Town Centre. This project creates an exciting opportunity for the library service to engage with new users and to broaden the library experience for existing customers. It also provides young people with the opportunity to experience digital technology that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

We’ve just made our Redbridge Central Library a whole lot better; and I invite you explore and discover our re-imagined Central Library today. More information can be found at: www.redbridge.gov.uk/libraries

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Mayfield Pool Work Begins

Today, Leader of the Council, Jas Athwal and I helped contractors at Mayfield Pool start work to build a brand new public pool and leisure facility at Mayfield School, which was a key election promise for the Redbridge Labour Party.

The exciting project which was an election promise includes a 25 metre, six-lane swimming pool and spectator seating, 40 station gym, foyer/reception area,multi-purpose studio, and a changing village and group changing facility. It will also see a brand new design and technology block built for the school as well as outdoor courts.

This is a momentous occasion and fulfils the promise I made to improve swimming provision in the Borough. We all know about the important health benefits of swimming and giving a chance for more people to learn and use this important life skill is something we have been striving to achieve.

The £5.3m project, which includes £750,000 made available through Sport England, will begin with basic drainage works being put into place. The pool is estimated to be complete by Spring 2018 with the new technology building following around December the same year.

Redbridge Labour are delivering on our promises!

Cllr Sheila Bain
Cabinet Member for Civic Pride
Councillor for Wanstead

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Ilford Town Regeneration

Today, Leader of the Council, Jas Athwal, Cllr Howard, and I inspected work that has began on major street improvements which are set to transform Ilford Town Centre.

The ambitious public realm improvements will create new high-quality, accessible public spaces, delivering on the Council’s Manifesto for Ilford Town Centre which sets out a number of promises aimed at reclaiming the town’s place as the heart of a modern east London.

Alongside the arrival of Crossrail, the major improvements will help to fundamentally revitalise Ilford Town Centre. The transformation will include high quality granite paving, new trees and greenery, pocket parks and green walls, public art, informal play sites and high quality spaces for events, improved lighting and seating, and more street cycle stands.

Improvements will take place at Ilford High Road (from the crossroads with Cranbrook Road through to the area outside Ilford Police Station) and will include the following connecting side streets: Clements Lane, Clements Road and Chadwick Road.

Work will be carried out in phases between now and 2019. The first phase of the works have started on Chadwick Road and the area in front of the Ilford Exchange and will continue over the Summer. Street improvements for this phase include:

• new high quality granite paving
• five new trees (in total 41 new trees will be planted across the Town Centre)
• a ‘meadow’ planting scheme made up of a number of planters with colourful flowering plants
• new benches, lighting and cycle stands
• electric pop up power units with provision for music and lighting to support food stalls and small events
• one high tech ‘big belly’ bin which holds roughly eight times the amount of rubbish of a regular bin and compacts waste automatically throughout the day

It is currently anticipated that the second phase of the public realm improvements will take place around the Griggs Approach underpass and improvements will include a public art project, new trees, and a woodland planting scheme. Phase two works are expected to begin in late 2017.

Cllr Helen Coomb
Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Property and Planning

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Tackling drug crime in Valentines

Valentines Councillors have been out speaking to residents in their ward, who have told them about suspected drug dealing taking place from cars at the top of Ingleby Road and the surrounding area.

To help tackle this, the Police have asked whether residents in this area could keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour, and to let them know as many details as possible over the coming weeks, especially things like vehicle registrations of the cars involved.

If you spot anything, at any time, please contact:

0208 721 2559 - Redbridge Police to report drug dealing and other crimes
0208 478 4679 - Redbridge Enforcement to report Anti-Social Behaviour and fly-tipping

In addition, if you have any other concerns which you think we can help with, please get in touch using our contact details below.

Best wishes,

Cllr Khayer Chowdhury
khayer.chowdhury@redbridge.gov.uk

Cllr Ross Hatfull
ross.hatfull@redbridge.gov.uk 

Cllr Farah Hussain
farah.hussain@redbridge.gov.uk

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Merry Christmas and Thank You!

IMG_20161207_133657.jpgThis year has been a busy and exciting time for the Council and for the Borough as a whole. The Cabinet and Council Officers have been working hard to deliver on our promises and working with our exciting new management team to ensure we can make Redbridge the best place in London to live, work and play. Earlier this year, Redbridge was named the happiest place in London by the Office of National Statistics, so we are well on our way to achieving our goal.

The Council has, this year alone delivered some big reforms; including the introduction of £400 fines for illegal dumping which is having a big impact on the cleanliness of the Borough. We’ve opened the new Loxford Leisure Centre and have two more pools in the pipeline in Mayfield and Wanstead, all of which will help with the health and wellbeing needs of our children. We are delivering on our promise for more affordable homes for residents, this is helping relieve the housing pressure in London and helping the most vulnerable in our community.

We’ve also been working with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, on ways we can improve transport systems and services in Redbridge, and we’ve confirmed with the Mayor that next year step-free access work will be delivered at the Newbury Park Central Line Station; and new trans will be delivered onto the TfL Rail service in ahead of Elizabeth Line/CrossRail Services in 2018.
I was also, this year, able to visit the Calais Refugee Camp “the Jungle” to see for myself the extent of the refugee crisis in Europe, this was an emotional experience and showed a crisis literally on our doorstep, that we cannot ignore – Redbridge Council championed the Dubbs Amendment provision for unaccompanied children in Calais; and we directly assisted five refugee girls from the camp in resettling here in Redbridge.

We’ve achieved so much, I simply can’t list them all, but all these achievement and more are down to the hard work and dedication of everyone in the Council and the Community – I just want to say Thank You!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – and I look forward to working with you all next year to make Redbridge even better!

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