Thursday, 31 December 2009

Parish Notice

I have added Ray Frensham’s blog to the list in the side bar. If there are any other blogs or links you think should be up there please let me know.

If there is anyone you would like to invite on to this blog also please let me know, via email. I would need their email to send an invitation.

Happy New Year to one and all.

Don’t let the bankers grind you down.

This is from Ray’s last post.

Sunday, 27 December 2009


Nearly 500 local authorities and associated bodies will be legally required from next year to publish annual pay information including salaries, bonuses, pensions, perks and severance pay-offs.At least 300 chief executives, chief constables and other officials earning more than £150,000 will be named, and their salaries disclosed within a £5,000 band. Authorities will also have to publish information on how many employees they have earning more than £50,000, and give details of their salaries in £5,000 bands, although their names will not be disclosed.

Redbridge appear to have ducked or delayed at least 2 requests from the Taxpayers Alliance to provide this information, prizes for the best excuse they will find to avoid their legal obligation next year.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Recycling Opportunity

Surplus Ethernet (Network) Patch Cords

I have a number of surplus, good quality, Ethernet (Network) patch cables, brand new and unused, which are surplus to requirements.

Rather than throw them away, I would be happy to pass them onto any local school or charity, etc., who might be able to make use of them.

PLEASE NOTE that these are NOT USB cables!


Cat 5 screened patch cable + 2 x RJ45 male connectors
Length: 12 ft (3.7m) approx
Status: Unused in original packaging
colour: Yellow
Manufacturer: FOXCONN
Cisco Part No.: 72-1501-01

If you are interested, please contact me by e-mail, (not PM) giving your details, to this address:

Please include details of the number you might need - I will have to do a bit of digging to track down all the cables I've got!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Public v Private

Following on from the previous post about the snow and gritting and the comments on “Redbridge is Ready for Winter” thread on Red-i, I thought I’d let you know that we are not alone.

This evening’s Premiership match between Wigan and Bolton has been postponed. Not because the pitch is unplayable, but because the roads leading to the ground are unwalkable.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Health and Saftey - where's my cushion?

Hi - Noticed this morning a new bit of paper on the gate to the Park next door, so sent hubby out to find out - apparently we must take care when walking in the park as many of the paths are slippery ( so the sign says) - this might be why an ambulance was up by the Mansion earlier. So you have been warned, sarcasm aside that snow and ice can be slippery.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Redbridge Children's Services "Adequate"

Children’s services in the London Borough of Redbridge perform adequately.

That's the verdict of Ofsted's Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) Divisional Manager in the annual rating of Children's Services according to the letter sent to the Director of Redbridge Children's Services on 9th December 2009. A recent unannounced inspection found that the borough needed to improve some key front line services for children in need.The CAA found that difficulties in recruitment and retention; and lack of clarity between agencies over referrals has led to unnecessary stress for some families in the borough.

On the flip-side The letter states that a

"higher than average proportion of primary, secondary, special schools and school sixth forms are good or outstanding".


"Post-16 provision is outstanding in just under a half of school sixth forms".

Although there are some positive points I can't help being very concerned for some vulnerable children in Redbridge. Let's hope next year's CAA report will show a marked improvement.

You can read the letter and all Ofsted reports for Children's Services in Redbridge here:

Inspection reports by provision type in Redbridge local authority

Thursday, 10 December 2009

It Gets Worse

Now that they have killed the main Forum on Red-i they have now killed "Ask My Neighbour".

This feature is no longer borough wide. You have to log in to see it and you only see questions from within 1Km. Link

That's it. I've had enough of this nonsense.

I have left the building. I suggest you do the same.

Let them wallow in their own incompetence. Let them talk to themselves.

Save King George Hospital

So, thanks to Dopeyf we now know that Redbridge-i’s “Triple A” rating is a sham via "The Pickards" blog. But we didn’t need to be told that did we? We know that the management of the “Website Hospital” haven’t got a clue how the internet works and the long suffering front line care staff [who do!] just have to get on with it.

And bringing in another favourite topic on this site, the lack of any A&E e-petition facility provided by the “award winning” Redbridge-i site for the way it “engages” with the community, I thought I’d have a look round on the webby to see what freebies are out there.

One of our members, Wilson, has already started one. It’s with i-petitions. But this one allows you to sign twice with the same email address.

I found much more robust. It does not allow the same email address to be used twice and it has word verification to stop spam signatures. It’s a bit slow though. Anyway I’ve put one up there too, just to show them it can be done. Neither of them send an email asking for confirmation like the Number 10 petition website, but hey, we are amateurs. It’s all we’ve got so let’s use it.

Wilson’s petition

RedEye’s petition

Also Wilson has arranged a multi-party, multi-agency Protest on Saturday 9th January 2010, 12:00 – 14:00 in Ilford Town Centre to the fore of Ilford Town Hall. MP Lee Scott has confirmed attendance.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

A & E Consultation Free & Fair?

This just cropped up in the Guardian on line today at 5.17 pm

Guardian on line article

Don't forget that Redbridge-i has published a forum topc on this debate also. You can see it here:

RiV2 A and E Forum Topic

Fairlop Orient?

A 'report' in The Sun yesterday (8/12/09), found here, has highlighted the possibilty of Leyton Orient re-locating to Fairlop Waters.

This has obviously kicked off loads of gossip amongst Orient fans such as myself, but I wonder what the residents of Redbridge make of this article and the likelihood of this happening?

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Redbridge-i website - Award Winning? Search for the Truth.

I just tried the Redbridge-i search facility and it appears to be working! This was after many complaints by on-line community users that the facility just doesn't work.

Looks like if enough people do report bugs and errors repeatedly something gets done about them.

In a report out today Redbridge is praised for the Redbridge-i website by the Audit Commission in the latest Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA).

Have a look at the Guardian on-line today: Red-i article

Also - there is a large article in the December issue (p.14) of "Redbridge Life" - read it here: Redbridge Life - Page 14

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Redbridge-i Forum Topic Moderation

Whilst I agree in principle to "moderated" forums, I would like to express my opinion that forum content moderation times should not be restricted to weekday hours of 8am til 6pm. My reasoning behind this view is that evening and weekend time is when many forum and internet users are likely to be on line and want to express views. By restricting the times to office hours only the act of "community engagement" is stifled during these times. In my opinion during the stifled hours there could be many citizens replying, commenting and even expressing opinions, but who are totally oblivious of what others are saying because their comments have to be approved. In effect the expressed views and comments of the citizens of Redbridge cannot be shared between the hours of 6 pm Friday until they come home from work on Monday evening! Surely this is not in the spirit of "community engagement" in this age of the internet is it?

Take for example the recet NHS North East London Health proposals and consultation. OK we have a number of weeks, but the debate is not really open at weekends or evenings is it? To put up a forum topic on a friday at 1.30 pm or there abouts, and then close comments until Monday morning is proposterous in my opinion! The moderation policiy needs to be reviewed in my opinion, and I cite the NHS forum topic as a reason to do so.

I propose, instead, a self-moderation culture, where citizens can report comments as offensive by clicking a button. Then the moderation team can look at it and make a decision.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Have your say - NHS forum topic - LIVE!

Redbridge i have put up a new NHS discussion topic on their website.

Here's the Redbridge-i link:

NHS Consultation

Grove Farm Development refused

The Grove Farm development has been refused again. Finally our councillors are working together to improve our local quality of life.

Read more here:

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Oakfield "Developments"

The above Public Notice appeared in the December 3rd. Edition of the "Ilford Recorder".

There has been publicity recently concerning the Badminton/Netball facility to be built on land adjacent to the railway line within the leased boundaries of Redbridge Sports Centre. The situation regarding the move of the Frenford Clubs from Cricklefield and Oakfield to the former PLA site is also a matter of public record.

Is the proposed disposal of 12.5 acres (in order to build the Badminton/Netball facility) contingent upon the release of other land at Oakfield in order to make up a larger parcel of land and what is the effect on this proposed disposal of any failure to negotiate developments at Cricklefield? (Lord Rowallan et al)

I have e-mailed requesting clarification and would suggest that others do so.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

North East London Health Consultation

As Redbridge-i removed the new forum discussion I saw earlier I shall give you the link to the NHS consultation page. When you get to the page scroll down and at the bottom you will see both an on line questionnaire and the full consultation document for download. Here's the link:

North East London Health Consultation

North East London Health Consultation

Redbridge i has put up a forum discussion topic on the above subject.
All details are in the topic.
website link is here:

North East London Health Consultation Redbridge i forum discussion thread.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Parish Notice

Just noticed this footer on each page of the main Red-i “forum”

Clean Slate theme by Jaben Cargman (Tiny Gecko)
YetAnotherForum.NET: Just another forum?
Online business in the new economy now requires community and social networking avenues. Yet Another Forum.NET is a high end open source .NET based forum created in 2003. Because of it's maturity, YAF is considered a stable and secure forum perfect for businesses who need a community presence with ample room to grow. Tiny Gecko offers Yet Another Forum.NET services including support, integration, customization, theme creation and plug-in creation.
clean slate - an opportunity to start over without prejudice.

Forum - a public meeting or assembly for open discussion

- A public meeting place for open discussion.

- a meeting or assembly for the open discussion of subjects of public interest

It is now a month since RiV2 and this site were launched. Since the removal, early on, of the facility to create new threads there has been little activity on the Redi “forum”. At the same time they have also ruined the rather useful search facility, where we could bring up the last 25 posts [perhaps they don’t want to be embarrassed], so it is more difficult for an outside user to see overall usage. But from memory only about 3 of the 27,193 registered members [excluding Redimanager] have made a contribution over the last 3 weeks.

The internal Private Message system doesn’t work. Personal Profiles keep disappearing.

I’m sure Tiny Gecko will be jolly pleased with this wonderful advertisement for his product, don’tcha think?

Sunday, 29 November 2009


I have written to The Rt Hon John Denham MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Mr Lee Scott, MP with regard to The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009, CHAPTER 2 - PETITIONS TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES - Electronic petitions.

Clause 148 Commencement: general states that:
(2) In Part 2 (local authorities: governance and audit)—
(b) Chapters 2 and 3 come into force—
(i) in relation to England, on a day appointed by the Secretary of

My questions are:
1. Has a commencement date for Chapter 2 of the above Act been set?

2. Effectively, from which date will my Local Authority (The London
Borough of Redbridge) be legally obliged to ensure that they
provide an electronic petition facility in accordance with Chapter
2 of The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act

Just for good measure I have requested the same information from the Communities and Local Government department under the freedom of information Act.

I will let you all know when I receive an answer from each source and indeed what it is.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Hainault Business PARK

Roebuck Road
Note the pedestrian who is about to move out onto the highway with her back to the approaching vehicle.

Fowler Road

Hainault Country Clamp

It would appear that Redbridge Council have missed a PARK off their list of additional PARKS to which they are shortly to apply PARKING charges.

Know, See, Parkers

HOORAY!! The missing Disabled Parking Area markings in Horace Road have been replaced and there can now be no excuse for drivers not knowing what this space is for. Hopefully the post-mounted signs have been secured so that they cannot be turned around the wrong way by a strong wind (as Parking Management claim).

Area 3 Chairman, Harry Moth, and Lead Officer, Matthew Gray, had a hand in achieving this work and should be commended.

In many minds, this will, of course, raise the issue of whether Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs - the thing stuck to your windscreen) should have been issued while the signage was missing.

Parking Management in any Local Authority would rely upon a Traffic Management Order (TMO) that defines a parking control or restriction or a traffic management protocol such as lane or turn or entry restrictions. There seems to be no authority that can compel a Local Authority to make parking controls, bus lanes and so on enforceable before issuing any more PCNs. Meanwhile, many would argue that they continue to collect fines from innocent drivers and cancelling PCNs issued to drivers who appeal.

Redbridge Council has at least given us all a few regulations and guidelines that you can find here.

This is a pdf file so you will need Acrobat Reader if you download it to your computer.

10% of PCNs are eventually waived by the issuing authority - this is known as "Informal Challenge". A disproportionate number of these are widely believed to have been issued to Disabled Drivers but accurate stats are hard to come by and the source of this information is people who are complaining anyway.

Only about 1% of PCNs issued in Greater London are formally appealed to PATAS (Parking and Traffic Appeals Service). This rises to 2% for moving traffic offences, usually those captured by CCTV.

Total PCNs issued in Redbridge are half of the average for London as a whole.

The figures for the first half of 2009 are that 335 PCNs were appealed of which 59% (3 out of every 5) were allowed. Of these, half were allowed because the issuing authority did not contest the appeal (known as DNC).

The majority of appeals are based on inadequacy of signage (mounted signs and road markings).

You may find useful information here

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Area 4 Committee Meeting 24th November 2009

Tonight I made my first speech during the public forum "Have your say" at the area 4 Committee meeting. A bit nervous but there we go! Here follows my 2 minute speech:

"The Corporate Strategy 2006 – 2010 states that Redbridge parks were voted by residents as their 4th priority.

I welcome the borough’s initiatives in trying to attain the “Green Flag Award” for its parks.

Of the eight criteria for the assessment of the Green Flag award two are concerned with being “Healthy, safe and secure”, and being “Clean and well maintained”. Another criterion includes the implementation of a “Management plan” for each park, which should address all of the listed criteria and more.

As part of the management plans for parks I note that Redbridge is intending to “educate and enforce the law” on dog walkers who do not clean up after their dog.

Whilst I very much agree that education and law enforcement may be necessary where a minority of irresponsible dog owners make no effort to keep our parks healthy, safe and clean from their dog fouling; I would like to bring to the attention of the councillors and area 4 residents the irresponsible behaviour of some residents or otherwise using the borough’s parks and open spaces who appear to think it is acceptable to leave unwanted waste food products, including whole or half loaves of bread and pita bread, piles of rice, cooked meat & vegetables, and other food and litter, all over the parks. This reckless behaviour is a danger to perfectly innocent and well behaved dogs, as well as being unhealthy, unhygienic, and attractive to vermin.

I have read the parks byelaws for Redbridge and there is no byelaw which deals specifically with the dropping of food waste and litter in Redbridge parks. I understand from Gary Thomas (the Parks Development Manager) that the “Parks police are in the process of reviewing the parks byelaws with the view of introducing on the spot fines to people who breach the new relevant byelaws”.

1. Will councillors of area 4 give an undertaking that they will support the inclusion of new byelaws which specifically address the discarding of food and litter in Area 4 and other Redbridge parks when they are put forward for approval in due course?

2. Will councillors support the placement of clear signs to support the education and new byelaw enforcement in the parks?"


Councillor Vanessa Cole thanked me and totally agreed with me that it was sadly the minory of people behaving irresponsibly on both counts of dog fouling and discarding of food and litter in our parks. She also stated that councillors have indeed put forward plans to create new byelaws to enforce the prohibiting of litter and food dropping, and a whole variety of other activities in parks, which may lead to on-the-spot fines. She also reassured us that all fines collected for such offences when the new bylelaws come into existance shall be given back to Redbridge and the money used for the upkeep of Redbridge parks.

Hopefully you will soon be able to read minutes for yourselves when they are up on the Redi website.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


I have been trying to update myself on legislation that requires local governemt to provide e-petitioning facilities.

I have so far found the following useful and would be grateful for help and clarification on the law regarding Redbridge's oblilgation to provide e-petitioning:

1. Communities in control: real people, real power - White paper
2. New Local Government Network - e-petitioning and local government

As far as I can see Redbridge should be providing the facility to creat e-petitions; or are they under no such legal requirement to do so?

Redbridge CON-sultation?

I was at the Area 3 meeting at Fulwell Library on Wednesday 18th November (remember that date) and, as usual the Councillors were blathering away, wringing their hands and bemoaning the loss of Green Space in the Borough and the encroachment of the Parking charges across our green and pleasant spaces.

In a pile on the table at the back, and scattered on some chairs, was this survey:

In the middle of my usual berating the Councillors for their spurious concepts of "public consultation", I mentioned the survey. They were clearly unaware of it - I had to go to the back table and distribute it amongst the Area Committee.

While I praised the Council for embarking on such a survey, I also pointed out that, at the end of the survey, along the bottom, the words: "Please return by Friday 30th October......"

But then, that's what passes for "Consultation" with this Borough Council, isn’t it?. [[What's the bloody point, honestly?]].

Friday, 20 November 2009

RiV2 Receives First Award

Comment from KingRat on the council leader's blog:
I reproduce it in full below, as well as the link, as these things have a habit of disappearing off the Redi site.

What “new range of features”?
As far as I’m concerned the website has taken a huge backward step.
The only semi democratic voice that the people had between elections has been severly curtailed!
The forums were a vital part of the democratic process.
It is quite clear from the reorganisation of the website that the council is not interested in freedom of speach, at least not on THEIR website.
The council should be ashamed!
We pay the bills AND YOUR WAGES, at least give us freedom of speech and the right to comment on council policy!

Bilious Green

Whats with the new Forum and the nasty puke green colour? Do they want us to be unsociable to our keyboards?

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Freaky Friday

Get a load of this. Redbridge is to stage its own version of the Movie Freaky Friday when the Council Leader and Redimanager swap roles for a few hours on Friday week.
Have your say...the Council's listening

Redbridge Council has launched an initiative called “Have your say...we're listening”, which is designed to provide opportunities for residents to suggest improvements to Council services or their neighbourhood. More……
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A Missing Post

No, not the sort that doesn’t get published on, or just disappears for no reason from, the now moribund Redbridge-i Forum. I’m talking about a Width Restriction Post that went missing. Last time it was the one on the right, [see picture] and this time it was the one on the left.

I looked on the Red-i ‘Report it’ section and there is nowhere there to report such incidents. So, I just did what I did last time and emailed the Area 3 Lead Officer, who I won’t name for fear of embarrassment, on the 9th November 2009. He replied immediately having passed the report to the reactive maintenance section.

A new post was installed sometime between yesterday afternoon [16th] and this morning [17th]. That’s a week or 5 working days. I have emailed to confirm the post is in place with my thanks.

Of course, now that the "Award" winning website RiV2 has been censored into oblivion they are not going to get any bouquets or commendations on there either. But that doesn’t stop us recording good work here when we see it.

This is not just a whinge blog. But such examples should be help up as a benchmark of achievement.

New Councilors

Greetings people - have had a leaflet re the election - new councilors for Valentines Ward are
as follows: Rosemarie Barden ; Ikram Wahid ; Reg Woda. Any comments as to these peoples
suitablity for the posts?

What we need is ....

.... a great big Melting Pot, big enough to take the World and all it's got (Blue Mink)

You may have received an e-mail (probably because you had a log-in id to Red i One) inviting you to participate in a "Consultation" and directing you here ....

I am not going to influence or prejudice what anyone else may think of this tosh but I am profoundly sceptical of anything to do with "Community Cohesion" that refers to "Diversity" so many times.

I have completed the questionnaire and would be interested in what others may think of it.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Crime statistics for Redbridge

Last night my neighbour's house was burgled. Thankfully she is ok and the intruder was disturbed and ran off. This got me thinking about crime statistics for Redbridge so I started looking around. If you want to see the stats for Redbridge go to the following web address and find Redbridge on the map. Click on it and you get all crime statistics. You can also search just for crime statistics in your ward if you enter your post code in the box provided.

Anyone got any views on this topic and about how we can make Redbridge a safer place?

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Hello, good evening and welcome

Hello fellow Redbridge Citizens.
Thanks for the invite, and nice to have an alternative to the Redbridge i forum etc.
Looking forward to commenting on things like Gants Hill roundabout, public spaces, etc bla bla

RiV2 Forum Explained

Well, that’s another fine mess……

On 23rd October 2009 the Chief Executive of Redbridge wrote:

"All topics and threads will be set by the council...."

On 2nd November 2009, two days late, RiV2 went live and we found that members could start new topics and threads. Several were started that day.

On Tuesday 3rd November at 10:43am Redimanager posted [in a new thread]
Due to an unforeseen technical problem, we are currently unable to provide full message posting functionality to our forum discussion threads.
Users wishing to post a message, please use the Show Quick Reply facility at the bottom of the page, under the last post. This will open a Quick Reply box. When you have entered your message, simply click on the post button and your message will be submitted for moderation.
Apologies for any inconvenience caused, we are working hard to resolve the technical problem.
Translation: The "unforeseen technical problem" is that members could start new threads and topics which is precisely what ‘they’, whoever ‘they’ may be, don’t want. However, this is what forums are designed for and there have been NO CHANGES to this part of Redbridge-i on RiV2. Forum software is pretty bog standard and is NOT designed for this type of control. So, my guess is that the RediTeam could not withdraw just that option and were forced to withdraw ALL the facilities including ‘reply’ and ‘quote’ leaving just ‘quick reply’.

They could not just reject any post that started a new thread because that would be advertising a facility which is not acceptable or available and would have produced a lot of unhappy customers.

The problem now is that anyone who hasn’t seen Redimanager’s post above and hits reply or quote will get an "access denied" message and bugger off.

Redimanager has been asked to create a new thread on King George Hospital but has not done so, presumably under instructions. We KNOW she can create a new thread even with the "unforeseen technical problem" because she did so with the above post.

R.I.P. RiV2 Forum

Friday, 13 November 2009

Redbridge Allotment Questionnaire

Hello all!

I am currently studying for a degree in Horticulture at Writtle College, Chelmsford. I am now in my final year and therefore have the small matter of a dissertation to write.

My project is researching into whether allotment sites can be a resource for entire communities, rather than just the plotholders who have an allotment. As I currently live and have an allotment (at the Goodmayes Lane site) in Redbridge this is where I am focussing my research.

I have set up an online questionnaire as I want to gather the opinion of current Redbridge residents who DO NOT have an allotment. It only has 13 questions and should take around 5 minutes to complete.

Here's the link:

It would be great to get a wide sample of residents views, so I would be extremely grateful if you could complete it for me. Your feedback and views on the subject are also more than welcome.

Thanks for your time,
Matt Oliver

(Edit: Change of title for google search purposes)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

It’s Fun Time

Back in September there was a launch of a new Interwebby feature called "SideWiki". See Media Guardian, and here is what Google have to say about it.

All you gotta do is download and install the new Google toolbar with SideWiki for your browser. Once this is up and you visit a site just click on "SideWiki" on the toolbar and up will pop a left hand side bar containing comments and thoughts about that webpage by the users/readers of that webpage.

If you have a Google account, as all the members here do, you too can post comments about the content of a webpage or website, including this one, even if you are not a member. And there is nothing the website owner can do about it.

So, we can make comments about what we think of Redbridge-i Forum on SideWiki and Redimanager can’t censor or delete them. Anyone who accesses the site and has SideWiki installed will be able to see what we think of it. But equally she and others can make comments about us here and we can’t censor them. Be nice now!

Nestle have been getting some stick.
And so has The Sun

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Save King George Hospital

There will be a Protest on Barley Lane by the entrance to King George Hospital in response to the recent fit for the Future proposal set by the BHR trust. The protest will be held on the 21st November 2009 from 12:00 - 14:00. We would like people to come along and to bring banners and posters and chants that we can shout. If you would like to get involved in other ways please make contact.
The "Fit for the Future" proposal if successfully ratified - would see the demise of the existing A&E facility and would inevitably lead to the eradication of any hospital facility at Goodmayes.

Our protest against the proposal will focus on the following issues:

We believe the high density of Redbridge requires a hospital facility. The facility at Queens is very small and always full to capacity just as King Georges and Whipps Cross are. How could any reduction make sense?

the longer journey to accident and emergency service departments at Whipps Cross and Queens Hospital would increase fatality rates. A study of mortality rates (Emergency Medicine Journal) correlated against journey times to emergency services for fatal injuries concluded:

"Increased journey distance to hospital appears to be associated with increased risk of mortality. Our data suggest that a 10-km increase in straight-line distance is associated with around a 1% absolute increase in mortality"

We believe that the large number of ethnic minorities in the area susceptible to conditions such as strokes, heart attacks and diabetes - makes it imperative that we should retain A&E facility locally.

We also believe that the local doctors that support the scheme may have a common form of employer bias and that doctors outside of the NHS should be consulted. Why not consult with the doctors at the local BUPA hospital...?

If anyone would like to get involved with organising the protest they can contact Wilson Chowdhry by calling 020 8514 0861 or by emailing

Kind regards


Cllr Answers Question - Shock!

There is also an "Ask your Neighbours" facility on Red-i

And - shock - two Councillors have answered questions. I will name and shame them. They are Ken Turner and Vanessa Cole, pictured.

You never know, they could just join those other two renegades who have actually engaged with residents on the main red-i forums. I'll name and shame them too! They are Hugh Cleaver and Ian Bond. Perhaps I should invite them onto this blog?

The Pledge

Following on from the previous post there is also a facility to make a Pledge. I did. It read:

I will not criticise the council for one whole week but only if 10 local councillors will make an appearance on the RiV2 forums between now and end November.

It has been removed and I received this:

You, or someone from this email address, recently submitted an item titled notcriticise the Council for one whole week to the Redbridge web site. We have reviewed this item and believe that it is inappropriate as a pledge. The form of a pledge is I will do X if Y will join me. Your pledge does meet this format, as there is no measure of success. Your peldge is not in the community spirit of why the Pledgebank was created. For full details of what we will and will not publish please review our terms and conditions. Thank you. Redbridge i Admin.

Well, I thought I was being quite reasonable.

It Ain't All Bad!!

YES - you have seen this photo before. Someone has agreed that the lack of any legible road marking is not "de minimis" after all and something is being done about it. How was this achieved?

Well, according to my co-respondent, the new Red i proved very useful!

On the Red i V2 Home page or as part of "Have Your Say", there is a "Report It" facility that includes worn-out road markings. There is a list of stuff such as Dog Fouling, missed Collections and so on. Well worth a look.

You fill out the details, being as accurate as possible about location, give a phone number and an e-mail address, if you have both, and you will receive a phone call requesting clarification of details, followed by an e-mail, after a site visit by The Council if necessary, giving a reference number and promising to notify you of progress! Wonderful stuff!

So, Citizens, get Reporting!

Let us know how you got on. 'They' may be keen as it is all fairly new but we will not make things happen by ignoring the means.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Redbridge-i (Beta version)

Hello, boys and girls! Lots of familiar 'faces' here, I see! I also see that the Town Hall Clowns have failed miserably in their efforts to give R-i a makeover!

Just when it looked as if they might just be getting somewhere (several days behind schedule) it all fell over again! Now, I wasn't surprised by this as it was the subject of the post I wanted to submit anyway. Of course, it is very likely that the post will fail to see the light of day there in any case, but I did an off-line draft anyway so, waste not, want not, I'll post it here for all to see.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

I tried to quote a short phrase from my previous post and got:

Access Denied
You tried to enter a area (sic) where you didn't have access,if you are not logged in please click the Login button on the top right of the page.

So, I'll have to do it the hard way, then! (This relates to doing it in Notepad without the useful right-click gizmo I have for entering bold/italic etc. formatting commands. I am now going back over it and taking them out to suit this format!)

If Redbridge-i (beta version) ever struggles back to life, this might get posted ...

Quote: 'I notice the home page says that it is the beta version ...'

... for those not familiar with the term, here is an extract from Wikipedia (my emphasis) ...


"Beta" is a nickname for software which has passed the alpha testing stage of development and has been released to users for software testing before its official release. It is the prototype of the software that is released to the public. Beta testing allows the software to undergo usability testing with users who provide feedback, so that any malfunctions these users find in the software can be reported to the developers and fixed. Beta software can be unstable and could cause crashes or data loss.

A "beta version" is the first version released outside the organization or community that develops the software, for the purpose of evaluation or real-world black/grey-box testing. The process of delivering a beta version to the users is called beta release. Beta level software generally includes all features, but may also include known issues and bugs of a less serious variety ...

...Beta version software is likely to be useful for internal demonstrations and previews to select customers, but unstable and not yet ready for release ...'

Famous last words! Anybody who attempted to follow its promised birth over the (extended) weekend and its total failure on Monday evening will entirely agree with that!

To quote something from my last post on the old site, I would love to see Redbridge Council's official definition of 'fit for purpose' ...

Monday, 2 November 2009


In it’s quest to sell advertising space in Redbridge Lief, Red-i claims a Redbridge population of 250,000. The 2001 census put the figure at 238,635 and the mid 2008 estimate is 257,600. In 2001 approx 25% of the population were under 15, so if we apply that percentage to the 2008 figure we get an adult [over 15] population of 193,200. Let’s round it down to 190,000 people who are the potential audience for the Redbridge-i website. That is about the same figure that is on the electoral roll.

Redbridge-i has, as of earlier today, 26,656 registered users. We know that some of these are duplicated, some are defunct, some are administration and some are staff who use the private forums. But how many residents are actually registered users? We know it is less than this figure and could be considerably less, but let’s take that figure anyway. I’m taking a best case scenario here.

This means that Redbridge-i has approx a 14% take up by its client base. Or 86% of residents are not registered. Not all users will be registered for the same reasons. Those who use it for transactions may not be interested in the forums. Red-i staff will know the figures for take up for things like payments, bookings and reporting. So, how many of the registered users venture into the forum area? It’s difficult to say but we do have some figures: yes I’m a nerd and have added them up. Only 463 of those registered users have actually made a contribution, which is 1.7% of those registered or 0.24% of the client base.

196 members have made 1 post [total 196]
71 members have made 2 posts [total 142]
51 members have made 3 posts [total 153]
21 members have made 4 posts [total 84]
19 members have made 5 posts [total 95]
11 members have made 6 posts [total 66]
94 members have made 7 or more posts [total 9219]

So, less than 100 members have made nearly 93% of all posts.

Let’s apply the 1:9:90 rule. This predicts that 10% of those 463 do most of the talking and the other 90% occasionally chip in. This gives 46 and 417 respectively with a non-participatory audience of observers of 4140. This seems a reasonable estimate to me. It gives a total figure of 4600.

Total, 4600 = 17.26% of users, 2.24% of client base
View only, 4140 = 15.53% of users, 2.18% of client base
Post occasionally, 414 = 1.55% of users, 0.22% of client base
Post a lot, 46 = 0.17% of users, 0.02% of client base.

This in a forum that covers the whole borough and has been running for 2 years. It has pretty much rooted out those people who are inclined and have the time to chat on the interwebby. There are 46 of us.

So, what do the Council do? They spend lots of taxpayers money [yes a Government grant but still your money] on providing a facility "My Neighbourhood" where you can chat to people within a 1Km radius of your postcode. Now, the chances of any of those 46 living within 1Km of another is pretty remote. So, we are pretty much going to be talking to ourselves.

Carry On Government.

De Minimis Non Curat Lex?

This title comes from a response on the (old) Redbridge i Forum concerning various issues to do with Parking.
It loosely translates as "the law does not concern itself with trivia". It is actually referring to the written law as in the practice of law it is all about trivia, which is why we have rules of evidence and need so many lawyers!
The response from Parking Management is in the documents below that you can click on and print off, if you wish.

So what is this photo about, I hear you ask?

It has been brought to my attention so that you can be asked to point out where you think a Restricted Parking Area might be. It may, for instance, be Disabled Parking Bays. The suggestion is that the road markings are "de minimis".

This part of Barkingside High Street (there's a clue) was "improved" some time ago and the Contractors used this area to off-load the building materials (paving slabs, sand, ballast, cement, etc.) - thereby obliterating the road markings? Were the Contractors required to reinstate the road markings and why was this not enforced?

You may also notice a sign that appears to be the wrong way round. This is caused, allegedly, by strong winds. So why aren't they checked to be securely fixed?

It has also been suggested that once a Traffic Management Order (TMO) has been issued it cannot be suspended or rescinded. However, according to the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames (just the first one that happened to appear on Google) :

"Temporary suspension of parking bays and other parking related matters
A number of parking-related matters may be provided by the Council without the need for a traffic order. These include:

•Suspending parking bays (inside a controlled parking zone)
•Dispensations to allow a contractor to park on a yellow line
•House removal – suspending parking bay. This is applicable only in controlled parking area (marked bays). "

So, it is possible to take parking bays "out of use" if the road markings and signage need repair. So, was this done in this case?


Sunday, 1 November 2009

Using RiV2

I have added a post to RiV2 asking for feedback from anyone who used the old version. As far as I can see I can start any discussion I want in the 'My Neighbourhood' section but this is restricted to my postcode + 1km.

So I can use the web to start online discussions with people I could basically shout to. This just seems weird to me.


Redbridge Eye Launch

After a few days of testing in Private, Redbridge Eye is now ready to Launch into the public domain. The threads, which start with a post, are set by members and only members may comment. There is no moderation but the site is monitored. Redbridge Eye is available via email, see side bar, for membership applications and to report abuse. The success of this site, or otherwise, will depend upon its members, not upon Redbridge Eye.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Redbridge-i is dead, long live Redbridge Eye

Redbridge-i is about to be re-launched. What they are NOT saying is this:

Oh and what Redimanager’s post didn’t say:
All topics and threads will be set by the council and will be strictly managed within the following categories:
· Corporate consultation (including large planning applications where appropriate)
· Scrutiny Panel work programme topics (where wider public engagement is desired)
· Local News (provides a facility for users to comment on council news stories)
· Online services feedback channel (as exists currently for online services such as e-admissions)
· About Redbridgei – a channel for information about the site and user comments and suggestions as to how it could be further improved.
· Hot topics – high profile/ popular subjects for which there may be considerable demand locally.

Extract from leaked letter written by Roger Hampson, Chief Executive, LB Redbridge

If they can have a Private Forum, so can we!