Saturday, 30 January 2010

BarkingsLide - and another one bites the dust...

Saturday 30th January.
Yet another shop posting Closing Down notices.... the trendy clothes shop between Clinton Cards and the Cheesecake Shop.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

All Quiet on the Western Redbridge Front ...

Anyone notice the lack of activity on the near-defunct Red-i forum yesterday ...?

... Possibly not, for the reason already stated, but there were four posts (Wow!) that sat in limbo for the day waiting for someone on the moderation team to sit up and take notice ...

... So, where they asleep? Or was there a more pressing demand on their time ...?

Methinks someone got their wish - but not in the way we all wanted ...!


Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Redbridge Keeps Highways Clear

Press Release number 829, just uploaded to the Red-i site, tells us that the council have prosecuted a trader in Ilford Lane for obstructing the highway.

Note how it is the "highways" they are keeping clear and no mention of Footways. The infirm, elderly and disabled plus those who use wheelchairs or prams are not as important as keeping the highways open for vehicles.

OK, so the photo below is nicked from our neighbours in Waltham Forest, but you will get the drift, you will have seen similar sights here in Redbridge.

Perhaps we should all start complaining?

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Ilford in a Parallel Universe ...

I visited TfL's Spot the Difference display in Ilford this afternoon.

If you haven't already been following this story elsewhere, take a look here.

As expected, I found a bus! Ok, a new bus, but nothing really different to any other new bus one finds in Greater London these days. The moquette covering on the seats is a different colour but, as the bus wasn't open for inspection, I've no idea how user friendly it will be for people like me who need plenty of knee room. I don't think, from looking at the way other passengers try to cram themselves into modern bus seating that I'm in a minority either but, as I get older, I find it somewhat painful at times - almost crippling - if my antique knees are rammed up against the hard back of the seat in front.

However, what I did discover is that TfL have discovered another Ilford in a parallel universe which is laid out a little bit differently to the one we know and, possibly, love - take a look here:

Photobucket

Click on graphic for larger image.

Now I have to admit that there is a little disclaimer which says: "The illustration is indicative only and not to scale" but it is clearly indicative that these new buses start in the High Road, then run past Ilford Station, the Town Hall and the Kenneth More Theatre - in that order!

Apart from the impossibility of this, the ELT doesn't run along or pass any of these!

I took one of the TfL staff to task on this - and was directed to the disclaimer! I then challenged the Ilford Station destination on the bus - pointing out that it doesn't go there and terminates at Ilford Hill. TfL tell me that it's only 60 metres away from the station! It has to be around 300m at least but I give up - I don't have a 60m tape measure, let alone a 300 metre one, but if somone wants to measure it, I'd like to know the correct answer.

Friday, 22 January 2010

COUNCIL TAX CUTS

The following has just been reported

Good news for taxpayers in Windsor and Maidenhead this week: the council have announced the largest cut in council tax in Britain - a whopping 4%. You may remember them as the council that has pioneered spending transparency. The cut equates to £41 a year off band D properties, and will be manna from heaven to hard-pressed taxpayers. People across the UK have seen their council tax more than double in the last ten years, and even now when times are tighter than ever we at the TPA have had reports of many councils continuing to increase council tax by the maximum of 4.9%.
David Burbage, the council’s leader, told The Daily Telegraph: “We are showing that council tax can go down as well as up. For too long council tax bills have inexorably risen, and there is no correlation between high council tax and good services. Our council has proved that we can make public services better and cut tax at the same time. There’s a huge amount of waste in the system and we should never forget that it’s taxpayers’ money we are spending.” Wise words indeed, debunking the convenient council myth that any reduction in tax take will lead to public service cuts. The TPA welcomed this move in the national press, and we would like to see other councils follow this example and ease the financial burden on the rest us by cutting their bloated administrations and focussing on providing better value for money instead of simply empire building.

In the light of this I think we are entitled to ask our highly paid Chief Executive and his highly paid management board, precisely why they cannot deliver exactly what Officers have achieved in Windsor and Maidenhead

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Taking the Pledge

I’ve been having a look at the much heralded new Pledge facility on RiV2. It’s not very popular is it. It’s been available now for 2½ months and there are nine in all, but four of those were already on the system when it went live, so are obviously a relic of internal testing.

But I think there is a problem with the structure.

The format is:

I will [do this] but ONLY if [n] [people] will [do this].

That’s not how volunteering works. Emotional blackmail doesn’t work in real life let alone on the anonymous internet.

If I want to do something I will do it. If I don’t, I won’t. If I want to change all my lightbulbs to energy efficient ones, I will do so regardless of whether I can convince n other people to join me. Similarly if I want to pop down the road and check on those elderly people I know who live on their own to see if they are OK for milk and bread during the cold weather, I will do that. I am NOT, not going to do it just because I can’t get n other people to say they are going to follow suit on RiV2. That’s bx.

I didn’t say I will start this site ONLY if 10 other people join me. I started it, I invited other people and some more asked to join. That’s how the voluntary sector works.

If it’s worth doing, then do it. Set an example. Lead. Show the way. Be the Pied Piper and others will follow.

I AM going to [do this]. If you do so too, it will make a difference.

Note: this all goes to show how inept our masters are when it comes to understanding us and the way we interact with each other. They are probably “sociologists”?

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Redimanager's Record Breaking Attempt Foiled

I've been keeping tabs on RiV2 and was waiting for Redimanager to score five out of five on the 'Recent Posts' table but her valiant attempt seems to have been scuppered by the Council Tax announcement.

Shame, really, I was really looking forward to seeing proof of the the theory that RiV2 was designed so that the Council could have discussions with itself ...

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Multi-agency protest against closure of King George Hospital.

Campaigning is a serious process, however, it was great to be able to get people to have a jolly in the cold weather.
MP's, Councillors, the leader of the Council and Kajul Pahl our Carnival Queen challenged local people to sign the petition.

Cold weather could not stop the demonstration!


Just look at the ice on the floor! We refused to leave until the day was complete!

Over 50 people attended the vent we just could not squeeze them into our camera. Sorry!

As with any event things are not always as organised as they would seem from photos. The event, however, was a great success!


Yesterday a cross-party, multi-agency protest took place outside Ilford Town Hall. The demonstrators were united in opposition to the potential termination of Accident and Emergency Facility and Maternity Facility, at King George Hospital. I believe this multilateral event is a pivotal point in the campaign agaisnt any closures at the hospital - as it has been the most widely attended and largest scale event to date.

The all party event, put together by Ilsa Martin, Juliet Chowdhry and myself all from the Chadwell Green Party, was a great success. Over 500 signatures were collected and many people learnt about the dastardly Redbridge PCT plans, for the first time.

Visitors to the event included:

Leader of the Council Cllr Keith Prince
Mike Gapes MP
Lee Scott MP Cllr Balvinder Saund
Cllr Lorraine Sladden (Redbridge Mayor 2008)
Cllr John Tyne
Kajul Pahl - Redbridge Carnival Queen
Mark Dawes - Redbridge and Waltham Forest Green Party Co-ordinator
Bob Archer -Hope Not Hate

and several other councillors......

Thank you to all that joined us - we will be arranging more events....so keep watching this space!
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Do sign our on line petition (click here).

Friday, 8 January 2010

10 pence for a leisure walk

66_medium_1241083386 Press Release number 797 on the Redbridge website states that parking charges for council parks will start at just 10 pence for the first hour so that local leisure users can enjoy the facilities virtually free whilst commuters will have to pay more for up to three hours per day.

Here’s the press release.

Thanks Councillor Prince! Good move!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Cross Party, muliti-agency demonstration in opposition to loss of A&E at King George!

Image from protest on 21st November 2009 (BBC Report)
Dear All,

Re: NHS proposals to stop A&E Facility at King George Hospital.

The Green Party have arranged a second multi-agency protest against the proposal by Redbridge PCT to remove A&E facility from King George Hospital.

We invite people of all diversties to come and support us for what may turn out to be one of the most important dates in the Redbridge Calendar. We would like leaders from our community to cascade information amongst their groups to encourage more support for the event. We are also looking for speakers from local community groups to address their concerns about the loss of a valuable life-saving facility from our local community or other themic topics.

Event Date: 9th January
Location: Outside Ilford Town Hall
Time: 12:00 - 14:00

The event is non-party political however invites have been sent to all the leading political parties for a cross-party attendance. MP Lee Scott and MP Mike Gapes , leader of Redbridge Council Keith Prince have already agreed to talk at the event and a local pastor from Potters House Christian Fellowship too.

If you intend to join us please make some appropriate banners and placards to increase the impact of the event. There will be a petition to sign.

Please cascade this request through your networks.

Kind regards

Wilson

Sign our on-line petition here:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-king-george-hospital/
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Read what the Ilford Recorder said about our on-line petition (here)

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The council's new-look website crashed for two days, only months after being launched…

This has appeared in the Guardian on-line series this evening, following my complaint about the 48 hour shut down and poor forum design last weekend:

Today’s article here

Please pass on and spread the word.

I was so angry with the press release in the guardian on line on 4th January: Article here that I decided to complain to the Guardian that night.

thanks

Mark

Monday, 4 January 2010

Ghost Town 2.0

Now, the Redbridge-i website was sponsored by and paid for by…….. The Department for Communities and Local Government. The awards received by Redbridge-i came from……. The Department for Communities and Local Government.

Now, at about the same time that Redbridge-i was launched, in 2007, The Department for Communities and Local Government also launched their own version of Redbridge-i.

So, how’s it doing?

Yup, the same as Redbridge-i.

Pioneer Point

Over on the Ilford Forum, the thorny subject of Pioneer Point and Redbridge development in general has burst back into life - have a look here.

Do take a look - I'm sure many of you will have a great deal to contribute to the subject!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Redbridge-i website

Is anyone else having trouble getting the Redbridge-i website up on their browser?

I haven’t been able to get it all day! Just get an unavailable message in the browser!

Very strange!

Friday, 1 January 2010

How Green Is My Belt




Mr. G A Riding, Headmaster of Aldenham School, wrote a letter to "The Times" in 1937 about the encroachment of the "Green Belt" (which was not to exist officially for another ten years or so) by, primarily, housing developments linked to railway development. It was at this time that most of the northern half of our Borough was created. The 1948 Town & Country Planning Act was partly designed to put an end to this expansion in favour of "New Towns".

To paraphrase, slightly, Mr. Riding:

"The [Council] really wanted to create artificial centres of population in the few precious and unspoiled areas .... under the pretence of 'serving' communities which either have no desire to be so served or which do not exist."

We create housing for people that we know nothing about at our peril. If we created one million new homes, two million people would turn up who wanted to live in them. We no longer build huge roads as we now know that they generate extra traffic. People then had opportunities for travel that they previously lacked. The same principal applies with housing.

There needs to be a proper debate, involving the Public, about wholesale housing development on allegedly "vacant" land within the Borough. 2010 could be a critical year for the future of our built environment.

This is far more serious than the fripperies of the Barkingside "Town Centre Redevelopment".