The sacrifice made by the people who gave their lives in the two Worlds Wars and Britain’s more recent conflicts should never be forgotten.
I was honoured to take part in four separate events during Remembrance Weekend that paid tribute to those who have laid down their lives.
On Saturday 10 November I attended the service at St Mary’s Church in South Woodford High Road and on Sunday 11 November I was at Ilford War Memorial, Wanstead War Memorial and the Fairlop Remembrance Service.
Everyone can do their bit to support our troops each year by buying a poppy. The money goes to theRoyal British Legion who work with soldiers who have served, and that are currently serving, giving them emotional, social and financial support.
You can also donate to the charity by visiting www.britishlegion.org.uk
I was delighted to be invited to the opening of the new Lifeline offices at Newbury House, Ilford last week. I cut the ribbon at their opening ceremony on Friday 2 November. The move marks a new phase for the organisation and will help them to continue their fantastic work.
The new bigger offices mean Lifeline can expand the services they offer which is great news for Redbridge. The organisation provides invaluable support and they partner the Council to help residents become job-ready and to find sustainable jobs. They also employ local people themselves as well as supplying local employers with staff.
As well as being shown around the new offices, I also got an opportunity to speak to people who had been helped by Lifeline, including one resident, Peter Daley, who found out during the opening that he has been offered a job at a local retail store.
It was really good see the results of the great work Lifeline do first hand. I wish them every success in their new offices and look forward to hearing more success stories from residents they’ve helped.
To find out more about Lifeline, visit the Lifeline website.
L-R: Ken Coello (Director of Strategy); Cllr Prince
L-R: Ken Coello (Director of Strategy); Cllr Prince; Jaies Morjana (Operations Manager)
L-R: David Larke (Business Manager at LifeLine Ilford); Peter Daley (service user); Ken Coello (Director of Strategy LifeLine); Cllr Prince; Richard Bell (service user); Jaies Morjana (Operations Manager, LifeLine)
I was honoured to be invited to a service organised by the Ilford branch of the Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men and Women (AJEX) at the United Synagogue Cemetery in East Ham last Sunday. Reverend Shlomo Kreiman gave a moving service to remember and honour those that fell in service during and after the Second World War.
It is traditional in the month before the Jewish New Year to visit the cemetery. Among those in attendance were The Mayor of Redbridge, Councillor Muhammed Javed, Col Acda, Deputy Lieutenant for Redbridge, and Councillors Ashley Kissin and Alan Weinberg.
AJEX’s membership includes over 4000 people who served during the Second World War and the charity has three aims:
- remembrance for the sacrifices of the past
- help for those in need in the present
- and education for the future.
Anyone who wants to find out more about the role of Jewish servicemen and women can visit the Jewish Military Museum in north London.
I hope you managed to attend one of the Inspiration Roadshows we held throughout the summer, or line the route on the day the Olympic Torch came to the Borough and enjoyed the Olympics on the big screens in Ilford Town Centre.
The London 2012 Olympic Games saw Great Britain win 65 medals including 29 golds, making it our most successful Games ever. I would like to congratulate all of our sportsmen and women on their performances.
On Saturday 18 August I attended the Gaysham Hall Residents’ Association Mini Olympics which was organised following on from the success of their Diamond Jubilee Garden Party. This was a very enjoyable community event and it was good to see so many people of all ages enjoying themselves.
I would like to thank all of the volunteers, the Police, other emergency services and members of the armed forces for their work during London 2012 which contributed to the success of the Games. The Territorial Army Centre in Gordon Road has been in use by the Royal Air Force helicopters and Hainault Forest has been home to troops and security staff working on the Olympics ensuring the safety of the general public.
We now have the Paralympic Games to look forward to which run from Wednesday 29 August to 9 September. On 29 August Redbridge will be holding a Paralympic extravaganza from 12 noon in Ilford Town Centre with a range of events for all ages. Why not come along and join in. Full line up of activities here.
An estimated 25,000 people enjoyed the sunshine and welcomed the Olympic Torch to Redbridge on Sunday 22nd July, “Day 65” of the relay.
The torch relay started at Redbridge Cycling Centre and Fairlop Activity Centre passing through Fullwell Cross, Barkingside, Gants Hill via Valentines Mansion before arriving in Ilford Town Centre and finally along Ilford Lane on route to Barking and Dagenham and was cheered by crowds along the route.
There were 26 torchbearers carrying the flame through Redbridge.
It was a stunning sight and I would like to thank everyone who made it such a memorable day for the Borough
2012 Olympic Torch
L to R: Councillor Jass Athwal, MP Lee Scott, Mayor of Redbridge, Torch carrier Luke Benjafield, Leader Councillor Keith Prince, Deputy Leader Councillor Ian Bond
Leader with Olympic Torch carrier Luke Benjafield
This was the first civic service with a chaplain from each of the main faiths in the Borough, representatives from the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish communities each gave a reading at the service to bless the start of the Mayoral year.
Each of the Chaplains gave a reading around the theme of local leadership. I would like to congratulate the Mayor, Councillor Muhammed Javed for organising a service which reflected our diverse and cohesive community.
I am proud of our well integrated and cohesive communities and the service demonstrated how our communities live together in peace and harmony and the importance of faith to the people of Redbridge.
On 3 July I attended the official opening of the newly refurbished Central Library by The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Elaine Norman.
The modernisation of the Central Library is one of a number of library improvements over the last three years.
The library refurbishment offers a new and innovative approach to service delivery in a more cost efficient way. Changes and improvements include:
- New creative children’s library including a story field and an enchanted forest area with digital interactive video projections
- Use of iPads giving access to learning games,ebooks, digital newspapers and magazines
- More study areas, dedicated spaces for laptop users with free WiFi
- Coffee shop
For more information please see the Redbridge Central library web page.
On Sunday 1st July I had the great privilege of attending the R.A.F Bomber Command Memorial Service at Holy Trinity Parish Church, Barkingside.
The Mayor, Councillor Muhammed Javed was amongst those in attendance at a very moving service.
My thanks to Holy Trinity Parish Church and a particular mention must go to the organiser, David Westgate for the invitation and for arranging such a memorable occasion.
Armed Forces Day was held on Saturday 30th June 2012. Events were held up and down the country in support of the Day.
Here in Redbridge an event was held in Ilford Town Centre.
Cadets, soldiers and veterans formed the parade contingent and gathered outside the Town Hall at 10:15am to witness the raising of the Armed Forces Day Flag.
The Mayor, Councillor Muhammed Javed inspected the parade and made a speech. The Mayor’s Chaplain offered prayers for the armed forces before the dismissal of the parade.
Once again we showed our support for Armed Forces Day and the massive contribution made to the country by those who serve and have served.
This event is an important way for Redbridge to show its gratitude. It also gives the nation an opportunity to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, from currently serving troops to service families and from veterans to cadets
The Royal British Legion, Army Cadet Force, Air Cadets, SSAFA Forces Help, 217 Squadron and Royal Naval Association had display stands in the Town Centre providing information about their work and how to get involved.
Find out more about Armed Forces Day.
217 Squadron Territorial Army unit taking part in Armed Forces Day Service
Captain Blowtell with Territorial Army unit from 217 Squadron Redbridge
Armed Forces Day Flag
Lee Scott MP for Ilford North, The Leader Cllr Keith Prince and Guest, Cllr Mrs Tania Solomon and husband.
Cllr Harry Moth, MP Lee Scott, Leader Cllr Keith Prince and guest, Cllr Tania Solomon, Cllr Athwal, Mr Solomon, Cllr Mrs Vanessa Cole, Cllr Parkash, Cllr Kay Flint, Reverand Jonathan Evans
Captain Blowtell with the Territorial Army unit from 217 Squadron Redbridge
Councillor Prince with Big Up Redbridge Crew
To celebrate the Olympic Countdown we have a series of roadshows taking place across the Borough this summer.
I have been to two of the roadshows, the first which took place on 9th June at Barkingside Recreation Ground and on Saturday 23rd June I attended the event at Manford Way, Hainault. I was very impressed by the range of activities on offer and met with members of the Big Up Redbridge Crew project.
The Big Up Redbridge Crew project was an initiative to get more young people from Redbridge engaged in our summer 2012 programme, and to give them the skills and confidence to be comperes and event hosts at some of our most important events.
12 Young People aged between 14 and 18 attended a 1 day workshop at Redbridge Drama Centre working with a professional actor and compere to prepare themselves for their debut at the Barkingside Inspiration Roadshow. At the roadshows the young people welcome the audience, set the context, introduced the acts and lead the interactive activities such as the 2012 quiz, a mass tug of war and the medal ceremonies for prize winners.
The Big Up Redbridge Crew will also be at the:
The roadshows have something for everyone from performances to sports taster sessions and will be taking place at the following locations:
• 21 July, Elmhurst Gardens, South Woodford
• 22 July, Ilford Town Centre – Get up and see the Olympic Torch (from 8 am)
• 28 July, Inmans Row, Woodford Green
• 5 August, Barley Lane Recreation, Chadwell Heath
• 12 August, Christchurch Green, Wanstead
(The roadshows will run from 12 pm to 4 pm unless otherwise stated)