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Local Forum 21 October 2015

Oct 29

Last week our first themed Local Forum meeting took place to discuss parking issues. Developing a clear and fair Parking Strategy is very important to us as we understand there are a lot of parking concerns in the Borough and we want to find ways to address them. There are no easy answers but it’s really important we get it right, and that’s why it’s vital to have as many views as possible. Officers will be taking all your feedback from the meeting and will include it in the parking consultation. I’d also encourage everyone to give us their views in our online parking survey. Complete the survey on our website.

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the meeting and would like to have your say on parking, our final consultation meeting will be held on Monday 2 November at Fullwell Cross Library, from 7 pm to 8.30 pm.  View more information on our consultation page.

We also had discussions about air pollution, rubbish and recycling, planning and development in Woodford. Full details of all of the questions and answers will be on our website soon. Check back on the Local Forums page to see them.

I was really pleased to see so many residents attend and take this opportunity to have their say. Feedback is invaluable, if we know what the issues are, we can work on solutions. The next Local Forum will be at the Marjorie Collins Centre, Grove Road, Chadwell Heath on Monday 16 November from 6pm to 8.45pm and I look forward to seeing you there.

Poppy Appeal 2015 Launch

Oct 23

This weekend sees the launch of the 2015 Poppy Appeal across the Country.  The Royal British Legion created the Poppy Appeal to help those returning from the First World War.  A century on from the start of the conflict, they are still helping today’s Armed Forces families in much the same way.

The poppy is a powerful symbol – it is worn to commemorate the sacrifices of our Armed Forces and to show support to those who have served and are still serving today. Please donate and pick up a poppy from one of the many Volunteers and show your support.

There are also a number of services of Remembrance in the Borough that you can attend and further details can be found here.

Enterprise Desk: Redbridge means business

Oct 08

Last night I launched Redbridge Enterprise Desk, our fantastic new business hub which will give tailored businesses support and advice to new and existing businesses in the Borough.

Enterprise Desk is one of five projects that are being funded through £1.12million New Homes Bonus funding we secured via the Mayor’s London Enterprise Panel, for regeneration projects in the Borough to help boost the local economy.

The importance of small business to local economies is unquestionable. Starting up a business requires courage, determination and perseverance and I firmly believe that with a clear purpose and belief in what you are doing, anything is possible.

It was great to see so many creative and dynamic entrepreneurs at the launch. Research shows that people who seek advice at the development stage are more likely to succeed and grow their business. Enterprise Desk will provide our entrepreneurs with the right support, information and advice to start up or grow their business, generating business opportunities, securing jobs and helping to underpin Redbridge’s future prosperity.

Find out about the support on offer from Enterprise Desk including events, workshops and opening hours.

Black History Month in Redbridge

Oct 05

It was with great pride that I launched our Black History Month celebrations which will be taking place across the Borough this month.  It was a very special evening and the drummers were absolutely spectacular!

I’m extremely proud to be a part of the Redbridge community. We are a family rich in diversity, culture and heritage. Many of us are descendants of people who fought hard for the freedoms and opportunities that exist today.

Black History Month is a time for celebration and remembrance of just how far we have come. It allows people across the globe to look back and remember how shackles were broken while looking forward and embracing new opportunities.

As a Council it’s our mission to respond to the needs of all of our communities, to reduce discrimination and foster trust and co-operation to create a cohesive and safe community where everyone can flourish.

I hope you will enjoy the fantastic programme of Black History Month events that will be taking place this month.

View all Black History Month event details here

Community Care Advice Centre

Jul 16

I was really interested to visit the Community Care Advice Centre based in Aldborough Road North. Importantly the advice centre provides a first point of access for information, advice and guidance to help residents understand and access support available to them in the community, including carers.People may need support for many reasons at various times of their life, due to their age, disability, health or more personal situations.

In addition to the advice and information; assessment and eligibility, management of complex and long term conditions, re-enablement, prevention and wellbeing, monitoring and reviewing are also functions that are carried out. The blue badge scheme is also administered from here.

Health and Social care is facing many challenges including high caseloads, a growing elderly population, integration with health and implementation of the care act. I would like to thank the teams for their continued hard work and commitment.



A Happy Community

Jul 10

Today I had the pleasure of visiting Oakfield Lodge. A service that provides sheltered housing with care and support. The facility has around 70 residents who live in self -contained accommodation.

There was a real community feel among the residents and staff. The weekly social activity line up was impressive and includes quizzes, bingo, reminiscence afternoons, parties, sing-alongs, and frequently organised trips out.

I really got the sense that residents were happy and well cared for; so important for good health and wellbeing.

The Leader of Redbridge Council at Oakfield Lodge

Me at Oakfield Lodge

Supporting Independence

Jul 10

This morning I visited the Mildmay Centre; one of three locality bases providing day services for adults with learning disabilities in Ilford.

The centre is a great example of inclusiveness and provides a very person centre approach; focusing on the needs of the individual. Each service user has an individual support plan with targets.The service provides a great support network for parents working very closely with them to support their family members at home and work on achieving their targets.

Service users are supported to access activities in the community like bowling and using public transport with the aim of developing their independence and relationships. Emphasis on accessing community facilities to raise confidence is an excellent approach and supports integration and raises awareness.

I was really interested to know that the service operates a challenge group summer work experience scheme for 15-18 year olds during August to deliver supervised scheduled activities in sport, media and drama to service users.

There are also opportunities for community study for medical students; raising awareness about the needs of people who have learning disabilities and sharing good practice. Keep up the good work!

Service to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the London Bombings

Jul 07

On this day ten years ago London was rocked by a horrific terrorist act which saw 52 people lose their lives. Today I was honoured to join relatives, survivors, the emergency services, senior Politicians and the Duke of York at a service to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the London Bombings at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The service brought together the relatives of those who died as well as the survivors and officials who played a part on the day and a minute’s silence was observed. As we stood with heads bowed pink, red and white petals fluttered down from the, “Whispering Gallery”, in a powerful act of remembrance of the 52 murdered.

The names of all who died were read aloud. Four candles were brought to the altar, carried by individuals caught in the carnage of that day. On each was written the location of the bombings seared into the public consciousness: Aldgate, Tavistock Square, Edgware Road and Russell Square/King’s Cross.  Four “reflections” on the blast sites were also read during the service.

Our resolve must remain strong and united in the fight against terrorism.

Showing Support and Respect

Jun 29

Sunday 28 June 2015 : Armed Forces Day Celebration

On Armed Forces Day we celebrate our brave servicemen and women who work so hard to keep our country safe.

I attended the celebration with the Redbridge community which was out in force on Sunday. We showed our support and respect for those men and women who commit themselves to defending our hard-fought liberties each year. The Band of Scots Guards led an impressive parade of veterans, soldiers and cadets.

As a community we must ensure that those who stepped forward to fight for us are remembered and shown the respect and support that they deserve. It is up to us to highlight to each passing generation how vital these battles and struggles were and are in helping us to live life as we do today. What is clear to me is that now more than ever we need to remain cohesive and strong against those who seek to destroy society as we know it.

Armed forces Day 28 June

Pride 2015

Jun 24

This weekend marks Pride in London, one of the biggest LGBT+ celebrations in the world.  I’ve said many times how proud I am that Redbridge is such a hugely diverse Borough, whether that be the places we were born, the religions we follow, or our sexualities and genders.

Redbridge is a place for everybody and we’ll be flying the rainbow flag from the Town Hall on Saturday to mark the day. For too long throughout history people have been separated by their differences, Pride offers a chance to celebrate them and is something we should all be supportive of.