I went along to the Citizens Advice AGM today. I just wanted to mention the admirable and exemplar work that is undertaken by the Bureau, its staff, advisors and volunteers. They must be commended for the difference they make to the lives of Redbridge Citizens every day!
It was a privilege to attend the Redbridge Pensioners Forum today and it was great to talk with the many members in attendance. The Forum meets twice monthly at Redbridge Central Library and provides educational, cultural & social events. It also works hard to ensure that the voices of our older citizens are heard and that their interests are represented.
This weekend was a chance to stand together to remember and honour the heroic efforts, achievements and sacrifices of the brave men and women who fought during past wars and those that continue to serve today. It is always an honour to attend the services in Redbridge, lay a wreath on behalf of the Labour Group and pay my respects to those that made the ultimate sacrifice to keep this country safe.
Over the weekend I joined the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Members of Parliament, Councillors, War Veterans, uniformed services and people of all ages for services that were held in the Borough at Woodford War Memorial, Ilford War Memorial and Wanstead War Memorial.
We must, and will, always remember them.
I was delighted to attend the opening of the first completed Council housing development in Redbridge for more than 30 years and my hope is that this project will be the first of many. The new development consists of one three bedroom house; one three bedroom flat and seven two bedroom flats and all the units are at affordable rents. Nine families have received keys to their new homes on the former Housing office site in Manford Way, Hainault and I wish them every happiness.
Housing is a key priority for this administration and getting the Council building again is our vision and exactly the step change that Redbridge needs to tackle the legacy of years of inaction. I am looking forward to the completion of further Council developments currently underway.
Leader, Manford Way tenants, Cllr Roy Emmett and Cllr Helen Coomb
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Me at Oakfield Lodge