Friday, January 25, 2008

Area 3 Rumpus

It was a tetchy meeting on Wednesday evening. One resident commented “you wouldn’t believe that 8 of the 9 councillors were in the same party!”

Cabinet member Cllr Fairley-Churchill was in attendance to cover next year’s budget proposals and did so with a good deal of clarity. He is an experienced councillor albeit with a different party.

Cllr Leppert stated his intention to take up an allotment plot at the Fullwell Avenue site. Cllrs Candy, Moth and Griffin explicitly stated their opposition to the sale of allotment sites.

The Chairman, Cllr Griffin, has now resigned from that position. See Ilford Recorder. Ostensibly because the committee rejected proposals for Hainault, which he along with 2 others represent, but possibly due to the criticism of his Chairmanship by some of his committee colleagues.

19 comments:

  1. I do seem to remember I was at that meeting.
    I do think that all councillors but one, in area 3, belong to the conservative party.
    Cllr Fairley-Churchill might be surprised to read that he belongs to a different party. Which party?
    (No, don't bother answering.)
    Cllr Leppert did express interest in taking up a plot, but at the New North road site, although he would be very welcome indeed if he wished to have a plot at Fullwell Avenue as well.
    So, Barkingside 21 is emulating the recorder in getting their facts wrong!
    Imitation is the best form of flattery isn't it?
    anonymous annesevant

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  2. Yes, 8 of the 9 Area 3 councillors are Conservative party members although one of them was not present at that meeting.

    Cllr Fairley-Churchill was a Labour Councillor. He resigned the whip and sat as an Independent for a year and then had a term out of office before returning in May 2006 as a Conservative. His experience was gained with a "different party" to that which he now belongs.

    I stand corrected on which allotment site Cllr Leppert expressed an interest.

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  3. I think that by now most councillors throughout the London Borough of Redbridge are fully aware that Area 3 is something of a bear pit and I would suggest that the reasons behind it are more than glaringly obvious. Area 3 is being targetted by the Cabinet as a source of providing very large sums of money in support of the capital spending programme (allegedy). The people in Area 3 were no doubt expected to roll over without a struggle and give in to the Cabinet's arrogant demands for the sale of the allotments and other invaluable pieces of land in and around Fairlop, Hainault and Barkingside. We have shown that we are prepared to fight against any such aggressive proposals and are determined that our amenities are not going to be sacrificed for the benefit of other parts of the borough. We all know that the borough has financial difficulties and if we are honest we all know that the need to build more and more schools is due to a massive rise in the school-age population. We also all know that this massive rise is due in the main to large scale population movements and we all know that successive Governments have totally ignored the constant warnings that unless the necessary controls were introduced we were very likely to face a situation where we were no longer able to cope either in terms of facilities or in terms of financial capability; successive Governments have simply closed their eyes and refused to acknowledge the truth of the matter. So now we have a major problem on our hands which will inevitably result in wholesale resentment; how completely and utterly stupid. Redbridge is, of course, not alone in having these difficulties since several other boroughs have been hammering on the door of the of the Exchequer for financial assistance due to their inability to meet the cost of 'caring' for their immigrant populations. This is a Government problem brought about by Government incompetence in the management of the State and they have a moral duty to ensure that funds are made available from central government finances, the burden should not fall on the local authorities and on Council Tax payers. Returning to the seething atmosphere which overtook the recent Area 3 meeting I would say that it was compounded by the presence of Cllr Fairley-Churchill who clearly thought that he could walk in like some reincarnated John Wayne and start to give us all a 'bloody good taking to'. I hope that he got the message loud and clear that he was neither welcome nor appreciated by the vast majority of those present; he was a gross insult to democracy, to his party and to the borough and I would strongly suggest that he remains away from Area 3 in the future, he is very definitely not welcome.

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  4. Well, Barkingside 21, that is valuable and surprising information.
    How many people do you reckon will have already known this or is somebody going to wish I had never started that exchange?
    I suppose there is nothing wrong in changing your beliefs whether in politics or other matters, and it does happen at the highest level. Chacun a son gout as they say in France, which does not mean I agree with it!
    anonymous annesevant

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  5. I should add that Cllr Fairley-Churchill is by no means alone among past and present Redbridge Councillors.

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  6. B21, I can see why a member of a political party would want to become independent because of a strong personal disagreement with his original choice and a problem of conscience but, jumping sides is a bit worrying. I am probably very very naive.
    anonymous annesevant

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  7. I was at the meeting, a young man spoke to express the Hainault communities dissatifaction at the newly installed Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) in Foremark Close next to the Hainault Health Centre and the proposed introduction of Pay and Display in Manford Way.

    The man explained that there were no problems with parking at the Manford Way shops, but if officers felt the need to introduce restrictions, the man proposed a "Two Hour Maximum Stay", and the rest of Area 3 were receptive to this, and questioned why officers had not looked at such proposals like neighbouring boroughs had?

    The chairman (Cllr Griffin) cut the man short, and would not let him finish, despite calls from the public to "let him speak" Cllr Griffin refused, and then went on to make a public statement that he fully supported Pay and Display coming to Manford Way, much to the derision of the local residents and the few shop keepers in attendance.

    Panel members critisised the chairman for not following up the projects that had been raised by local members and had been outstanding for some time.

    With the chairman claiming that it was not his job to chase officers to make sure they were attending to the questions raised by local residents, with members of the panel stating that as chairman of Area 3, it WAS his job to make sure officers were seeking remedies to local issues.

    I heard the election of the chairman and vice chairman was a bit of a shouting match when they were elected.

    With one member of the public stating that he had never seen such scenes at any other council meeting in all the years he had attended.

    How ironic that the depature of the chairman should be in similar circumstances.

    I hope the new chairman / chair woman conducts Area 3 buisness in a more fair and orderly fashion, listens to residents concerns, and NOT use the position as their own personal fiefdom.

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  8. I strongly suspect that Cllr Griffin has been pandering to the whims and fancies of the Leader of the Council hence his out of step position with the electorate; much like the stance of the extremely dismissive Cllr Weinberg who has clearly lost all respect and credibility within the vast majority of the local population.

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  9. dgs - 'central government finances' come from the same pockets that fund business rates and council taxes.

    How many of the electorate will fume at Livingstone's housing targets yet still vote for him come May?

    How many will consider that Cllr Weinberg's administration is not worth the paper it's printed on, but still vote for him in 2010?

    How many will loathe this Government for its incompetence over immigration and EU borders, yet still vote for it at the next GE?

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  10. The Area 3 meeting on 23 January was a pathetic farce, but sadly there is no guarantee of improvement in the future.

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  11. I am a little puzzled by the first sentence of the post by Dougal which stated: dgs - 'central government finances' come from the same pockets that fund business rates and council taxes. To a point that is true since it is the end user of goods or services who finally picks up the tab (from memory I think that it is referred to as, 'the incidence of taxation'), however it is not essentially the 'same pockets'. Think of the situation in which the end user is a foreign visitor to these shores. My concern about local people of whatever London borough being obliged to finance the cost of immigrant care is that like the financial fiasco surrounding the Olympics many other parts of the UK are not obliged to make the same financial sacrifices. As to Mayor Livingstone I think that we can only hope that the electorate are a little more aware this time around than they have been in the past. In the case of Cllr Weinberg I can only say that he is a problem for the Conservative Party and how they deal with the issue of his political future will most probably decide the outcome of the next local elections. As to the problems brought about by mass immigration one could 'go on' at great length concerning the positives and negatives but my immediate sympathies are with young people who are finding it wholly impossible to contemplate the purchase of their own house; that, in my opinion, is a tragedy which could and should have been avoided at all costs.

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  12. Well, dgs, that certainly stretches the theme somewhat from the original post about Area 3!

    At the next meeting of Area 3 the residents need to make sure that it is THEIR interests that the committee considers, and not just the political "careers" of a small minority of the nine councillors.

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  13. I remember that right at the beginning of the campaign to save our allotments, Cllr Moth advised us to 'rattle their cages' and I said at the time that I was rattling as much as I could but, they did not seem to notice!
    The last meeting of area 3was 'lively' and the members of the electorate are showing their mettle. Cllr Griffin may have decided that being chairman is not for him but we will definitely remember his chairmanship.
    anonymous annesevant

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  14. Well, Morris, I admit that I broadened the theme somewhat but I feel wholly justified in attempting to respond to the comments posted by Dougal. I am, of course, in full agreement with the text of the second paragraph, it is, after all, what we elect councillors for, isn't it? Perhaps some one think not I fear. I presume that you are already aware that the next meeting of Area 3 is on Friday 8 February; should be an interesting evening.

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  15. No, dgs, I had not previously noted this. I am sure that they would not get away with a Friday meeting in Area 4, so why is there one in Area 3?

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  16. I gave it a bit of time.
    Has Morris Hickey got diplomatic immunity?
    anonymous annesevant

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  17. Whatever immunity I may have, Anne, I doubt that it would be diplomatic!!

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  18. And what happens? He ends up being elected as Chairman again by 5 votes to 4 - the same as the initial vote. A Town Hall farce.

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  19. A more detailed post may be forthcoming after the football.

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