Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Barking Up the Right Tree

click graphic for explanationMayor Johnson has scrapped the "free" newsheet The Londoner saving, it is claimed, £2.9million.
Are you listening Redbridge Council?

Up to £1million of the savings are to be used to plant 10,000 new trees in London’s most deprived areas.

As Riverside Concern will no doubt point out, this does mean that Councils will need competent people to look after them.

Mayor scraps paper for trees plan


  1. These 10,000 trees almost replace the ones that have been cut down along the Thames, above and below Putney, supposedly "to protect the banks"


  2. And what about scrapping that other propaganda sheet Redbridge Now? It paints an unbelievably sunny picture of our strife-torn borough. And don't blame the editor. Employees of Redbridge have a contractual obligation to present the Council in the best possible light. This means it's a sackable offence for a Redbridge employee to criticize the Council or to admit to its many failings and cock-ups!

    So, Redbridge Now cannot avoid being a propaganda sheet. It daren't tell us the truth. As it's the propaganda sheet of whichever party is in charge of the Council, it's currently the Tory Party's propaganda sheet. So, why are residents being forced to pay for Tory propaganda?

    Scrap it and let's have some more trees with the monay saved.

    Oh, and I hope you've all noticed that to enter into the "Rebridge Conversation" you need to sign in to Redbridgei and log on to make your comments. I can think of no other reason for this invasion of privacy other than to allow Employer Redbridge to track down any employee unwise enough to leave a comment.

    Note: allotments are one of the issues the Redbridge Conversation wants to know about! Sounds like an attempt at a second bite of the cherry to me.

  3. I assume by 'Redbridge Now' we're actually referring to 'Redbridge Life'.

    If we just think calmly about this for a moment maybe we'll see things slightly differently. In the first place who on earth would reasonably expect a magazine about Redbridge, produced by Redbridge Council, to focus on negatives? It's such a silly criticism it borders on the gratuitous.

    As a Redbridge councillor one of the criticisms - one of several stock, knee-jerk, unthinking criticisms - from the public is that they don't know about anything. They didn't know about this meeting, that service, the other consultation...And guess what? They don't know what's going on because 'no-one ever tells me nuffing!' Redbridge Life actually tells them something.

    So for example:

    This month's copy introduces the Big Conversation (which, of course, those who know least about will slag off loudest).

    It lists all the upcoming Area Committee dates - these committees being an integral part of local democracy.

    Then there's an article about using some of the waste we throw out each week to create compost for the garden.

    Then a page on contact details so that people can get in touch with the Council.

    There's a load of information about green activity; news from the University of East London; a report on the Redbridge Music Service's concert in the Albert Hall (the service manned, of course, by Redbridge youth); articles on Loxford Children Centre staff, Redbridge College's Junior Chef Academy; a request for potential foster parents; various pieces of Redbridge news; information on home insulation grants; PCT and health news; crime prevention advice; diary of events...

    Propaganda? Well, it's not written with the sneer that the terminally moaning would like to see it written with and, yes, the tone is upbeat, not focussing on bad news. A reasonable person is going to expect nothing else. But it does also provide hugely useful news - every issue - in an easily digestable format and it's delivered for free (yes, yes, your aunty Doris never receives one, there's always one).

    As a member of the Corporate Panel that will overlook the Big Conversation I have to say Coxsoft's comments about Redbridge i being used to track down critical employees is actually laughable. It's totally untrue - but that probably won't stop people from believing their own inventions...

  4. Never mind Aunty Doris, I've not had one through my letterbox for what must be getting on for a year now!
    And I'm bloody paying for it!!!

  5. That is not good at all.

    If you want to contact me on my council number (Google 'Redbridge Gary Monro' - if I print the number here it might be picked up by trawlers) I'll find out what's going wrong.



  6. And why may I ask Mr Munro did the Redbridge Li(f)e
    place an article about the Conversation without reference to the Panel- you only saw it when it went to press.It hardly inspires when one part of the council does not know what the other is doing- viz parking charges in Manford Way when Highways dont know that the council owns the shops, and there is likely to be a net LOSS of revenue to the council.

    Stopping Redbridge Li(f)e
    would pay for 3 more consultations and Webcasting of council meetings and still have money over,but what would we do with those spare council officers?
    perhaps do what Barnet did with their extraneous Highways Officers(all six of them) when they refused to follow Tfl dictat


  7. Gary,

    The good part is that I don’t receive them. The bad part is that I pay for it.

    If people are interested they will find out.

    If they are not interested they ain’t gonna read Redbridge Life.

  8. Just completed a busy session but not too busy to make a brief comment here -
    More trees = Less blonde people (sun bleached)
    The remark in the comments about pollarding to protect the river banks is highly questionable.
    Redbridge have published (in Peterborough and other parts Nationwide) for a Tree Officer - though, it appears, it was for a the Legal aspects of trees and planning as well as all trees capable of TPO notification, and of cause the ancient notification in Deeds re trees to be preserved clauses. However, Redbridge may never appoint such an Officer if we depend on the Ad for their Tree Officer ( if you pay peanuts you will only get ? )
    Or could it be that Redbridge Councillors have thought of appointing 'monkeys' to live in the trees and throw fruit at the tree butchers?
    I always found The Londoner to be exceptionally biased in content and rarely represented the many groups outside the clich of kenstonia.
    Hopefully this new 'blonde' broom will publish a twice weekly email newsletter as everyone has access to the Internet now with libraries (there are some left0 and Internet cafe's at a few pence per hour, more than enough thyme to get your emails.
    Monday (to update weekend happenings) and Friday (to round up the weeks happening) sounds about right to me!
    Richard Cooper

  9. Does your heading imply that Mayor Johnson is "Barking", Barkingside?

  10. In the case of "anonymous", who persists in hiding a true identity, should not the place be called "BarkingsNide"?