Friday, June 27, 2008

Selling the Family Silver

auctionDear Editor,

I note 51% of respondents to the Redbridge Conversation said that the sale of land is the best way to generate cash (Have your say over council land sales, Recorder, 19 June) but before Councillors take this as the green light this needs to be put into context.

A recent email written by the Council’s Chief Executive to members of the Redbridge Strategic Partnership – and now in the public domain – states that the Redbridge Conversation is at the halfway point. There have been over 2,000 responses to the Redbridge Conversation, with the majority of those online. The Council’s target is 3,000 responses. When asked how investments should be funded, the largest numbers of people say land sales and that the Council should become more efficient.

The consultation is open to those who live in Redbridge and those who work here – around 300,000 people. A target response of 3,000 or 1% is hardly representative. So much for the silent majority.

With the majority of responses being online, I would have to question who these 2,000 respondents are? Are they Council Tax payers? Are they developers and their staff who are anxious to make a quick buck as the Council sells off the family silver – which is how many of us view the Green Belt land of Fairlop Plain and Aldborough Hatch.

The paper questionnaire was only delivered here in the past few days and was unavailable locally for almost the whole of the first part of the consultation period. Add to that the fact that the online response is complicated and that many thousands of residents do not have computers. The latter applies especially to many long-term residents who have faithfully paid their Council Tax and expect their Council to be both prudent and efficient, and not making decisions based on the whim of 1% of the Borough’s residents and workers.

If Councillors decide to sell off Green Belt land for housing based on this farcically totally unrepresentative conversation, they will have done this Borough a disservice from which it will never recover.

Ron Jeffries,
Chairman, Aldborough Hatch Defence Association


  1. I note today from the Redbridge-i website that the council's Head of Marketing & Communications, Eddie Gibb, is still whaffling on about the steps taken in an attempt to rectify discrepancies between the electronic and paper versions of the "conversation".

    Mr Gibb - when you're in a hole stop digging!

  2. and he failed to answer about not spending any further money!


  3. Apparently they will not re run the Big conversation, and so wont spend any more money on it. So what is the point?? I tell you what the point is. They were going to ignore it anyway and flog the allotments off anyway, even if they are not on the mostpopular list to flog!

  4. The question is raised about the option of the majority of the respondents.

    This entire process is a pitiful sham. Schools have been offered a day's staff cover to enable children to respond. Cover costs up to £180 a day, and there are 69 Redbridge schools. The responses are quite likely to go towards one area of the options only. And at what age are the children exercising their own uninfluenced options?

    The entire process will end up with a result having about as much credibility as a presidential election in Zimbabwe.

  5. To be honest, listening to the council, and different people on the allotments, others on the Conversation list and organisations callously hit by this council - There are quite a few who do not have a credability, and unable to function as councillors. They do not represent their wards, and are obviously too scared to say no to Weinberg. The Council has lost my support - They are obviously too gutless. Either that or it is a on person ideology to "improve" the borough. What tosh!!!