Thursday, July 03, 2008

Barkingside Regeneration

a spivIn this weeks Ilford Recorder [3rd July] there is a report on Barkingside Regeneration, but it’s not on their website. Update: It is now! It was prompted by a letter from our Chairman.

He said that he was pleased that money was being spent on Gants Hill but felt that Barkingside had become a poor relation. Improvements have been promised for the past five years. In fact we are so much in need of tarting up that our Deputy Leader Cllr Mrs Huggett said that Barkingside was “unattractive, run down and in urgent need of a facelift”. That was September last year and in spite of being urgent nothing has been done.

Since September last year the residents and businesses of Barkingside have awaited a Regeneration Feasibility Study and yet there is no provision for this in the 2008/9 budget, let alone to carry out any recommendations that arise from it. So why not pre-empt matters?

We want to see the vicious circle of decline halted and reversed into a virtuous circle of improvement. We want a High Street that is clean, safe and attractive where there is council encouragement and support to attract specialist niche traders.

We want the council to listen to the Traders suggestions on parking.
We want adequate public toilets at both ends of the High Street.
We want seating areas for tired legs.
We want the alleyways spruced up and maintained.
We want the ridiculous and ugly lamppost advertisement boards sent back to whence they came, lubricant optional.
We want the chaos of the recent highways works addressed.
We want the open space by the Library used for Markets, Fairs etc to encourage visitors and generate income for the council which should be ring-fenced and spent of things like Christmas decorations.

Well, that’s the Feasibility Study done, would the Council Finance department please arrange for the £50,000 to be transferred to our bank account?

Now it’s your turn. What do you want, or not want, to be done to improve our High Street? Comments please.

Note: In the true tradition of CONsultants, we will take the credit for your suggestions and charge Redbridge Council a premium for collecting this information over and above the original price.


  1. "Unattractive, run down and in urgent need of a facelift" - and that's only the High Street.

    These comments as far back as September 2007, followed by failure to fund the Feasability Study in the following spring budget, make it abundantly clear that the comments, and the prospect of a regeneration scheme, had no more substance than empty rhetoric. Money galore has been poured into central Ilford for many years, and still it looks like a cross between a third world slum and a rubbish tip. Unless the council puts money where its mouth is the rest of the borough will go the same way.

    So let us have an end to this fiasco over Barkingside. The Director of Finance & Resources, with the agreement of the Leader of the Council, could release £50k for the study from reserves tomorrow if there was the will to do so. If they do not, then we are entitled to draw our own conclusions.

    PS: can Barkingside High Street be incorporated into either Clayhall or Monkhams wards????

  2. Aren't the alleyways private property?

    Seems to me there could be loos by the swimming pool (after all, the pipework is there!).

    Councils can insist, I believe, on taking aesthetics (not anaesthetics)into account when giving planning permission - let's see that happening, along with enforcement of regulations about food establishments.

  3. Well, Judith, there is an access road down this part of Fullwell Ward which apart from serving the rear garages to the properties facing the public highway also serves a row a garages on council owned land. For years the residents have asked the council to deal with the blocked drains. Oh No they said it is a private road.

    IT IS NOW!

    The council have sold it. Along with the land the garages stand on!

  4. Does this paragraph from a recent communication ring any bells?

    "Taking local action on eco-towns
    The Government's plans for a number of eco-towns are certainly a hot topic at the moment. We fully support the Government's aspirations for achieving the highest standards in terms of sustainability and affordability. However, far from being eco, many of the schemes are in remote or otherwise unsustainable locations. And a good few are old planning applications that have just received a touch of greenwash. "

  5. I heartily agree about more seating and loos. Also, please no more estate agents and cafes etc. there is more than enough and we don't need any more bookies. I know that times are difficult, but some variety would be great - I am not sure what would work at this time, but hopefully things will improve and to have a bright, pleasant shopping area would be great and I repeat more seats and loos. I also agree that the space between the library and swimming pool should be utilised. As for the advertising on the lamp standards, I hardly notice them, but getting shot of them is a good idea - but I presume the adverts bring in a certain amount of revenue.

    I hope your 'Maintenance' goes well.

  6. I vaguely recall reading that Barkingside is geographically the centre of Redbridge. That's why Tesco wanted to come here and why the Magistrates Court was built here and why at one time there were plans to re-locate the Town Hall here. So how come Ilford gets all the attention, and money, from our council? (The other side of the coin is that the Council is making such a pig's ear of Ilford that maybe we shouldn't want its attention focussing on us!)

  7. Ilfords decline began when so many different communities moved in. Years ago it was a well to do area and highly regarded. But, once areas become "ghettos" it's hard to fight the tide. Redbridge will simply go the way of neighbouring Newham and Waltham Forest. George Nethby, Hainault.

  8. In my posting on 3 July I said:

    "The Director of Finance & Resources, with the agreement of the Leader of the Council, could release £50k for the study from reserves tomorrow if there was the will to do so".

    I have seen or heard no news that suggests this sum has been released. So the will to get on with it is not there, demonstrating beyond doubt that what took place last September was no more than a cheap stunt.

    Weinberg and Huggett should pack their bags and go.

  9. Have they got second homes
    to go to?


  10. I am sick and tired of hearing nothing but bitching and complaints from all of you! Why on earth don't you all STOP continually moaning and do something for yourselves? After all it's not the Council that drops the litter whether it's on the pavements or on private roads - it you, Joe Public, shopkeepers and business owners. And it's not the Council's fault that most of the shop keepers and businesses in the High Road don't care enough about their area, are only interested making money and making sure their neighbouring shop or food outlet isn't taking all the trade from them - and boy don't they moan and bleat on if they do and using the Council's Planning Enforcement measures to get your own way. You're all too quick to complain but not quick to put your hand in your pocket and pay the extra that's needed to fund all what you want. Get a life all of you.

  11. My Site meter tells me that the above anonymous comment comes from a London Borough of Redbridge URL.

    As it happens I have had a rather complimentary draft post waiting to be pubished since 12th June. The reason it has not been published is that getting the figures [the evidence to back it up] out of the council is proving to be somewhat problematic!

  12. Now there's a surprise, B21. I could almost guess, from the characteristic terminology used in the post, which Redbridge councillor sent it to you under the cloak of anonymity.

  13. Cloak of anonymity!
    I bet Judith has not seen that post yet!
    I hope she does soon and that we get some cloak and dagger comments!
    Can Morris give us a little clue, like on the 'who am i?', dormant, thread on the redi?

  14. If only he could