Monday, September 29, 2008

On Yer Marks….

Said Redbridge Mayor, Councillor Mrs Loraine Sladden, as she pressed the button on a hand held claxon to start first the sponsored competitive run, and second the sponsored walk, in aid of 10 charities yesterday, Sunday 28th September at the event organised by the Cardinal Heenan Centre and Ilford Athletics club.

Cllr Sladden starts the sponsored runAs you can see the weather was just right [said goldilocks] and there was a huge turnout. Over 200 people took part and it is estimated that around £5,000 has been raised for these charities but the final figure is not yet known.
Cllr Sladden starts the sponsored walkMike Gapes MP took part in the walk raising funds for CAFOD, but it appears that Lee Scott MP, who was in attendance, [far right (spatially, not politically) first photo] was not fit to play and did not make it to the subs bench. Perhaps he had a bruised metatarsel?

Note: I note that the Redbridge Mayor’s blog has stuttered to an abrupt halt on 17th May 2008.
Has she been banned from the award winning Redbridge-i too?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cuba Libre

No, B21 has not gone all revolutionary, yet anyway! We are teaming up with the Redbridge Green Fair people with a showing of the film -

“The power of community -
How Cuba survived peak oil”.
an empty fuel gauge superimposed on a desolate scene with a hungry child I posted on this back in April with an extract from the New Scientist. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, Cuba found itself with serious fuel and food shortages. This is the story of how they dealt with it and the unexpected benefits they gained as a result.

The evening is entitled:
Can Redbridge move beyond oil dependency?!
Join a "proper" Redbridge conversation and film evening on being a real local community
Thursday 23 October from 7.15 – 9.00
Ley Street Business Centre, Corner of Ley Street/Perth Road, Ilford

7.15 - Welcome and Fair trade refreshments
7.30 – FILM (approx 45 mins)
8:15 - CONVERSATION: reactions... solutions?... actions ...
9.00 - REDBRIDGE GREEN FAIR AGM (for those who want to join in)
9.00 - Refreshments and more conversation (for those who don’t)
9.30 - Pub

Wear a red beret!

Wanstead Green Bazaar

Saturday 18th October 2008
11.00am - 3.00 pm
United Reform Church, Wanstead,
On junction of Grosvenor Road with Nightingale Place, off Wanstead High Street, E11.
Wanstead United Reformed ChurchFree Vegan Food samples (while stocks last), Gifts, Books, Jewellery, Handmade Ceramics, Toys, Jams, Craftwork, Children's Knitwear, Pocket Money Items, Photos, Children's Dressing-Up Outfits, Handmade Christmas Cards, Badges, Candles, T-shirts, Indian Head Massage, Bric-a-Brac, Recipe Books, Chocolates, Sweets, Collectables, Tokens, Minerals, Refreshments and lots more!

Entry 30p

Friday, September 26, 2008

Over and Out

a pair of eyes in the darkYesterday evening [Thursday 26th September], the Leisure, Culture and Olympics Scrutiny Committee voted in favour of closing the Ilford Swimming Pool immediately, rather than wait until December, due to the unsatisfactory safety survey. A final decision is awaited. Ilford Recorder report.

At the meeting John Sharrock, Chairman of B21 and the Swimmers Users Group said "This will result in Redbridge having the worst swimming facilities in any London borough, and London is among the worst in Europe. What a Christmas gift for your residents, what a poor way to start 2009." He went on, "What is a surprise to us is that you ever got into this sorry situation, so much for progressive Redbridge. Yet in this report there is no word of apology; no regrets, no sorry to residents. Is it too much for us to hear you admit that you got it wrong?"
"The Leader of the Council has given an estimate of 5 years before a replacement pool is built and we see no urgency to reduce this long period – some of us may not live that long. But to many people regular swimming is essential to maintaining their quality of life."

It is worth noting here that the Olympics comes to London in 2012, one year before the earliest estimate of a new pool. It would appear that this Committee, and the Cabinet member they scrutinise, is inaccurately named. Unless of course the IOC has admitted a new sport of procrastination, delay, ineptitude and wasting taxpayer’s money on frivolities.

Olympic-sized swimming pool for Ilford: Note the date.

UPDATE, Sunday 28th September: We are informed that the Ilford Pool closed at 3pm on Saturday 27th. What now?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Doing the Redbridge Walk

an 'older' couple power walkingThe Cardinal Heenan Centre and the Ilford Athletic Club are organising a charity sponsored run and walk on 28th September 2008 to raise funds for a number of charities. There will be two events on the day. Firstly a competitive run commencing at 10.00am organised by the Ilford Athletic Club. Secondly, starting at 11.00am a Charity Sponsored walk for all abilities that will take place in Valentines Park.

Numerous bigwigs and egos are expected on the day and the event will be opened by the Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Mrs Loraine Sladden. And our two local MPs; Mike Gapes and Lee Scott will be taking part and walking for a charity.

Mr Olly Browne is one of the star walkers. Olly is a Centurion race walker. To achieve this he has had to walk a hundred miles within 24 hours to qualify. This he accomplished in August 2008 at the Milton Keynes Stadium. He did this without any stoppages, other than for medical or welfare reasons. It is administered by the strict rules laid out by the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA). He has done this five times. Four ‘on track’ and one ‘off track’.

Contact: Joe Browne, Tel: 020 8220 2290, or Email

The charities involved are Anxiety Care, British Heart Foundation, CAFOD, Dream Factory, Haven House Children’s Hospice, King George Rheumatology Support Group, Royal British Legion (Ilford Branch), St Angela’s Centre for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, St Francis Hospice (Havering) and St John’s Ambulance (Ilford branch).

From the Guardian

a blackberry Gravy Train slowed down but still running. Having been criticised by a government watchdog about the number of Redbridge councillors on “special allowances” a move was made last week to increase the number by Council leader Alan Weinberg. The amendment was defeated and the number eventually reduced from 43 to 34. There are in total 63 councillors so that is still over half. Full article.

a mobile phoneOnly 150 motorists were prosecuted for using a mobile phone whilst driving in Redbridge during the past year. This compares to 1,800 in neighbouring Waltham Forest. I am astonished at how dangerous the roads are in our next door borough and what goody-two shoes we Redbridge drivers are. Full article.

In Our Midst

Barnados Village
Diamond Geezer gives a write up [with pictures] of his visit to Barnados during Open House week.

Over in Camden Sue Luxton visits an eco-retro-fitted period dwelling in a conservation area.

And before that Sue writes about a pioneering housing scheme in south London.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Take a look at this. It’s a transparent trash bin in Copenhagen.a transparent trash bin in CopenhagenAnd this – a combined trash bin and bus shelter in Auckland, New Zealand.
What the eye does not see the heart does not grieve.
It could catch on, but Tate Modern might not like it.

Hat tip: Green Girls Global

Sparrow Hatch

a sparrow in a bush with a bird feeder
Dear Ed,
Reading your piece on robins, reminds me that the sparrow is said to be an endangered species these days. Well, not so in Aldborough Hatch! My front garden in Spearpoint Gardens (Aldborough Road North) is a veritable haven for sparrows. I have nuts and fat balls in a shrub and have to replenish every other day. The sparrow roost in a holly tree on the opposite side of the road. They fly over twice a day, stopping off in my neighbour's holly hedge before dropping down on the nuts and fat balls. They also take a bath from time to time in the bird bath or water feature. Great! I attach a photograph taken this past week.
Ron Jeffries

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hard Times

a female hand with a needle about to burst a bubbleEcoEarth reports:
Current economic difficulties are largely caused by failing global ecosystems and resource scarcity, and are not an excuse to reduce environmental commitments, warns Ecological Internet. The bursting of the mortgage and financial bubbles, and food and energy price increases, are the logical and inevitable economic consequences of over-population, inequitable and unreasonable consumption, and unsustainable economic growth. Environmentalism is the solution to economic hardship, not the cause. More….

England is now the most densely populated country in Europe apart from Malta. That’s overall, it does not break out London and the South East.

Now, the question of the moment is this. Does it make sense to carry on with plans drawn up during times of plenty when the situation has now changed? Is the forecast for housing demand in the south east still accurate? Does it make sense to sell assets at the bottom of the market to deliver things that are now possibly not needed? Is the market telling us something that our elected representatives should be listening to?

Hard Times mean a Hard Re-Think. Do our elected reps have the bottle?

Exit Strategy

an exit sign showing a man running into a brick wallNext Thursday there is a special meeting of the Leisure, Culture and Olympics Scrutiny Committee down at the Town Hall. The main agenda item is the "Exit Strategy" for the Ilford Swimming Baths. It has been known for some considerable time that this facility is at the end of its useful life and will have to be closed. This puts the burden of swimming facilities onto the only remaining pool in the borough at Barkingside. Not everyone is going to be relocated though, and the pressure on regular users at Barkingside will undoubtedly be felt.

It is a shame that previous administrations of this Borough did not have the foresight and financial acumen to predict this event and put in place financial arrangements to replace the facility at the end of its life. It’s what we do, isn’t it. We know that the things we buy, like washing machines and cars will need to be replaced, so we put aside finances to do so when the time comes. Is it too much to ask of our elected representatives that they manage and plan their budgets with some financial prudence and not fritter it all away on Consultants for grandiose vanity projects that never seem to materialise?

Yes, it is not all the fault of the present administration, BUT, it is worth noting that one member of the present cabinet was a member of the previous Labour Administration, and another was, I believe, a Conservative Leader of the Council prior to that.

Exit strategy indeed!

Caption Competition IV

an upside down Rainbow spotted over Cambridge last week Courtesy of Cbeebies.
Hat tip: Greenormal.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Form and Functionality

Following on from the “Cost of Failure” post [and the comments] my portly friend, Richard Cooper, has sent me some photos of the new “sculpture” at the Elmcroft Avenue entrance to Roding Valley Park.

the new restriction apparatus at Elmcroft AvenueThis is one, or shall we say the latest, attempt at designing a gateway that will allow “nice” people into the park, and prevent “undesirables” from gaining access. We have had several versions of gates to allow horse riders in, all of which it seems deterred the horses and had no effect on scrambler bikes. You don’t say!!!! Now I may be a bit thick, but the horses I’ve seen are a darn sight bigger than scrambler bikes. And if you are fit enough to ride a bicycle or a scrambler bike, it’s quite likely you are fit enough to lift it over this new “barrier”. Besides which there are numerous other places where there is free unobstructed access to the park.

The Parks Police, initiated by former council Leader Laurence Davies and headed up by former borough commander John Boylin, have now pretty much got the scrambler bike problem under control. So, the question is – do we really need to keep wasting spending tax payer's money on trying to prevent a problem that is already under control, in a way that is just not going to work short of building a bloody great wall with manned attached sign saying shaping our future together It’s a nice colour though, don’t you think?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poppy Appeal

a poppyThe local branch of the Royal British Legion need helpers/collectors for this years poppy appeal. Two hours of your time is all they need. Anyone from 18-80. If you wish to help out please contact John Coombes on 020 8599 6339.

Between October 27th and November 8th at Supermarkets, and Underground Stations, namely Redbridge, Gants Hill, Newbury Park, Barkingside between 07.00-09.00 and 16.00-18.00.
Supermarkets, Tesco still awaiting confirmation of dates, Sainsbury (Tanners Lane) and King George Avenue from 27/10 to 8/11 between 10.00 - 18.00. We only ask for 1 or 2 hours of your time, more if you can spare it, many gave a lot more and regretably still are.

JPCoombes, County Organisor Metropolitan Area

Green Guide for Muslims

cover of the Muslim Green guideA green guide to help Muslim households reduce climate change has been published jointly by Lifemakers UK and the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES), with Muslim Hands, the Nottingham based charity meeting production costs. The booklet explains the impact of climate change using Islamic references and also explains why Muslims must do their bit for the environment.
The Green Guide is unique in that it is a simple, practical handbook that looks at different aspects of the Muslim household and suggests changes that can have a big impact on climate change. These include decisions about domestic food, water, laundry, heating, electricity, transport and recycling. At the end of the 20 page booklet is also a 'How green is my family' checklist that gives households something positive to aim towards.
The booklet has been printed in time for Ramadan, the month in which Muslims are most reflective of their actions.
For more information and contacts click here where you can also download the guide [PDF ~5Mbits]
Oh! By the way, you don't have to be Muslim to take advantage of the practical advice it offers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cost of Failure

an aerial view of the traffic lighted junction in Barkingside High StreetThe long running saga of highways “improvements” to Barkingside High Street is not yet over. One aspect not yet initiated is the widening of the carriageway in Fremantle Road outside Clinton Cards at the traffic lighted junction. [The road to the left in the aerial photograph]. This is to enable the central bollard and pedestrian refuge to be moved northwards such that the westbound carriageway in Fremantle Road is wider thereby easing the difficulties that buses have in turning left into that road from the High Street.

The reason that this part of the project has been delayed is that the underground services had to be moved. A short while ago the pavement was uplifted and the necessary works carried out, BUT it was all reinstated. Why couldn’t they just get on and complete the job?

We now have a brand new stainless steel lamppost adjacent to the kerb which is scheduled to be moved. Not only has the pavement to be dug up and removed again but this new lamppost will also have to be moved and no doubt the electricity supply to it.

Of course all these extra and unnecessary works entail financial transactions which in turn are included as, wait for it, “Value adds” in Gross Domestic Product [GDP] and all add to the illusion of “economic growth”.

It is a fundamental problem with our present economic system that treating the “cost of failure” in this way results in rewarding incompetence.
Is it too much for council tax payers to expect “value for money”?

UPDATE: It would appear that the two new lampposts are not yet connected to the electricity supply [they were not switched on last night]. Possibly due to the services having been moved earlier and the contractors not being able find the supply?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Inside the Headlamp

City Hall, Home of the GLA We are organising a visit to City Hall on Wednesday 12th November 2008. Mayor’s Question Time starts at 10:30am followed by lunch at 12noon. Meet with Roger Evans at 1:00pm. Max 30 people. Email with your contact details if interested.


Wanstead Leisure Centre Gym - full of machines that USE rather than GENERATE electricity Following consultation in 2006 the London Borough of Redbridge agreed to transfer Fullwell Cross & Ilford Leisure Centres, Cricklefields Athletic Ground and Ashton Playing Fields to a charitable leisure trust. The new service began operating in April 2007 under the name Vision - Redbridge Culture & Leisure.

The idea of delivering leisure services through the form of a charitable trust has been successfully put into practice in many other local authorities in order to sustain and develop the service.

The company is overseen by a Board of Director Trustees including seven Community representatives, a staff representative and 2 local Councillors. The day to day operation is led by Keith Newton - Managing Director who was appointed in November 2007. Keith joined Vision having worked in the leisure industry for over 30 years including 5 years as Director of Sport and Leisure for a charitable leisure trust in West London.

We understand that Fairlop Waters and the new Cycling facility at Hog Hill are to be transferred to Vision in the near future.

Redbridge Cycle Centre

Is a brand new £4.5 million state of the art cycling centre at the eastern end of Forest Road. A unique facility in South East England it can host national and international events as well as providing a facilities for local residents, and will be open to the public from 20th August 2008.


We have not finalised the arrangements yet, but we intend to hold a meeting entitled “Redbridge Sport – The Future” up at the Redbridge cycle centre on Friday 24th October 2008. Keith Newton and Lee Scott MP should be on our panel of speakers, so watch out for the details.

One question I really really want to ask is why oh why do treadmills in Gyms USE electricity?
Try this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Batman loses Robin

Bats It’s that time of year again, when the nights start drawing in, the bats come out to play, or rather feed, usually about dusk. There is a schedule of organised walks in various locations within the borough, organised by the Nature Conservation Ranger Team. Click for details. You need to book in advance.

Meanwhile the Telegraph sets the scene for Christmas a robinwith the sad news that Robin numbers are way down this year, due to the adverse weather conditions and a poor breeding season – don’t we know it. My butts have never been so full during the “summer” and the parasol remains in the garage where I left it last Autumn.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Are they Local?

I’m experimenting with video. If you’re on dial up, tough! Join the 21st century.

Claybury Park Art Project

Back in February, Area Committee 3 received a report on a Claybury Art Project presented by the Borough’s Public Art Officer. He got quite a rough reception from the committee, especially as there had been no consultation. Item 6.

“The artist/Architects group, Muf, have been commissioned to create a permanent artwork in Claybury Park Barkingside, Ilford. This innovative and stimulating artwork will bring attention to Claybury Park’s history and expansive woods and grounds. The project will encourage and inspire visitor to see and experience the Park from a different perspective.

The proposal for an artwork for Claybury Park is to create a series of images as talking points to explore the history and the future of the park. The images will be staged photographs as mythologized views and will be created through collaboration and participation with the park users and those charged with its ongoing care. The images will be located on the existing information boards at various points throughout the Park. The photographs will be created using the existing park as a backdrop and the participants as characters. The images will draw on the original techniques used by Repton, the C18th Claybury estate designer, which he deployed to visualise his designs for clients where he showed the before and after. In our proposal the landscape will form the “as is” view with the installed image as either the ‘before’ or the ‘after’, it will be for the viewer to decide.”

the proposed Claybury ArtIt now seems that this will go ahead despite Area Committee 3’s reservations. A project Group is to be set up to “oversee and provide advice throughout the project life and will be pivotal in ensuring that the artwork is sensitive to the area and relative to the budget.
The artists will create 3 extra proposals allowing the group to discuss and select the final proposal. The original brief emphasises social engagement and community based art to reflect the aspirations of the surrounding community. Muf are pioneers of socially engaging art practice and selected as the successful because of their sensitivity to the consultation process.”

I have been asked if I wood [sic!] like to participate as a member of the Public Art Project Group but it seems I don’t have the necessary experience and qualifications. Perhaps I’m not speaking the right language?

From the Muf website:

‘Since 1996 muf has established a reputation for pioneering and innovative projects that address the social, spatial and economic infrastructures of the public realm. The practice philosophy is driven by an ambition to realize the potential pleasures that exist at the intersection between the lived and the built. The creative process is underpinned by a capacity to establish effective client relationships that reveal and value the desires and experience of varied constituencies.’

Over to you Coxsoft.

Redbridge Peace Pole

the UN Peace One Day logo I didn’t know we had a Peace Pole, did you know we had a Peace Pole? Well we have, it’s in Valentines Park just a few yards [link for anyone under 40] away from the ancient Cedar Tree. It was erected in 1995 to mark the United Nations International Day of Peace.

This year the Day of Peace is on Sunday 21st September and the pole is being given a minor facelift in time for the event. Max Reid, the man behind the original installation back in 1995, extends a warm welcome to anyone who wishes to join him and his friends to celebrate this important day by having a picnic by the Peace Pole. Bring your own and some decent weather.

between 2.30pm and 5.00pm
Sunday 21st September

For further information, please contact:
Max Reid - Organiser
34 Quebec Road
Ilford Essex IG1 4TT
T 020 8554 2553

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Jolly Hockey Sticks

B21 has received an email asking for support for the Friends of the Earth campaign to persuade the European Union to vote in tougher regulations on CO2 emissions from cars this coming October. Calm down Judith, I am going to try and draw together some of my own thinking and see where that leads.

We have all heard about Climate Change, or is it Global Warming, greenhouse gases and specifically CO2 - the bogeyman of gases.

The infamous Hockey Stick graph [as it was dubbed] shows northern hemisphere temperature rising steeply over the last few years, but this analysis is disputed in that the data derived from ice cores etc is possibly flawed. [Click any graph to enlarge]
chart of temperature in the northern hemisphereAl Gore used a similar graph showing a correlation between global temperature and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, going back 650,000 years but again this is disputed.
chart of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and temperature from ice cores going back 650,000 yearsSo, then I’m reading a series of articles by Michael Blastland on the BBC magazine on the pitfalls of using statistics and this week it’s about causation. Did you know that when ice cream sales go up so do shark attacks?

Anyway, I’m quite prepared to accept that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere fluctuate and have done so for quite a long time. But why? Well, animals [and that includes human beings] breathe. We inhale air and extract oxygen and we exhale Carbon Di-Oxide – CO2. But plants use that CO2. They extract and store Carbon from the atmosphere thereby giving a higher concentration of Oxygen in the atmosphere for us animals to breathe. It’s called symbiosis. Animals [that's us, human beings, in case you've forgotten] and plants are mutually dependent.

So, the fluctuations of CO2 in the atmosphere over the centuries COULD be a reflection of the BALANCE between animals and plants. A population explosion among animals, more CO2. More plants, less CO2. Of course there will be other random events that affect this like volcanic eruptions and major forest fires. There was no Fire Brigade 300,000 years ago. The fluctuations in temperature between Ice Ages and warm periods may well be related though. Cold periods appear to correspond to low CO2 levels when it is pretty difficult for most animals to survive, so I can imagine animal populations decreasing overall in cold snaps, but then so too would plants.

Which brings me back to the present. The industrial revolution which started burning fossil fuels [which is releasing vast amounts of hitherto locked up carbon into the atmosphere] has also permitted a dramatic increase in human population and this graph is also a Hockey Stick and it also correlates to the recent rise in CO2 and global temperature. What we have not got is a popluation chart for animal life, which if we did would not surprise me if it correlated to the Al Gore chart above.

human population graphThe Climate Deniers, as I understand it, do not dispute that the climate is changing, they merely dispute that it is anthropogenic or man-made. What is worrying me is not so much the climate but that our planet’s life support system, the symbiosis, is changing and we don’t really know where that is going to lead. Irrespective of whether CO2 causes Global Warming, how much CO2 can the atmosphere handle before it impacts on the health and future wellbeing of animal and human life?

Over on Schnews there is a report that there is no shortage of oil, or for that matter coal. We’ve got shed loads of it left and then there are the bitumen deposits – Venezuela is another Saudi Arabia on Bitumen alone and that’s without the oil they’ve got.

As Schnews says in the preview to that article “Peak Oil theory is seen by environmentalists as the reality which will stop the oil industry. But could it be that the real problem isn't that we're going to run out of oil, but that we aren't?....”

The irony is that as we become more risk averse we are set to make the biggest gamble of all.

Fairlop War Memorial

Fairlop RAF badgeAfter a suggestion from a local resident, Alan Harris, a group of people met, on 17th August 2008, at the local RAFA club to start a campaign for a war memorial to the air bases on Fairlop Plain.

These bases were:
RNAS base at Hainault Farm
RFC base overlapping Penrith Park
RAF base that is on what today is Fairlop Waters

The RAF base worked in conjunction with the bases at North Weald and Hornchurch. There is a museum at North Weald and the housing estate that is on the Hornchurch site is commemorated through every road on that estate having a name that is linked to the air force. There is no solid link specifically to these air bases. There is a cyber link with the RAF Fairlop memorial set up by David Martin, and it is highly recommended that people wanting to know about the history of this air base follow the link and visit this site. [Make sure you have the sound turned on]. The idea of our campaign is for something more permanent to commemorate these air bases.

As a first step the memorial committee decided to request three preservation orders one to be put on one gun pit near Fairlop Station, one on a gun pit near Barkingside Station and a preservation order to be put on the First World War hangars behind the industrial units in Hainault Road.

We have since been informed that there were as many as seven gun pits in this area. When we get details of these we will seek that preservation orders be placed on each of these.

We would also like people to send in their recollections of these bases; leave a comment or
email. We have access to a number of people who remember the Second World War base including two pilots. More is always welcome especially if someone has memories of the First World War bases.

Dominic Black

The list of supporters includes:
Independent Conservative Cllr Harold Moth
several Conservative Cllrs on Area 3
Liberal Democrat Cllr Ralph Scott,
Labour Cllr and Deputy Group Leader Bob Littlewood

As well as that there is the more relevant list for a campaign of this sort:
Royal Air Force Association (RAFA)
Cross and Cockade Society (individual members so far but it will be
discussed at their next meeting)
Royal British Legion (specifically former Cllr John Coombs)

David Martin (RAF Fairlop website designer and owner)

What is Land For?

land surrounding St Peters church, Aldborough Hatch I would like to invite the Redbridge Cabinet members to a series of FREE lectures entitled
“What is Land for?”

I have checked the council calendar and there are no council meetings scheduled on these dates, so NO excuses.

17 October ‘Whose land is it anyway?
And how can government policy reconcile competing demands on it in an era of climate change?’
Professor Philip Lowe OBE, Director of the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme

24 October ‘Farming futures: will there be room for wildlife?'
Dr Chris Stoate, Head of Research, GWCT ‘Allerton Project’ Farm.

31 October ‘Integrated River Basin Management: managing land and water in an integrated way’
Pam Gilder, Head of Wildlife, Recreation, Marine and River Basin Management, Environment Agency

7 November ‘Brownfield and Urban Issues’
‘The Big Brownfield Biodiversity Botch’.
Matt Shardlow, Chief Executive Officer, Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust
‘Sustainable cities - a space for nature?’
Pete Massini, Future London Programme Manager, Natural England

14 November ‘Eco-Towns: Will they be Eco-? Can they become Towns?’
Professor Sir Peter Hall, Bartlett Professor of Planning and Regeneration, UCL; President, TCPA

21 November ‘For ever, for everyone: What does the nation need from land?’
Tony Burton, Director of Strategy and External Affairs, The National Trust

More info here.
The lectures will be held in Birkbeck, University of London, WC1
For free tickets and venue details,
e-mail: or tel: 020 7679 1069
All lectures are from 6.30pm to 8.30 pm. Doors open at 6.00pm.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Canada Geese

a Canada Goose

Anyone who has been to Hainault Forest Country Park or Fairlop Waters will know that here in Redbridge we have quite a few of these. Some people don’t like them and want to get rid of them, others don’t.

So, when I got a report from Area Committee 6 that the Council have obtained a Licence from the Government to shoot Canada Geese in our parks, I was a little worried and asked our London Wildlife Trust peeps to check it out.

Our Senior Nature Conservation Ranger explains that “the application is the general license that Redbridge has to apply for from DEFRA every year. This includes egg pricking, shooting, catching, etc. No plans have been made to use shooting or other forms of control yet. At Fairlop they have no plans for Canada goose control at the moment too, apparently numbers are naturally down on what they used to be.

My opinions on Canada Goose control is that it does require a rather complex coordinated approach of waterside land management, such as making islands unsuitable for geese to get on or to disrupt sightlines that they like. This cannot be done in isolation and all water bodies in the area need to follow a similar tact. Such tactics I might add can add quite favourable to a sites biodiversity if done sympathetically.”

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Redbridge Wetlands

volunteers planting reeds in the new lagoonYes, flooding. But this time deliberate. Along the banks of the Roding a new flood wall has been built set way back from the river. The old wall has been removed so that this area can flood creating a lagoon, for wildlife, fish and plants.

Pictured are some volunteers doing some reed planting earlier this year. It’s location is on the east bank just a little north of Ray Park. Go see, it’s a gem.

Redbridge Police Community Engagement Group

Safer Neighbourhoods LogoThe next meeting of the Redbridge Police Community Engagement Group is to be held on Tuesday 9th September 2008, 7pm-9pm at Barley Lane Primary School, Huxley Drive, Chadwell Heath, RM6 4RJ.

This is a public meeting. If you have anything to say or ask about crime, fear of crime or antisocial behaviour, please come along and let the Borough Commander of Redbridge Police and the Lead Councillor for Community Safety hear your views. Anyone who lives or works in Redbridge is welcome to attend.

1. Welcomes and apologies for absence
2. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising (5 minutes)
3. Executive Committee Report and recommendations (5 minutes)
4. Borough Commander, Pete Terry – Police Performance and Stop & Search Report followed by questions (30 minutes)
5. Chief Inspector Pete Dickson – Police Community Support Officers Presentation followed by questions (30 minutes)
6. Responses to submitted questions (10 minutes)
7. Date, time and place of next meeting 7-9pm on 3 December at Hainault Community Centre

8. Any other business (10 minutes)