Thursday, May 20, 2010

Now the Tough Part

Here is the Redbridge Partnership Agreement as signed off by the leaders of the local Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties – Keith Prince and Ian Bond. This is what councillors will be voting on tonight [Thursday 20th] at Full Council when they elect a Council Leader and next week [Thursday 27th] when they set in motion the programme for the coming year and define who does what. Of course there may yet be a twist in the tail, but I doubt there will be sufficient, if any, rebels to bring the house of cards down.

I think it is worth repeating here the objectives [below], for it is by these that they shall be judged. It is very easy to write down a set of objectives/aims/aspirations but it is much more difficult to implement them. Cllr Bond wants me to be more positive and enthusiastic. He is correct that this is a new style of politics but past experience has taught me to be cautious and to manage my expectations. Nevertheless, we really do hope that he and his council colleagues can summon up the drive and determination to deliver. There will be things that don’t go to plan, there will be external events, there will be disappointment, there will be those who criticise for the sake of it. But here we aim to be fair, balanced and objective. We also commit to participate and be a positive driver for Barkingside and the borough.

19. We will aim to:

  • manage the Council’s finances effectively, maximising the efficiency of our support functions and reducing non-essential spending whilst, protecting our front-line services as far as possible;
  • return Redbridge to the better half of the London Boroughs’ Council Tax league table and deliver a low Council Tax;
  • continue to support and enhance the role of our Area Committees;
  • review pupil projections and the options for addressing the shortfall in school places;
  • develop and expand our recycling facilities and the range of material collected door-to-door, and encourage people to recycle more;
  • support Borough-wide activities for young people;
  • continue to reduce the environmental impact of the Council’s services and operations;
  • progress the ‘Blueprint for Ilford’ to identify how best to promote and develop Ilford Town Centre, working with our Ilford Business Improvement District (BID) partners, and support and develop our District Centres;
  • protect and improve the streetscene, and the effectiveness of street cleansing;
  • develop more personalised social services that deliver what individual people need;
  • continue to invest in our parks;
  • promote housing for settled communities and hold our local housing providers to account for the quality of their services;
  • campaign to protect and improve our local health service;
  • work co-operatively with our partners in the voluntary sector;
  • continue to improve the profile of Redbridge and our relations with national and regional government.

20. We will also:

  • continue to seek the opinions of the public through ‘Meet the Leader’, and improve opportunities for people to participate in decision-making so that the Council better involves and responds to the needs of our residents;
  • urgently review the leisure development and major regeneration projects, to identify savings in the existing regeneration budget and ensure that spending on such projects is kept to a minimum until there is a reasonable prospect of taking schemes through to successful completion;
  • explore the scope for extending parking schemes across the Borough, whilst avoiding significant increases in residents’ permit fees particularly for the first car in each household;
  • ask scrutiny to review and identify options for starting to resolve the problem of the long ‘waiting list’ of unimplemented road safety and other traffic schemes;
  • identify funding to resume the programme of street-light replacement;
  • develop a programme of ongoing ‘Big Cleans’ to identify and resolve streetscene, cleansing and enforcement issues in targeted areas across the Borough;
  • improve transparency at the Town Hall by continuing to develop the functionality and interactivity of our Redbridge-i website and by publishing Council expenditure online.


  1. Whilst "review(ing) pupil projections", will the council be considering the effect on the local population of these, in my opinion, unwanted projectiles ...?

    ... Or have I missed the bit about air-raid shelters ...?

  2. When they say transparency at the Town Hall, could they spare a thought for the strangled new-born ie the redbridgei where it is patently evident that transparency and free flow of information is definitely not what the council wants. Some of it is good, most of it is would need a description I cannot force myself to type.

  3. why cant they reduce the number of area committes from 7 to 4? West, North and 2 in the south divided by the railway.

  4. I see we have an anonymous humourist, instead of what they are suggesting 4 wards and 2 area committees for the south, why not an area committee for each of Loxford Clementswood Mayfield and Goodmayes,or an even better idea revert to an earlier period, when everything was Hainault, It is not that long ago when Chadwell Heath was part of South Hainault Ward- the four above could all become East Hainault - they would all of course be represented by the current Hainault Ward Councillors.