Friday, July 26, 2013

The East – West Divide #Redbridge

There have been comments on this blog about the North/South divide in Redbridge and there was a discussion thread on the Redbridge-i forum on that very topic some time back but I can’t find it now. Basically the argument goes along the lines that the north is full of pleasant leafy suburban avenues with plenty of open space and represented by Conservatives with the odd LibDem. The south being economically deprived, over-crowded, congested, polluted with high crime levels and very little open space and represented mostly by Labour. Note that for this purpose Wanstead is included in the North. They have the barrier of the River Roding and the A406 separating them from Ilford.

However, our reader "DopeyF" has been doing a bit of research and has come up with some interesting parameters on Redbridge’s East/West divide.

DopeyF argues, below, that the East/West divide is the 4 prosperous wards in the far West – Snaresbrook, Wanstead, Church End and Monkhams and then the rest of the borough - that is the parliamentary constituencies of Ilford North and Ilford South.
  • These 4 wards represent 20% of the total land mass of the borough, but only 16% of the population.
  • They have provided 42 of the 117 Cabinet posts in the last 10 years (36%) the remaining 17 wards have only provided 75 posts between them. (Ed: this stat is a bit biased as the opposition are not eligible)
  • 4 Libraries in 4 wards leaving 9 for 17 wards
  • 2 Police Stations leaving 2 for 17 wards
  • 19,954 council maintained trees (48% ) leaving just 21,894 for 17 wards.
  • More Conservation Areas than the rest of borough put together.
  • 5 Residential Precincts (areas thought to be worthy of conservation but does not satisfy legal Requirements ) and 5 for 17 wards.
  • To be fair they do pay a disproportionate amount of Council Tax, but only because they have more houses in Bands E/F/G and H
  • (Ed: but they don't have a public swimming pool, but then only one ward has that privilege)
So, that's the preamble, now for the main event. It will become obvious why the “Preferred Options Report“ is so named.

Whilst the Council attempts to strip the rest of the Borough of its invaluable Green Belt land for housing (or profit? Or both?) in the period up to 2028 – Barkingside 26 Hectares, Green Belt around King George and Goodmayes Hospital and Ford Sports Ground, Green Belt around Beal High School and Redbridge Recreation Ground, NOT ONE MILLIMETRE of Green Belt land in Wanstead, Snaresbrook, Church End or Monkhams has been recommended for release for Housebuilding.

To add insult to injury Appendix 1 of the Report shows “Opportunity Sites for All Types of Development & Open Space Provision”

This contains a list of possible development sites totalling 324 hectares. The 4 western wards contribution is less than 1% - just 3 hectares.

These 4 wards in the period 2013 to 2028 will make a zero contribution to Redbridge’s housing needs, whilst the remaining 17 wards contribute 100% of the housing need. Now you understand why it is called “The Preferred Options Report

And now back to me:
One further dimension not picked up by DopeyF is that 18 of our current 63 cllrs (27%) either represent or reside in those 4 wards. And 4 of the current Cabinet of 9 (44%) either represent or reside in those 4 wards. Don’t you just love statistics …

1 comment:

  1. Concerning the "divide" between wards in the Borough, it would be interesting to know where "Section 106" money (now becomes the Community Infrastructure Levy - CIL) has been a) "earned" from development sites and b) spent on school places and roads, etc.

    A good place to start would be Repton Park which is mostly in Fairlop Ward.