Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Redbridge Budget Bun Fight 2014

Damn! When we agreed to host the Redbridge Police Community Engagement Group meeting up here in Barkingside on 6th March we did not know it was going to clash with the Redbridge Full Council meeting on the budget for next year. And judging by the rumblings on Twitter this year’s meeting promises to be quite a ding dong. So, we will have to divide our resources and send one of our committee members along to tweet the excitement as it happens. I now have one of those iPad thingies and will be able to tune in via the Library WiFi.

First up we have the budget proposals from the ruling ConDem coalition as tabled here on the official agenda papers.

Next up we have an amendment being proposed by the independent Independent councillor Andy Walker. He wants to use the underspend of £300k in the Emergency Support Scheme to a) publicise that the fund exists, targeting Doctors surgeries and Chemists and b) to consult with residents seeking views on how business growth could be achieved in Redbridge. See his blog post here.

Then we have the alternative budget put forward by the official opposition, see the Wes Streeting website here. They want to introduce:
  • free bulky waste collection,
  • a return to weekly street cleansing,
  • 30 minutes free parking on high streets to support local businesses and
  • targeted police powers for enforcement officers to clamp down on litter, fly-tipping and dog fouling.
At a cost of £716k paid for by:
  • Abolishing area committees
  • Abolishing Regional Planning Committees and transferring their responsibilities to a more powerful Regulatory Committee to improve the quality of planning decisions, and
  • Saving £100k per year wasted by the Tories on their temporary pool plans
So they want to ditch the added layer of bureaucracy brought in under the Local Government Modernisation Bill 2000 by the er… then Labour Government. What they are not saying is whether they will stick with the Cabinet system or revert to the old Committee system should they be elected in May.

We have covered both these issues before:


  1. If its a choice between blah blah Area Commitees and clean streets then I vote for clean streets

  2. We chose the date because there were no Council Meetings at that time!

    Also if residents choose to they can direct their police team to specific tasks such as flytipping, dog mess and littering - have you seen the piece in the Recorder about dog fouling and the man who didn't pay his fine?

  3. There was no suggestion from Labour where the delegated budgets of Area Committees would go, probably into central coffers? All the delegated items that Area Committees chose to do, many of which were suggested by residents would NO longer be funded.
    Everything from trees to local festivals would no longer rely on local funding.

    1. And even if the did fund things you can bet that little, if any, funding would go to events or organisations in the north or the west of the borough.