Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year - 2015

The committee of Barkingside 21 trust you all had a good Christmas break and are now settling down to a Happy New Year. So, what delights have we got to look forward to in this back stream creak known as Redbridge in 2015?

First up at January Full Council we have the requisition on the Clayhall Avenue U-Turn decision. This one looks like it will run and run. Meanwhile, calls for a roundabout or traffic lights at the Roding Lane North and South junction gather pace.

Talking of roundabouts there will also be a parliamentary petition on the Redbridge Roundabout issue (RedRag) to help the long suffering residents in Redbridge Lane East, not to mention the drivers queueing to get onto said roundabout.

Also on petitions we expect the opposition to the closure of Glasbury House to reach the magic 1,500 signatures needed to force another debate at Full Council and a potential review of that decision.

Then there will be the result of the Local Development consultation and the fate of the Oakfield playing fields site. Others have objected to the proposals for Wanstead and Woodford, as well as the Goodmayes Hospital site and green belt land to the east of the railway line. Someone is going to be unhappy.

Meanwhile, back at the Town Hall the problem of dwindling finances will be a hot topic when setting the council’s budget for 2015/6. Frankly it looks like there is no way they can balance the books without further cuts in services or selling off the family silver. That, my friends, means green belt land owned by the council which can be sold at a premium with planning permission for housing.

On the capital budget side it would be ambitious to expect the new swimming pool at Mayfield School to be completed in 2015, but we do expect to see some progress on the preliminaries. The other pool at Loxford School already exists and merely needs some new infrastructure work to accommodate public access. This pool could well be open to the public by the end of 2015, provided the council do not engage Kenson’s to do the work.

Talking of building works we are expecting the new Barkingside town square and the new entrances to the Library to be completed sometime about er….. November, maybe?

We will be keeping an ear open for news on the potential bus route along Forest Road, and the promised public toilets somewhere in the vicinity of “Barkingside”. On the High Street we expect the turnover of shops to continue, they don’t stay closed for long. What is to become of the four frontages that were the Post Office and Quidsaver is yet to materialise, but there is a planning application for a Turkish Restaurant at the former Quisaver premises. A nice shiny new red pillar box should also be arriving soon on the corner outside the new Post Office.

On democracy and engagement there will be a 6 month review of the new Local Forums, that which replaced the Area Committees. Should they continue the roadshow may get around to visiting us at a convenient location in the near vicinity of the New Fairlop Oak sometime towards the end of the year.

And finally we have our AGM and Hustings for the Ilford North constituency on 18th April followed by the General Election itself on 7th May.

Here’s Nina Simone

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