Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Charlie Brown’s Roundabout Way

Back in about 2009 Transport for London had plans, and funding, to signalise Charlie Brown’s roundabout and provide pedestrian crossings. Unfortunately these plans were put on hold as the funding was diverted to the Gants Hill Regeneration project and that roundabout got signalisation and pedestrian crossings instead. Not to be deterred this long running campaign carried on with Roding ward councillors and local community groups.

Then in January 2014, before the last local elections, TfL announced that funding was again available and that a feasibility study would be taking place that spring and that the project would be completed by spring 2017.

Then it all went quiet, the new Labour administration took over at Redbridge Town Hall that May, but this is a TfL project so there was no reason to expect anything else but they would just get on with it. But it now appears that Redbridge Labour have intervened.

A press release from Redbridge Labour (that derides press releases) tells us that they have been busily working away behind the scenes with TfL providing real action for this problematic roundabout.

“Only now after months of hard work can the fruits of these efforts be revealed.”

So what do the efforts of this crack Labour team of Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council, Wes Strreeting, MP for Ilford North and councillor for Aldborough and the recently elected Lloyd Duddridge, councillor for Roding, amount to?

Well, instead of the original plan when the Labour administration came to power in Redbridge in May 2014, which was scheduled for completion in Spring 2017, we now have the new improved and updated Labour plan, as the fruit of their efforts, of starting the project in, maybe, the first half of 2018.

I will leave readers to draw their own conclusions. Here’s Local Lloyd at the roundabout.

Look Right, Charlie

Roding Councillors - 17 January 2014
Wanstead & Woodford Guardian - 16 January 2014
Ilford Recorder - 16 January 2014
Redbridge Labour - 17 August 2016


  1. Cllr Lloyd Duddridge4:17 pm, August 18, 2016

    This comment was posted on Facebook by Cllr Lloyd Duddridge.

    Completely disingenuous. I was only elected in May and would be neglecting my duties as a ward councillor if I was not trying to push TFL as hard as possible to get a result on Charlie Browns. It is the number one issue on the door step in Roding. Residents deserve to know there is a plan in place,and that pressure is being applied to make it happen as soon as possible.

    The local Liberals,and Tories seem to be arguing nothing will be done,which cannot be further from the truth. You can find the article below.


    That is the only reason we felt we needed to put out a press release so people knew that things were happening behind the scenes. When we tell people what is going on you call us opportunistic and when we keep things in house you call us undemocratic,damned if we do and damned if we don't.

    I want it done before the next election so it is not just a cheap election bribe that is then pushed back. That is why I am trying to pressure a Government body into doing something,which is never easy,though certainly nothing as hard as running a blogpost.

    I thought a body set up to promote Green issues would applaud a councillor trying to help with just that. However it seems you would rather be a pond shop Guido Fawkes.

  2. Dear Lloyd

    not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.

    Take another read of the article ascribed to Jas Athwal.
    No mention of the long running campaign, the efforts of councillors from other parties or community groups, whose interventions have, in the past, got us to precisely the same stage that you are now. We know what happened in 2009; the funds were diverted to the Gants Hill Regeneration project. But we don’t know what happened in 2014, which seems to be a recurring theme in recent years.

    The piece talks about “months of hard work”; months, not years. One might conclude that the catalyst for this burst of recent activity was the Roding by election, which you won. If this is the case, it is to be welcomed but bearing in mind this is not exactly an issue that arisen recently it also raises some questions for you.

    Did the feasibility study take place in spring 2014?
    If it did, what was the outcome?
    If it didn’t, why not?
    In either case what follow up action did the Labour administration take either immediately or during its first two years of office?

    Pond [sic] Shop Guido

    1. so ironic this poster cynically feels that recognition should go to the previous administration for all their efforts to get some action at Charlie Browns roundabout.
      Making the whole issue look opportunistic, it's good news no matter what....that should be the focus!
      But why do they (B21) carefully avoid recognising that the previous administration run by Mr Prince initiated Oakfield's for development ?
      Double standards?
      If you wave the should be consistent to all those that deserve it or who play political football with us all!

    2. Suggest you take a stroll through the archives.

  3. "Garbage" say the #Redbridge LibDems as row over Charlie Brown's roundabout escalates - WW Guardian

  4. Dear Mr. Duddridge

    You are a young man and therefore may not be averse to hearing a very small piece of advice from a much older person: if you are considering a continued career in politics, you will need to develop a much thicker skin. It is a truth universally acknowledged that you will be criticised whatever you do.It hurts if you are trying to do your best and it hurts just as much if it touches a sore spot where you feel you could have done better.

    Your answers to the criticisms, if you absolutely must answer them, should restrict themselves to the facts and refrain from name-calling. After all, which one of us doesn't have a fault or a deficiency somewhere in our makeup which would enable another to call us by an unwelcome name? And name-calling can so easily lead to mud-slinging, which doesn't get us anywhere.

    Barkingside 21 was quite right to point out that the plans for the roundabout only do what was promised already, but at a much later date. It would be difficult to regard this as a triumph for anybody, unless of course the plans had been axed and the current administration at the Town Hall had succeeded in having them reinstated. We can all be glad that the dangerous junction is going to be redesigned, but we can also comment on the fact that it should have been completed a year before it is now due to be started.

  5. Thank you Patsy,all advice is warmly accepted.

    1. And thank you, Lloyd, for your gracious reply. Now that's settled, I hope you will find that Barkingside 21 and its blog can be a valuable ally to you in your work as a councillor - and nobody can have too many allies.

  6. The bottom line here is that the 'commitment' to include the works at Charlie Brown within the 2017/18 TfL plan (with completion expected in 2018) was secured under the previous London Mayor, as a Google search of articles a year or so back on the local Recorder and Guardian websites will quickly confirm.

    Whilst welcoming this, as local councillors we rightly observed that this wasn't the first time that the project had been included within TfL's forward planning, and - as we know from the way that Redbridge Council does its capital budgeting - it is relatively easy to pencil in a project for prospective year two or year three funding. The acid test is whether the budget is still there when 2017/18 or 18/19 becomes Year One.

    Labour's press release concerning its efforts to secure funding for 2018 therefore contains nothing that is actually 'news' in the sense of being new. If they are confirming that TfL absolutely will go ahead with the project in 2018 then, obviously, that would be very welcome. But, I rather suspect that the truth may be that they have simply raised the matter at the regular LBR/TfL liaison meetings that we used to have when in administration, been told that the project is already in the forward capital plan for 2018, and somewhat cynically decided to present this as an achievement, when it was actually secured well before Sadiq's election.