Sunday, January 01, 2017

Barkingside 21’s New Year Message

2016 is now the past. It’s been and gone. It’s now time to look forward to the challenges and opportunities of a new year, 2017.

So, what goodies await us here in Barkingside, Redbridge?

The biggest known/unknown is the three unspecified areas earmarked for the Redbridge parking treatment. Are we getting pay and display at Manford Way or perhaps Residents Only Parking in the streets surrounding Barkingside High Street? Wherever it is it’s going to be very interesting.

As reported in last year’s New Year Message our health professionals are resorting to “green prescriptions” to help keep us all fit and healthy and out of their hospitals. Walking is a very good and gentle exercise and they want to give you every opportunity to get out on organised walks, like the one arranged by Health campaigner Andy Walker on Saturday 18 March 2017 from Valentines Park to the Town Hall for a Rally in protest against the closure of King George Hospital A&E.

In the spring we have the scheduled Public Inquiry where the Planning Inspector examines the council’s controversial Local Development Plan 2015-2030. This should be interesting given the objections made by the Save Oakfield Society and the London Mayor’s stance that it is contrary to the London Plan. It is quite likely that this saga will see out the year unresolved, again.

April 1st sees the introduction of the fortnightly (and charged at a minimum £50) Green Garden Waste collection service. What is not clear, as yet, is whether the 3 winter collection points will continue through the summer for those who do not take up the paid service. However, as has always been the case, there are 4 Reuse and Recycling centres available to residents for free, with proof of ID. It is also unclear, as yet, whether the paid for bags are transferable and can be used at any address (they have been paid for) or whether the service only applies to registered addresses. It will be interesting to see what the take-up is and what unforeseen logistical issues crop up when the new service starts. Frankly, we do not expect it to last long.

On the bright side Barkingside 21 will continue with its free coffee mornings and we kick off on Tuesday January 24th with a talk from Tracy Scott. She is the Senior Enforcement Officer with the Redbridge Civic Pride directorate and will be telling us how our council aim to keep our borough spick and span and deal with those unsocial people who leave a mess everywhere.

There will be the Fairlop Fair and hopefully Ken Aston Square will actually have some events scheduled through the year.

And then there’s the CiL money. What’s that you ask? It’s the Community Infrastructure Levy and community groups have been invited to put forward plans and suggestions on how it should be spent. We will be putting forward the completion of the Better Barkingside project, which ran out of money. That is to remove and replace the ugly ramp at the back of the library to the same design as the new one at the front and to complete the landscaping and planting to mitigate the pollution from vehicular traffic on the roundabout.

And what’s this?

Is it the latest NASA chart of mean Earth temperature, or the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, or maybe a chart of pollution levels at Fullwell Cross roundabout? Perhaps a chart of ocean acidification or sea level rise or species depletion. It is none of those. It is a chart of the traffic on this here Barkingside 21 website.

May 2017 bring you peace, inner contentment and an appreciation of the wonders of nature while it is still there.

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