Monday, July 24, 2017

Reclaiming our Streets

Back in March we reported on Redbridge Council’s new initiative the Streets Commission. This project was initiated by Councillor John Howard, Cabinet Member for Rubbish, Environment and Sustainability, to provide "a comprehensive picture of what matters most to the citizens of Redbridge when it comes to creating better streets and public spaces". It was community lead with five volunteers selected from across the spectrum, (including Barkingside 21), and the report has now been published and has fed into the much wider ranging Strategy for Great Neighbourhoods 2017-2022.

Now comes the difficult bit – implementation.

We are not just going to sit back and wait for things to happen. This has to be driven and tested along the way and we will be seeking follow up meetings with the Cabinet member and officers to monitor and review progress.

One of the key features that came out of the focus groups was that our council was often already doing the suggestions made. Thing’s like:
So, the key here is communications and getting the message out. This is not as easy as you may think. You are reading this. You are one of the few people who are paying attention. Most of them don’t. The change in the green waste collection service earlier this year was a case in point, with many people unaware of the change and continuing to put their green waste out in the old reusable canvas bags. But that’s another story.

The other big issue is that once you have, at least some, of the people’s attention there has to be an easy path for them to follow, with a fined tuned protocol of how the council engages with volunteers and a clear understanding of what they can expect.

If you want residents to take ownership of their local street, or the small green patch outside their homes, it should be easy for them to get the appropriate equipment, tools and plants. This already happens with Adopt-a-site – I’ve got my Hi-viz jacket, gloves, litter picker and a supply of plastic bags but there is currently no process I know of for someone who offers to litter pick the road they live in.

We will revisit this, often.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard so many people say "I didn't know the free green waste collection was ending"....well I am sorry, but on this occasion the Council did publicise it well in advance. It was detailed quite comprehensively in Redbridge Life. If people choose not to read this free newspaper, that's not the Council's fault. How long does it take to look through it? Not long at all so there's no excuse for not knowing what's going on in the Borough.