About Us

Who We Are
  • Patsy Whiteside (Chair) Retired teacher, school governor, Chair of the Trustees of Relate North East London & North Essex, Trustee of Relate National. Particularly interested in the politics of food.
  • Alan Howe (Secretary + blog editor) is a retired Telecommunications engineer and IT consultant. He is a volunteer with Afasic charity.
  • Lynn Smith (Treasurer) is a retired Personal Assistant, having worked for many years in both the banking and power systems industries. Hobbies include walking, line dancing and travelling. 
  • Edward Barnes is a freelance business analyst with a background in investment banking and IT. He is a trustee of a local church.
  • Julie Bradley was born and bred in Barkingside and now lives near Valentines park. She is a keen conservationist and local activist for Safer Neighbourhoods.
  • Simon Copsey works in IT and is also a local school governor. He is a keen sportsman and traveller.
  • Steve Duggan Ran companies in Finance and Fitness sectors for 25 years. Now active in local community initiatives while launching two new companies in the fitness and arts industries. 
  • Jennifer-Ann Green is a retired hotel manager who worked both in the UK and overseas. She now works as a volunteer for various charities.
  • Tajinder Lachhar Works full time for a charity that supports business and social entrepreneurs. Has worked in public, private and charity sectors. Interests include environment and social justice.
  • Adrianne Tobias held various posts in education before retirement. She now works as a volunteer for various organisations.
What We Do

Well, that rather depends upon who we’ve got to do it. Like all voluntary organisations if there is nobody to do it, it doesn’t get done. We are quite happy to take on local issues and campaigns but if it’s your hobby horse or suggestion we expect you to lead. We will help, assist and advise but at the end of the day it’ll be your baby.

Coffee Mornings: We hold nine coffee mornings a year, usually on the fourth Tuesday of the month in batches of three – January, February and March; May, June and July; September, October and November. These are held in the Hainault room in Fullwell Cross Library from 10am to 11:30am and are free and open to all residents. We always have an interesting guest speaker ranging from Councillors to local farmers.

AGM and Public Meetings (evenings): We hold our Annual General Meeting in April which is followed by a public meeting with guest speakers on a topical local issue. We hold other meetings on an ad-hoc basis as issues arise, for example The Barkingside Town Centre Regeneration plan when we had a packed house of over 200 people. These are held in the Aldborough room in Fullwell Cross Library.

Newsletters: We publish three newsletters per year, usually timed to publicise our coffee morning programme, in December, March or April, and August. The print run will depend on how many volunteer deliverers we have.

Collaboration and Networking: We regularly attend council meetings as and when necessary depending upon what the issues of the day are. We are represented on various bodies including Transition Town Redbridge, the Redbridge Safer Neighbourhood Board and various Ward Panels. We have strong ties with other local community groups, allotment societies and local Neighbourhood Watches.

The Website: We run a website which covers an eclectic mix of local and national issues and the Editor welcomes topical contributions and debate in the comments section. The website is quite popular with a sizable regular readership and has won several awards.

Campaigns: These, by their very nature are ad-hoc and transient. They have included support for the Council’s bid to open a community school on the Ilford Jewish Primary site, maintaining pressure for a replacement swimming pool in Ilford and High Street Regeneration.

Our Principles

We are open to all, although participation from younger people and minority groups is something we need to improve upon. We are a political group, Agenda 21 is politics, but we are non-party political. We have members from across the political spectrum, some of whom have stood for Council and been elected. It is the diversity and range of opinion within the group that makes it tick.

How We Started

We started life in the spring of 1997 as a pilot project run by Redbridge Strategic Services. This was part of a government funded programme that arose from the environment summit in 1992, which took place in Rio de Janeiro. The big idea was that we need a bottom up approach to the environment and community resilience where local communities are enabled to decide and act for themselves instead of the usual prescriptive top down approach. The Agenda 21 is the Agenda for sustainable living in the 21st century.

The council engaged with residents over a two-year period via workshops and meetings to produce a Community Action Plan on what they felt should be done and this was published in 1999.
At this point we were set free and became an independent body with an elected committee and constitution, receiving a modest start up grant from the Bridge Foundation.

This coincided with the proposal for a Racetrack on Fairlop Waters and this one issue dominated the group for a couple of years, so much so, that we almost lost sight of our original purpose. Once that issue died down, and was eventually resolved, we gradually branched out into more varied community activities and campaigns.

Our Finances

We are pretty much self funding for regular activities, although we are not averse to applying for grants for one-off capital purchases. Our main expenditure is on room hire and printing the newsletter with a small amount for tea and biscuits and stationery. Our main income is from two sources. About half comes from membership fees and donations and the other half we earn from the Adopt-a-site scheme - we look after a public recycling point on behalf of the council, the one in Craven Gardens Car Park.


If you are not a member, why not support your local community and environment group? Contact details below: – Our Membership fee has remained at a recommended £3 since we started in 1999. Or just come along to one of our meetings.

Contact Us / Feedback

If you wish to raise an issue or give feedback please contact the Chair or Treasurer on barkingside21@btinternet.com or as below.
Alan Howe: 85, Chalgrove Crescent, IG5 0LX Tel: 0757 039 0339
Lynn Smith: 20, Aintree Crescent, IG6 2HD Tel: 020 8550 8224