Search

Decision over replacement for axed Area Committees due next week

17:58 25 August 2014

Jas Athwal, leader of the council

Jas Athwal, leader of the council

Archant

Discussions over proposals to replace Redbridge Council’s Area Committees with new Local Forums will take place next week.

Plans for the new forums were first mooted back in July as a replacement for the old-style Area Committees, which Redbridge Council has claimed were out of date, poorly attended and lacked participation.

Next Tuesday September 2, councillors on the Policy and Resources Committee will decide whether to go ahead with the new Local Forums which – if approved – would start in the autumn at Redbridge Central Library.

Leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, said: “Local Forums are very much about local residents. We really want residents to attend and talk to us about things that are important to them.

“We are committed to involving local people and communities in decision making and would very much like them to help shape the content and focus of these forums.”

The current proposals would see Local Forums combine formal and informal opportunities for residents to raise questions, ideas, issues and concerns with relevant people and organisations.

They would be held every month, in the evening, at venues across the borough.

There would also be two meetings a year held during the day, at Wanstead Library and Fullwell Cross Library, to give as many residents as possible the opportunity to have their say.

The meetings would have two elements, a ‘market place’ and a ‘question time’.

The ‘market place’ would allow residents to browse stalls staffed by council officers, councillors and partner and voluntary sector organisations to discuss issues such as planning, parking, cleaning, housing and payments and benefits.

The more formal ‘question time’ would see senior council officers and councillors respond to questions from residents.

Questions could either be submitted in advance or taken from the floor on the night.

If residents were unable to attend then the answer to their question would be sent to them.

If it becomes clear at the meeting there is a lot of interest in a particular topic, then time would be given over to discuss that in more detail.

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal and ward councillors would have their own stalls to deal with confidential or sensitive issues, avoiding residents having to divulge personal information.

“We don’t always want it to be the council setting the agenda, we want residents to have their say,” he added.

He said Redbridge Food Bank, Work Redbridge, Redbridge Council for Voluntary Services and Liberty Credit Union had already agreed to participate in the forums, as well as the Police.

“These groups have a vested interest in the borough and are helping to make Redbridge a place we can all be proud of. They will be on hand to talk about the important work they are doing,” he said.

Cllr Athwal also said the council expected forums to be “a lot more interactive” than area committees.

A rolling live log of all outstanding issues from the forums would also be published on redbridge.gov.uk so residents could see how they were being resolved.

If introduced, a review of the new approach would be carried out after a year to ensure that the new arrangements were meeting the needs of residents and the council.

Do you think Local Forums will be an improvement on Area Committees? Share your views - tweet @ilfordrecorder or email laura.burnip@archant.co.uk.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Ilford News Stories

53 minutes ago
The fight broke out after the two teams met at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium (Picture: Olly Greenwood)

A football fan from Ilford was among nine sentenced for their part in a brawl between West Ham and Arsenal supporters.

Cllr Lloyd Duddridge, Redbridge Council chief executive Andy Donald, Cllr Jas Athwal, Cllr Hugh Cleaver and Cllr Paul Canal attended the local forum yesterday

Betting shops are contributing to the rise in beggars operating along George Lane, South Woodford, a councillor has claimed.

07:00
Redbridge Council want to stop new fried chicken shops opening within 400m of schools. Picture: Walt Stoneburner (Creative Commons).

In a bid to tackle high levels of obesity in the borough, Redbridge Council chiefs will ban chicken shops opening within 400metres of the borough’s schools.

25 minutes ago
Matthew Clemenson

Have you got a front page story, or a community issue that you think needs reporting?

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now