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Q&A: My Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 January 2018

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This week we spoke to John Sharrock, chairman of community group Barkingside 21, and found out what he loves about Redbridge and what he would change if he had the chance.

What is your connection with the borough?

I was born in Walthamstow but I worked in the borough and moved to Redbridge after I got married. I now work as chairman of community group Barkingside 21 who are extremely active in the Barkingside area.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

What I have always loved about Redbridge is that it feels like the last stop in London before you get to the countryside.

You get the benefits of the city but it also feels more rural, which is fantastic.

There is also a wonderful sense of community in Barkingside which I love. Fairlop Waters connects us to the countryside and Ken Aston Square has such potential as the centre of our community.

What one thing would you change?

The people who go about littering and fly-tipping throughout the borough.

I would just ask people to have more respect for their environment and actually take the time out to look after it.

Use three words to describe the borough.

It’s my home.

Who is the most inspiring person you know?

That’s a very good question! I would say that on a non-personal level it’s Alan Howe, Barkingside 21’s secretary, who has done some outstanding and inspirational work in making our organisation more popular and maintaining the blog and the newsletter.

A close second is my local MP Wes Streeting, not for his politics – I myself lean towards Conservative – but because he does wonderful work as a local MP looking out for his constituents.

What new law would you introduce if you were prime minister?

I’d try and do something to crack down harder on those people who don’t properly take pride in their environment and don’t seem to think there is anything wrong with just throwing their rubbish down wherever they fancy.

If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

I would aim to address a lot of the rumours that go around the community and work to really make it clear to residents what exactly is going on.

Too often people hear a rumour and don’t really understand why something is happening, a newspaper is a good way of preventing that.

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