Search

‘Local forums’ formally agreed by Redbridge Council policy committee

22:55 02 September 2014

Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford.

Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford.

Archant

Redbridge councillors tonight agreed a plan to replace area committees with “local forums”.

The decision was made by the council’s Policy and Resources Service Committee, and will see the introduction of a new form of public engagement in the borough.

Old-style area committees held regular meetings in seven zones around Redbridge.

They gave power to non-cabinet council members to make certain decisions in those areas, but the newly-elected Labour council had criticised them as being out-of-date and lacking participation.

Following a debate which saw criticism of last-minute changes to the meeting agenda and disagreement over the cost of refreshments, council leader Cllr Jas Athwal told the Recorder: “What we’re trying to do is look at how it was done and cut out the waste, and grow the borough’s public engagement.

“And I’ve said we’ll do a review, and it won’t be me doing it, the [Policy and Resources Service] committee will do the review.”

He added: “This is something we promised before the election and we’ve delivered.”

But ahead of the meeting, Cllr Paul Canal, leader of the Conservative group, dismissed plans for meetings to have two elements – a “question time” and a “market place” – as “laughable”.

“This isn’t a village fete – this is democracy and consultation and community involvement,” he told the Recorder.

“I’m disappointed at how thin it actually looks.”

In Tuesday night’s meeting, councillors also agreed commitments to fund ongoing projects developed by area committees, and criticised last-minute changes to estimated costs.

Former Tory council leader Keith Prince also raised concerns over the costs relating to the new local forums, which are supposed to help the council make important budget savings.

He said £200 a year for refreshments at 12 meetings across different locations around the borough was not feasible.

But Cllr Athwal countered: “What you get is some milk, a box of tea bags and some biscuits.”

Read more:

Council votes to axe area committees
Labour leader Jas Athwal: Keeping area committee meetings will bankrupt the borough

0 comments

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 News Stories

Househunter turned employee Jess Rodgers

It’s not every day a visit to a housing development turns into a new job – but that’s what happened to one 26-year-old from South Woodford.

Disaster Chef Laura Grant

A marketing professional with a terrible track record in the kitchen has been named one of the most hopeless cooks in Britain.

Yesterday, 15:00
Barkingside's Make Believe Panto

The stars of Barkingside’s Make Believe performing arts company took part in their Christmas pantomime last week.

Yesterday, 09:00
Artist Lucy Harrison at the free motion sewing event at Regent Home of Sewing in Ilford

The Ilford Palais nightclub, the Ilford Hippodrome and Fairchilds department store were all famous landmarks in the borough which have now been resigned to history.

Most read news

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition