Appeal for defunct South Woodford residents’ group’s funds to restore Silver Jubilee benches

Cllr Richard Hoskins on the benches in need of restoration

Cllr Richard Hoskins on the benches in need of restoration - Credit: Archant

A Redbridge councillor is calling for money given to a now defunct residents’ association to be released to restore benches in South Woodford which the group originally paid for.

The two benches in a small park area in Grove Road, which were introduced for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, have seen better days, according to Cllr Richard Hoskins, of Church End ward.

Cllr Hoskins has asked for Action for Church End (ACE) funds to be used to restore them. The association wound up around six years ago, but Cllr Hoskins told an area committee two meeting last month that funds are held in a bank account under the signature of the former treasurer, Steve Rampat, of Empress Avenue, Woodford Green, and the group’s ex-chairman, Frank Middlemiss.

Cllr Hoskins estimated more than £2,000 remains, but Mr Rampat disputed the figure. He said: “It’s not as much as that.”

Cllr Hoskins said: “Because [ACE] provided the seats for the Silver Jubilee, it seems a good idea that they release the funds so they can be restored.

“ACE was a very public spirited group and it would be in recognition of the Queen and their work.”

Mr Rampat has agreed to visit the benches and assess the damage. He will then meet with Mr Middlemiss.

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Mr Rampat said: “If there’s excess funds, I’ll suggest a carpenter.” He added: “The maintenance was supposed to be done by Redbridge Council.”

Cllr Hoskins added: “If the ACE funding isn’t sufficient, then the area two committee will look at bridging the gap.”

Redbridge Council was unable to respond to inquiries.