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Calls for Redbridge Council to ensure Local Plan is fully accessible

PUBLISHED: 13:30 07 September 2016

Redbridge Town Hall

Redbridge Town Hall

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The chief executive of Redbridge Healthwatch, an independent watchdog, has called on the council to ensure residents fully understand the much-debated Local Plan.

The chief executive of Redbridge Healthwatch, an independent watchdog, has called on the council to ensure residents fully understand the much-debated Local Plan.

The draft Redbridge Local Plan outlines plans for new homes around the borough and Cathy Turland says councillors need to ensure people with disabilities, and those with English as a second language, can easily understand the 184-page document.

“We have a very diverse community where people sometimes need additional support,” she said.

“I appreciate that it can be very difficult to make such a long document easily accessible, but people need to know what it says.”

Redbridge Healthwatch was set up in 2013 to offer residents the chance to have a say on how health services are run in the borough.

Mrs Turland raised the issue with councillors and health officials at the health and wellbeing board meeting on Monday afternoon at Kenneth More Theatre, Oakfield Road, Ilford.

Speaking to the Recorder after the meeting, she said it was important for councillors to ensure residents fully understand what is proposed.

“To me, there’s an awful lot of information and it’s about how we can make it accessible to everyone,” said Mrs Turland.

“It could be presented in an easy-read format, and posters could be put around the borough, highlighting relevant pieces of information.

“For example, around Barkingside, posters could highlight Oakfield and what is being proposed.

“If they say, ‘this is what we are doing in this area’ then people can decide if they want to have a say.”

At the meeting, Cllr Joyce Ryan (Conservative, Fairlop) said she had received complaints about the lack of copies publicly available.

“I have received complaints from residents who say the online consultation is almost impossible to fill out,” she said.

“It’s not an easy thing to understand if you’re English and literate, never mind anything else.

“Until recently, there was only one hard copy in every library, which seems ridiculous.”

A council spokesman said councillors were keen to encourage as many people as possible to have their say at drop-in sessions around the borough.

A summary of the plan containing its key policies and issues can be found at here.

Consultations are accepted until September 30 and can be sent to dpd@redbridge.gov.uk.


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