View from the House: We must make Ilford more welcoming
PUBLISHED: 08:30 13 January 2019
Many local and national businesses face great uncertainty.
Those importing goods, or dependent on employees from other EU countries are worried about the disastrous implications of a No Deal Brexit. All face massive competitive pressures.
Several household names recently ceased business or are in administration. In any competitive market economy there will inevitably be business failures as well as successes.
But the move to online shopping and unfair competition from low tax or tax avoiding companies like Amazon who do not have to pay business rates threatens traditional shops.
I know that Redbridge Council is working with the BID to respond to challenges and to support diversification of the town centre.
Redbridge Council has also published ambitious plans for regeneration, new housing and a new market.
However these plans will be fatally undermined if there is a continuing deterioration of public perceptions about Ilford.
As a local resident and regular user of Ilford Station and bus stops on Cranbrook Road I know from personal experience how unpleasant that can sometimes be. Crime, aggressive begging and open drug dealing around Ilford Station is a matter of deep concern.
I understand arrests have been made and uniformed and plain clothed officers of the Met and the British Transport Police have recently undertaken operations to tackle drug dealing and child sexual exploitation. It is essential that much more is done.