Q&A: My Redbridge
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 September 2017
In our latest Q&A we spoke to Tony Hoad, secretary of the South Park Users’ Group in Ilford.
What’s your connection with the borough?
Have lived in Ilford for over 40 years and been involved with community activity since I retired 13 years ago. In 2008 I became involved with the South Park Users Group as chairman and secretary since then. We are local people who support Redbridge in keeping our park tidy and secure. We organise funding and events in conjunction with Vision RCL. Over this time we have secured about £80,000 of funding for new sports facilities, refurbished the old boat house to a community Wildlife, Education and Information Centre and held an oral history project of our park, with guided walks, school oral history training and a new park information board.
What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?
We have two dogs so love the green spaces we have in Redbridge. There is good road and rail communication and the new Crossrail will make travel to London (and Heathrow) even better.
What one thing would you change?
I would like more people from all the community to support where they live and for more people to volunteer to help others and improve their environment. If possible I would like the education authority to put Civic Pride on the curriculum at schools. I think we need to educate children from an early age about caring about where they live.
Use three words to describe the area?
Ilford - ‘seen better times’ - but we can all change that.
Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?
My friend’s father had a stroke and for about nine years was bedridden in care. He was always cheerful and pleased to see visitors and always asked about others and their families. As I said to his son: “He was a lesson for us all.” He was cared for in a home in Gordon Road and the staff all loved him.
What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?
I would like a review of laws on animal welfare to ensure we do all we can to minimise mistreatment.
If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?
I would focus on civic pride, get local people to care about where they live, think about litter, fly-tipping, keeping properties maintained, looking out for elderly neighbours and make a positive difference to where they live.
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