Grassroots residents’ network aims to make Redbridge ‘the best it can be’

A grassroots network of residents’ associations is hoping to spread out from Woodford Green to help people make “this borough the best it can be”.

From an informal group in Fyfield Road, Woodford Green, members have put together ambitious plans to link together residents’ associations across the borough.

The Redbridge Residents’ Network (RRN) has already garnered support from about 200 people and received a �500 grant through Redbridge Council.

It could help residents lobby the council and seek change in areas including noisy neighbours, parking and rubbish collections .

Susan Hayward, of Fyfield Road, the network’s secretary, said: “It will link into other residents associations, community groups and businesses and work with councillors and MPs.”

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The network is already connected to a neighbourhood watch group in Finchingfield Avenue, Woodford Green, and Ms Hayward said people in Valentines ward have expressed an interest in setting up their own association.

The RRN was officially launched this month at the Redbridge Green Fair in Valentines Park, Ilford, and is aimed not solely at council tenants but also at homeowners.

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Crime can often be on the agenda at Fyfield Road meetings and Ms Hayward said “most of us have been broken into in our road”.

But she said it wasn’t the primary motivation for starting the network.

“Where I’m coming from is we’re all so disconnected.

“I’d lived here for eight years and I didn’t really know my neighbours, so that’s when I plucked up the courage and it grew from there.”

Vice-chairman James Cooke, of Buckhurst Way, Buckhurst Hill, said the network is writing to the chairs of the borough’s area committees seeking their support.

He said: “If you can get groups to network together, we can make a significant residents’ voice.”

Cllr Gwyneth Deakins, a Liberal Democrat councillor of Roding ward, said she would be happy to meet with RRN members.

She said: “I think the important thing is for them [residents’ groups] to find common ground.”

The network is holding a meeting at the University of London in September.

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