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Ilford War Memorial Gardens Action Group ‘upset’ over garden funding changes

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 September 2015 | UPDATED: 14:52 22 September 2015

The Ilford War Memorial Gardens Action Group. F
rom left to right (back) John Bowers, Frances Speakman, Micheal Speakman and (front) Lesley Bowers, Vanessa Cole and Ruth Clark

The Ilford War Memorial Gardens Action Group. F rom left to right (back) John Bowers, Frances Speakman, Micheal Speakman and (front) Lesley Bowers, Vanessa Cole and Ruth Clark

Archant

The chairwoman of a group looking after a war memorial garden has hit out against the council after it stopped receiving money from area committees.

Ilford War Memorial Gardens Action Group chairwoman Ruth Clark says the group is “upset” after Redbridge Council cut the committees, which allowed residents to influence decision-making, last year.

The group, which looks after the gardens in Eastern Avenue, Newbury Park, was able to receive funding from the committee on an ad hoc basis.

The system was scrapped in a bid to make savings across the council.

Ruth said: “We’re very upset about it because we have done masses of work over the years and funding is crucial to what we do.

“It’s one of the biggest in London and it costs more to maintain.”

The council said Vision – Redbridge Culture and Leisure “worked hard” to ensure the upkeep of the gardens.

A spokesman said: “There is a £2,500 annual budget for grounds maintenance. Further to this there’s a separate annual budget of £11,000 for memorials annually in the borough, which covers the general maintenance of pathways, utility bills and fencing.

“Indeed it [Vision] has recently worked to secure the future of the area having completed a deed of dedication which means that the gardens would not be used for anything than its current purpose. The area has also recently received a green flag noting its level of excellence.”

Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: “In the last 50 years, has any other administration given this land any special status?”

He added: “Vision is happy to apply for further funding on behalf of these people.”


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