CABINET: Festive lights could be used for ‘all festivals’ after more ‘strategic approach’ agreed

The Christmas lights in Ilford High Road last year.

The Christmas lights in Ilford High Road last year. - Credit:

A more “strategic approach” to the funding of festive lights in Redbridge has been agreed, which could see the lights used for “all festivals” during the year.

Lights will be supplied to five district centres across the borough funded by Redbridge Council, as well as seven local centres.

The funding of Christmas lights, up until now, had been decided separately by each of the seven area committees.

Cllr Thomas Chan, speaking at a cabinet meeting at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford on Tuesday, said it was “good news for all the districts.”

The difficulties in procuring and funding festive lights was acknowledged by councillors, and it was agreed the chief highways and cleansing officer would look into finding a supplier.

Cllr Keith Prince said: “It seems only fair to expand the scheme to cover the local centres too. I would like the council to use them as much as possible throughout the year and not just at Christmas, to cover all festivals. Once they are up, they are up.

“This will also save money for the area committees and if they like they can of course use their own funds to enhance a display.”

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Barkingside, Gants Hill, Wanstead, South Woodford and Chadwell Heath were the key precincts mentioned, however, following a meeting of the environment service committee, seven local centres were identified.

They are Ilford Lane, Woodford Broadway, Woodford Bridge, Newbury Park, Seven Kings, Goodmayes and Manford Way.

Cllr Harold Moth added: “I think this is a good idea as this will give a much more uniform approach to the lights. Previously some areas which have a business partnership who made a contribution to the festive lights, had a much better display than other areas.

“Although some high streets are much longer than others, so it will be interesting to see how the funds are spent. I think the residents will hopefully see a change, and if there was one borough-wide switch on that would be good also.”

It was also noted that the council consider funding hanging baskets from next summer, as recommended by the committee.

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