Former residents’ association treasuer reacts angrily to request from Redbridge Council to release funds

Cllr Richard Hoskins on one of the Grove Road benches

Cllr Richard Hoskins on one of the Grove Road benches - Credit: Archant

The former treasurer of a Church End residents’ association has reacted angrily to a request to release funds to repair benches.

Redbridge Council officers contacted Steve Rampat, of Empress Avenue, Woodford Green, after Cllr Richard Hoskins said more than £2,000 remains in the accounts of the now defunct Action for Church End (ACE) group.

Cllr Hoskins wants the funds to go towards repairing two benches in a small park area in Grove Road, South Woodford, which the group originally installed to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 1977.

But in an email to the council, Mr Rampat said: “[Cllr Hoskins] has no authority whatsoever to pull figures from the sky and give amounts which are totally wrong.”

“He is trying to show some form of savings during the current period of austerity and is using ACE as a football for political gain.”

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Hoskins said: “It’s akin to a hysterical grandchild.”

In his email, Mr Rampat said the council originally agreed to fund the upkeep of the benches but Cllr Ian Bond questioned whether there would be any record of such an agreement now.

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Cllr Hoskins said he has a copy of the group’s accounts from 2003, signed by Mr Rampat, which show funds of £2,075 from subscription fees.

He added: “I’d like to see them repaired. If necessary Church End ward would take it on but I feel the money should come from ACE. He shouldn’t sit on it.”

The council has said the repairs would cost £570.