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Flower beds used by prostitutes and clients in Ilford could be removed

PUBLISHED: 11:14 28 May 2013 | UPDATED: 11:14 28 May 2013

Flower beds used by prostitutes with their clients could be removed as the council cannot afford to pay for their maintenance.

Eight of the raised flower beds, two in Roman Road and two in Fallaize Avenue, both in Ilford, could be removed under the proposals.

During the area committee six meeting, held last week at Uphall Primary School, Uphall Road, Ilford, an officer from the highways department of Redbridge Council said they had fallen into disrepair.

Cllr Filly Maravala, of Loxford ward, said he had also received numerous complaints from residents living in the streets about problems caused by the flower beds.

He said: “The beds are well past their sell-by-date and we should do something about it.

“The residents are seeing prostitutes using the planters and are also leaving tissues, baby wipes and other sexual paraphernalia behind.”

There are eight raised flower beds which the council wants to remove, with ones in Norman Road, Khartoum Road, Harvey Road and Natal Road.

The two in Roman Road have large cracks in them and the roots from the plants are causing paving slabs to be lifted meaning they are a trip hazard.

If the plant beds are removed, the additional space could be used for more parking spaces on the street, something residents say they desperately need.

Cllr Maravala said: “When they were built 20 years ago families had one car each. Now there are many more cars and the roads cannot cope. Parking spaces should be put there instead”

He also said residents had complained that people were dumping unwanted household items in the shrubbery bringing the area down.

“If the beds were fulfilling a useful purpose then fine, but they don’t,” Cllr Maravala added.

The highways department asked for £48,000 for the removal of the eight brick planters, but this was questioned by councillors saying it was too much money.

At the moment area six has about £80,000 in its budget.

A decision on funding the removal of the planters has been postponed to find out if match funding from the council can be obtained.

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