Q&A: My Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 October 2017


This week we spoke to former Redbridge Mayor and current Labour councillor Barbara White.

Cllr White lives in Gants Hill and has a passion for music, managing the famous RAFA Club.

What’s your connection with the borough?

I’m a resident and I’m also a councillor and community activist. I’ve lived here for between 30 and 40 years. I’m a councillor for Goodmayes, but I live in Gants Hill. I was responsible for starting the residents’ association in the area. We successfully stopped a block of flats being built, that we didn’t think particularly fitted in with the road. After that I was asked if I wanted to stand to become a councillor. I had been a member of the Labour Party for my entire life and it was exciting to keep helping the community.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

Fortunate for having lots of green spaces. I think we have got a good, cohesive community and long may it continue. A high quality of life.

What one thing would you change?

Being a musician I would like more support for the arts, because I think they have a very valuable role in the community. They bring a lot of good, and actually contribute a lot to our country’s GDP. I feel they do so much good, particularly when times are hard like during austerity. Particularly in those times we need the arts to keep morale up.

Use three words to describe the area?

Green, busy and community.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

Am I allowed to pick two people? My parents, they were truly inspirational. Very difficult in a few words but they inspired me to achieve my dreams, which is what I would say to keep it short.

What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?

It would be to do with improving the lives of animals, and their welfare. I think more should be done to help them. There is a study that shows so many murderers started by killing their animals. I personally have five

cats and eight tortoises. The oldest are between 60 and 70, however we had one who died after reaching 100 years old.

If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

I would focus on the arts, and also good news stories in Redbridge. I would also focus on the young people in our borough and some of their good news stories.

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