Residents shun South Woodford public art consultation

A MONTH long consultation to decide how �250,000 would be spent on a public art project returned just 100 responses.

The cash, made up of contributions from developers, will be used to improve the area around the A406 bridge in High Road, South Woodford.

A shortlist of three designs, drawn up by Redbridge Council, could be viewed online and at South Woodford library in November and residents were asked to vote for their favourite.

But they complained about the limited options available at an area committee two meeting earlier this month and blamed the poor turn out on the “confusing” poling system and a lack of public involvement.

Steve Moore, 52, of Derby Road said: “I couldn’t tell whether the proposals were the finished article or not and there was nothing on the website to clarify this.

“I didn’t particularly like any of them and decided not to vote.”

Sylvie Lockyer, 31, of Maybank Road added: “Who came up with this shortlist?

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“Residents should have asked what they wanted to see.

“The website was very confusing and I ended up voting for something I didn’t want.”

Concerns have also been raised about the bridge being too noisy for anyone to sit down and relax.

However deputy leader of the council Ian Bond spoke positively about the situation insisting the area could not be made to look any worse.

“The response is a bit disappointing but there are some interesting ideas out there which would enhance South Woodford and put us back on the map,” he said.

A council officer said studies of the bridge had been carried out recently and possible solutions are being looked into to reduce noise levels and improve shelter.

He added that residents and schools will be asked to contribute to the final design.

Building work is expected to be completed by September 2011.

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