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Review of the year 2018 part two: a classroom ban, a cultural quarter and a Christmastime pledge to help rough sleepers

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 January 2019

Councillor Debbie Kaur-Thiara, Mayor of Redbridge (centre) turned on the Christmas lights with members of the cast of Aladdin, this year�s pantomime at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford town centre. Photo: Ron Jeffries

Councillor Debbie Kaur-Thiara, Mayor of Redbridge (centre) turned on the Christmas lights with members of the cast of Aladdin, this year�s pantomime at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford town centre. Photo: Ron Jeffries

Ron Jeffries

As we prepare to welcome 2019, The Recorder takes a look at the last six months of the past year, and the biggest stories we have reported on. Yesterday we took a look at the first half of 2018.

Khuram Shazad Butt. Picture: Met PoliceKhuram Shazad Butt. Picture: Met Police

July

A teacher was banned from the classroom for life for allowing a London Bridge terrorist to try to radicalise pupils at an after-school class.

Almost a year after the Recorder exclusively broke the news that children were being indoctrinated, Sophie Rahman, headteacher at Ad-Deen Primary School, Ilford, was found to have “failed to safeguard” by the Teaching Regulation Agency professional conduct panel after granting Khuram Butt unsupervised access to pupils.

A hidden homeless investigation revealed that more than 3,700 households were forced out of Redbridge to help the council cut costs.

The local authority spent £29million on trying to solve the problem.

The Valentines pub was saved from demolition when a construction company withdrew its planning application.

Campaigners created a group to try and protect the venue from future redevelopment.

Flytipping in Ilford. Pic: Fr Gareth JonesFlytipping in Ilford. Pic: Fr Gareth Jones

August

Chaos descended on a quiet residential street when a gang of machete-wielding masked men attacked a car after a crash in Goodmayes.

Residents in their pyjamas rushed outside to see what was going on.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan announced that Redbridge would be getting 15,000 trees for an “urban woodland”.

Part of Hainault Recreation Ground would be turned into a mini forest to boost the environment and enhance the quality of life for residents. He appealed for residents to help plant the trees.

Vulnerable people were being targeted by a gang when they withdrew money from outside a newsagent in Ilford. Local businesses said the gang has been operating for six months and they were calling for something to be done.

A parish priest spearheaded a social media campaign asking the council to punish fly-tippers by naming and shaming them. Father Gareth Jones of St Mary the Virgin Church, Ilford, said he has lived there for eight years and hated living in a dirty borough.

Vision for the cultural quarter in Ilford town centre. Picture: Redbridge CouncilVision for the cultural quarter in Ilford town centre. Picture: Redbridge Council

September

A £7million cultural quarter for Ilford was given the green light.

A covered outdoor food market, artist gallery and business start-up centre were agreed by Redbridge Council cabinet members. The project, named The Spark, hopes to boost the town’s night time economy and the 5,000 square metres of commercial space will improve business rate collections by an estimated 25per cent.

A 21-year-old woman was jailed for 14 years after plotting with a love interest to kill her on-again-off-again boyfriend.

Fatima Khan of Jersey Road, Ilford, had been seeing Afghan asylum seeker Khalid Safi,18 for two years when he was stabbed to death in December 2016 by Raza Khan. Khan filmed Khalid as he lay dying in the street, posting the shocking video to messaging app Snapchat with an explicit caption implying she had masterminded the entire assault.

A mother of five pleaded with Redbridge Council to find her a permanent home as an “angry alpha rat” was picking fights with her children in temporary accommodation.

October

Residents of Mortlake Road who are angered by the council plans to implement permit parking in 90 roads.Residents of Mortlake Road who are angered by the council plans to implement permit parking in 90 roads.

The community was left in shock after a father to be was stabbed to death on his 23rd birthday in Hainault.

Moses Mayele was knifed a few hundred yards from his home in Manford Way and loved ones raised thousands of pounds for funeral costs.

Residents insisted they don’t want parking permits introduced to 90 roads in Ilford.

Neighbours banded together to print 5,000 leaflets urging the community to not support the plans. Redbridge Council confirmed it would be holding a consultation about the proposals.

An Instagram account showing children bullying, stabbing and wielding knives was removed after a Redbridge teacher publically condemned the page. Leader of the council, Councillor Jas Athwal wrote to the social media app and the account with 13,000 followers was taken down.

A Newbury Park resident headed up a campaign to remove a sex worker review site. Punters could rate and describe their encounters with prostitutes based in Ilford, South Woodford, and Goodmayes, which Trishna Datta, said was unsafe for the girls.

November

Parents gather in protest outside Our Lady of Lourdes Primary, in Chesnut Drive, on Tuesday, October 30. Photo: Paul DonovanParents gather in protest outside Our Lady of Lourdes Primary, in Chesnut Drive, on Tuesday, October 30. Photo: Paul Donovan

Police launched an operation in Ilford after officers identified that young people were being groomed with gifts for sex.

About 100 Met personnel and outreach workers descended on the town centre to make arrests, disrupt criminal activity and raise awareness about sexual exploitation.

An unborn baby survived after its mum was killed with a crossbow.

Doctors carried out an emergency caesarean to save the life of Sana Muhammad’s baby after she was hit in the stomach with an arrow in Newbury Park. Members of the community rallied around to support her husband and six children.

A man, believed to be her former partner, was charged with her murder.

Parents were angered after it came to light that the Diocese of Brentwood planned to turn all Catholic schools in the borough into academies.

Lots of mums and dads were not told about the proposals and were

annoyed that there had not been any formal consultation with the community.

Redbridge Council publicly spoke out against the plans.

December

Redbridge Council announced that all rough sleepers would be offered a bed to sleep in over the Christmas period.

A 32-bed temporary night shelter in Ilford Lane was opened up and it will operate until a permanent hotel opens in 2019.

Hundreds of families filled Ken Aston Square for the Barkingside Christmas lights switch-on. Crowds were entertained by Kenneth More Theatre’s Aladdin cast, serenaded by school choirs and kept fed and watered with mince pies and mulled wine.

Haven House Children’s Hospice was overwhelmed by generosity after hundreds of toys were donated by residents in time for Christmas.

The hospice in Woodford Green received 634 presents – worth almost £6,000. Some will support its toy loan service so that children can play with them at home.

An eight-year-old boy got the best early Christmas present after the NHS decided to fund an operation to help him to walk. Sunni White, of Ilford, was born prematurely with brain damage which caused cerebral palsy. His family thanked the community for their support and the staff at the hospital.

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