Thursday, August 21, 2014

Name that Square

At the Redbridge Cabinet meeting on 22nd July 2014, the Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, Cllr Helen Coomb, announced that there would be a public competition on the naming of the remodelled paved area between the Leisure Centre and the Library in Barkingside High Street.

There will be a two week period from now until Wednesday 3rd September to submit suggestions for a new name. This can be done at the Library where you can get a form (below) and post it in a ballot box. Alternatively you can submit your suggestions over at Redbridge-i but don't forget to let us know in the comments below.

There will then be a sifting process to produce a short list of 3 potential names followed by a ballot on those options. The panel will consist of local ward councillors, a business representative and a representative from the community. The winner will be announced on Saturday 27th September 2014 at the Barkingside Light Night event.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

999 Call for the NHS

Starting off from Jarrow early today, a group of local mums from Darlington known as the #Darlomums are beginning the 999 March for the NHS. They'll make their way 300 miles to London entirely on foot.

They're trying to draw attention to the critical condition of the NHS as it is gradually eroded by privatisation. Following the route of the Jarrow hunger march, they'll pass through 23 towns and cities over 21 days. On each stretch they'll be joined by NHS workers, NHS users, and other supporters of all stripes. It looks like it's going to be big and bold. After all, there's so much at stake.

They'll be in this neck of the woods on Saturday 6th September leaving Edmonton at 10am and arriving in Westminster at 3pm for a rally which is likely to be a landmark event in the campaign to keep the NHS public.

They want us to join them. Here is a day-by-day route and a place to let them know you're coming. Being volunteers with a lot to organise, they need funds too - you can help by buying a T-Shirt and/or donating. If you use Twitter, big up @999CallforNHS with the hashtag #march4nhs . If you use Facebook, they're here.

Here is why:
Closer to Saturday 6th I'll post plans for the day - perhaps we can get a Barkingside 21 contingent down there. Anybody up for that?

And on a practical note, don't forget to get involved with opposing Redbridge's most recent round of NHS cuts.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trees for Front Gardens
- Redbridge £ for £ Scheme

Did you know that nowadays if you want to pave over your front garden to provide off-road parking you may need planning permission? There are exceptions but if it’s more than 5 m² of non-permeable surface then you do. It may well seem like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted – the London Assembly has found that almost a quarter of front gardens in South East England are now completely paved over – but it is even more important now to avoid any more adverse consequences on flooding, water pollution and bio-diversity not to mention the aesthetics and property values.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have off-street parking, just that there are a few rules about how to go about it in a modern sustainable way. One piece of the jigsaw is planting.

Putting vegetation, especially trees in front gardens will bring many benefits such as:
  • providing points of infiltration for surface runoff and hence help to prevent flooding
  • improving the appearance of your house and street thereby increase the value of property
  • capturing carbon dioxide and moderating local climate around buildings to reduce energy used for heating or cooling, thereby reduce carbon emissions
  • helping to remove pollution and particles/sediments from air/runoff
  • providing a source of food/habitat for wildlife and hence helping to increase biodiversity
And, did you know that Redbridge Council has a £ for £ scheme for planting trees and they particularly welcome applications for private front gardens.

Here’s the Redbridge Council leaflet.

Commenting on a very modest local housing development, a local resident who has concreted over her entire front garden to provide 3 off-road parking spaces said: “If we leave it to the developers there won’t be a blade of grass left and we will have gridlock on our roads”.