Monday, May 25, 2015

Going - Oakfield - The Latest

The elections are over, both the locals in 2014 and the nationals in 2015.

And we are back to where we were in 2013, just before the then Cabinet Member referred the Local Plan back to officers to come up with alternatives to developing the Oakfield site. The results of the consultation are now published and the recommendation is …. to go ahead as planned in 2013.

This will be discussed at the Neighbourhoods and Communities Service Committee on Wednesday 3rd June and then go to (we presume) a special Full Council meeting on 11th June, which was announced at the last Full Council but does not as yet appear on the meetings calendar.

The agenda and papers for the Service committee are published here.

The full report, a 15Mb PDF is here.

And the Appendix 3 (The Recommended Plan) a 27Mb PDF is here.


Remember this? It's gone.

And this disappeared after about two weeks ...

Every Little Helps

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Five Reasons to Eat Seasonally

1. Save Money

When fruit and veg are in season they are less expensive. There is an abundance of strawberries, for example, when they are in season. As a result they are less expensive in the summer (except during Wimbledon fortnight) than in the winter. Eating with the seasons is a habit that is easy on the wallet.

2. Discover Different Foods

There is more to spring eating than asparagus and wild garlic (although both are delicious!). Eating seasonally will encourage you to discover foods that you may not be used to eating. It will diversify your meals and allow you to try new tastes. There is an incredible variety of fruit and veg available, yet most of us stick to eating the same ones. Finding out what grows in the spring will help you learn about rare, endangered, and heirloom foods. Have you ever tried 'Good King Henry'? It's a wild plant that looks similar to spinach. Or what about 'Morels'? They're a kind of mushroom that looks like something out of a science fiction novel.

3. Support Local Farms

Much of the seasonal produce available comes from local farms. When you buy fruit and veg in a supermarket, there are many items that are not in season in the UK and as a result, they are shipped in from abroad. When something is in season, it is often sourced from a UK farm. You can guarantee that your seasonal produce is from a local farm by shopping at a local farmer's market or ordering a weekly Organic Ilford vegbag.

4. Enjoy better flavour

Have you ever eaten a tomato January? If you have, it may have put you off eating them for while. The cardboard taste is enough to make anyone wonder why they ever liked tomatoes at all. Fast-forward to mid-July, and tomatoes are not only bursting with colour and flavour, but they have a strong smell as well. Eating seasonally reconnects you with the flavours of the foods you eat.

5. Support Sustainable Farming Methods

Eating seasonally not only means that you support local farms, it also allows you to support sustainable farming methods. When food is grown locally and the supply chain is reduced, as a consumer it is easier to find not only where something is grown but also how it grown.

This post first appeared in the Organic Ilford Newsletter.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Meet the Met

A message from Redbridge Police

Dear Resident

In June 2015, the BBC will screen a six-part documentary on the Metropolitan Police Service. Called simply ‘The Met’, it will give an unrivalled insight into the workings of the UK’s largest police force, showcasing what we do well, what we don’t do so well, where we’ve got it right and some of those occasions on which we’ve got it wrong.

Redbridge is one of the boroughs featured in the programme and, as your local police we’re keen to hear what you think of the documentary. We also want to get your comments on the activities and behaviours shown on screen, and on how we can improve the service that we provide to the public.

To do this, we’ll be showing each and every episode of the documentary at three sites around Redbridge - north, central and south - and want to encourage every single one of you to come along to your local screening, watch the documentary and take part in a public meeting afterwards.

You’ll get the opportunity to ask questions about the way police handled the incidents shown on film, comment on our performance and provide feedback on how, in your view, we could have done better.

The times and locations of the showings will be made available in due course, but if you would like to attend one or more of these screenings please get in touch to confirm your place by replying to

I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at these innovative events.

Best wishes
Mel Baker
Neighbourhood Inspector
Redbridge Borough

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Local Business Week
- Green Local Business Directory

This week is Local Business Week

Over the past few decades there has been a marked decline in large manufacturing industries within the UK while multi-national corporations seem to have invaded every aspect of our lives; which is a concern for our independents [sic!] and way of life.

However, SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) now account for more than 99% of all UK businesses and nearly half of all private sector employment, making the support and growth of local commerce as important as ever in driving economic stability and opening new markets in communities.

Local Business Week (18th to 24th May) is a call to action to both the public and the government to support local enterprises. The campaign also calls on entrepreneurial, managerial, financial and technical experts to give advice and resources that small business owners can use to compete with the big guys.

In addition, the rapid advance of technology is providing an ever expanding range of opportunities for small business in new creative industries, such as leisure, digital/IT, media, culture and the green sector.

It is said that the low carbon industry can be the engine of growth in the U.K. (CBI Report)

Redbridge has long had a good reputation for entrepreneurship and Sophia Hubs provides a valuable resource for enhancing that reputation. Volunteer Jenny Coverdale has created a new green business directory linking a variety of sectors, from green industries, to the arts, therapy and training. Collaboration between businesses provides greater opportunities for joint working, maintains business and finance in the local area and provides opportunities to promote interlinked systems and ‘Smart-City’ approaches for our borough.

Sophia Hubs plan to hold a green business network event soon but before they do so, they would like to create a more comprehensive list. Please get in touch with Ros (email) if you would like to know more, register your business or suggest a business that you know or use.