Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Borough Commander assures Redbridge People of protection and safeguarding, during the Wednesday 30th TUC Day of Action

Dear Business Colleague - The following information has been received from the Borough Commander with a request that this is forwarded to businesses in the borough. 
May I please ask that if you are able to, to please forward to businesses in your locality.  Thank you for your assistance.  
Kind regards

Bev Stratton, Town Centres & BIDs Manager
Planning Policy & Environment


Information regarding the TUC Day of Action.
Sent on Behalf of the Borough Commander, Det Chief Supt Sue Williams.

Redbridge Police would like you to be made aware in advance of Wednesday 30th November what we are doing to deal with the issues that may arise on this day due to the industrial action.

The MPS will have a proportionate and strong presence of Police and Community Support Officers across London on the day of the protest, including at places of potential vulnerability and transport hubs. Officers will continue to provide Londoners with a visible, accessible and familiar presence in their local communities in order to cut crime. Redbridge policing arrangements will see a large Community Police presence across the borough to reassure our residents that day to day business will continue as normal.
We are also aware that a number of schools on the borough will be closed due to industrial action. The MPS will facilitate peaceful protest on the day but we expect young people of school age to continue their education and to go to school as usual if their school is open. They should not try to travel in to central London or become involved in any protest during school hours. Their unauthorised absence from school will make them subject to truancy laws and police and education authorities may take appropriate action.

Here at Redbridge, we would ask that parents support this measure and do all that they can to ensure that their children go to school if possible. If their children's school is closed, then we would ask them to make appropriate arrangements to cater for their children's safety and supervision. We would also ask that parents know where their children are and what they are doing during the day so as to limit the opportunity for travelling to any central London protests or the possibility of committing anti social behaviour.  On the day itself, the MPS and Redbridge police aims are:

  • To provide a lawful and proportionate policing response to protest, balancing the needs and rights of protesters with those impacted by the protest

  • To maintain public order, to prevent crime and take all reasonable steps to intervene and bring offenders to justice if crime is committed

  • To work together with event organisers/participants and other agencies to minimise criminal activity and anti-social behaviour associated with the event

  • To prevent serious disruption to the life of the residential and business community and vehicular traffic

Throughout the day, we will endeavour to keep you updated. The MPS will be making greater use of social media than in previous public order events and locally we will be using the free electronic messaging system called Neighbourhood Link. This system will enable our community partners, the public and businesses to receive information from the MPS about local crime and policing and is to become the sole corporate external messaging system for the MPS in time for the final build up to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.Neighbourhood Link is accessible via the following link:

Total Policing is the Met's commitment to be on the streets and in your communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Squatters blight!

 Two police officers simply were not enough to handle the 50+ squatters in the house. Back up was needed!
 Even with four officers the occupants of the house vastly outnumbered the police.

The Police van gave local residents some solace and comfort.  It was clear the police were taking local concern seriously. 

Today, faced with the increasing crime on my street, I belligerently called the local Safer Neighbourhood Team and the new non-emergency Police telephone number 101, seeking help.  My local woes arose around 3 weeks ago after a group of Eastern European squatters broke into a house just two doors away from me.  I called the police after seeing 2 vehicles turn up and load cables and a significant number of power tools into the illegally occupied house.

The property had been vacated only 3 months earlier.  The much loved elderly resident (of in excess of 80 years of age), who had resided in the property since the 1950's, health had deteriorated to such an extent that she had to be relocated to a local care home.  Her son managed to obtain her agreement to sell her adored property, at which she had spent her entire married life, in part to support the cost of her care.

The son duly contacted estate agents who failed to assess the threat to security, that installing "for sale"signs would indubitably beckon.

I met with the son, himself in his late fifties and concerned about his mother's declining health.  He was  distraught at the news of the defilement of his parental home, a concern that he intended to shield his mother from.  Moreover, after communicating his concern to local police, he discovered great indifference, leaving him the unique option of undertaking a lengthy civil action, whilst over 50 people camped in his home.  They are currently causing damage to the property, using the location for alleged drug trafficking and before my yes have been stashing lots of stolen property including telephone cable and a plethora of power tools.  This family have not only suffered the ignominy of the invasion of the sanctity of their home, but have now had to endure a wholly unjustified elongated period of forced occupation.

Two police officers originally entered the hallway of the house today.  As they approached a few of the squatters standing in the doorway rapidly left in an ensuing panic that was darkly humorous. The police walked into the very accessible building, at which the front door remains open till 22:00 most days.  Streams of squatters left the property (at least 20) whilst the police were confronted by a number no less than 20, who prevented further progress into the property.  I took pictures of the scurrying scoundrels at this point, comforted by the police presence.  One man accosted me and questioned me on whether I had called the police.

In my temporary emboldened state I replied;

"You have picked the wrong road for your scheming, this street has a close community and we will not sit back and watch you undertake crimes.  I suggest you leave and go somewhere where residents are less observant."

He seemed surprised and shocked by my response, but still glared at me whilst he rushed into his van with his female partner.

I overheard the police questioning them on the legality of their presence within the home. The squatters responded by stating that they had an agreed tenancy.  Of course, when asked documentary evidence they failed to do so.

I felt concerned for the safety of the two police officer's who duly of their own accord called a supporting Police van.  The police acted bravely and professionally and whilst they laboured with the squatters I called one to my home.  The Constable revealed to me that the same large group of squatters had been moved from several previous properties in the ward and had similarly undertaken a number of local crimes.  The Police could not arrest or evict anyone as a court hearing for their eviction was now scheduled for Tuesday morning, at Ilford County Court.  Worse still, the property could not b checked for stolen property due to the lack of a warrant.

Since the escapade the unsavoury elements living with the property have been staring menacingly at my wife and I, whenever we leave the home.

Disturbed by this recent event I am holding a community meeting, to discuss what we can do to stop this growing local malaise.  The meeting will be held on the Thursday 1st December from 19:30, at 14 Connaught Road (off Green Lane).

I have also created an electronic petition calling changes in statute to protect communities and individuals from the repercussions of this galling crime:


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Clemenstwood/Mayfield Community Centre launched again!

We are pleased to announce the reopening of the Clementswood/Mayfield Community Centre, a project set up to build community spirit 2 years earlier.  

A grant of  £5000 from the Church Urban Fund “Mustard Seed” grant and £5000 via their “Near Neighbours” grant, has made this scheme possible.  

Community cohesion is the main focus of the community centre, with interfaith
harmony essential to this new programme.  

The centre (address as in header of this blog) is to be open for Public Meetings every Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 19:00 - 22:00.  

If you know of any local groups that might wish to provide a workshop or provide a seminar on a local subject please make contact.

Kind regards

Wilson Chowdhry Project Chairman

Programme of Events

Tues 29th Nov: Muhammad Shoaib Director Universal Legends College - invites us to learn about Islamic New Year.

Thurs 1st Dec:  Local Community meeting on how to be more vigilant against squatting after a spate of forced occupations and associated criminality.

Tues 6th Dec: Imam Abdullah Muhammad will advise on  the importance of the Muharram in the Islamic Calendar.

Thurs 8th Dec:  Wilson Chowdhry; Redbridge Carnival; it’s local history and faith participation.

Tues 13th Dec: Redbridge Against Knife Crime Meeting; how to reduce local violent crime

Thurs 15th Dec: Upkar Rai from the British Sikh Council describes the “Sacrifices of the 9th Guru”

Tues 2oth Dec:  Clementswood Ward Police Community Meeting

Thurs 22nd Dec: Festive Party with food, music and a quiz evening.

Thurs 5th Jan: Ian Dowling Ilford Central Library’s “Local History and Archives Manager to speak on Clementswood history and local faith contribution.

Things to note: The next few meetings will involve a number of key local speakers.  Imam Abdullah Muhammed from the Quran Study group; spoke at Redbridge Carnival 2011, during the 1 minutes silence for victims of 9/11,  on it's 10th anniversary.  He is committed to dispelling misconceptions about Islam. Imam Muhammed will be describing the practices around the period of Muharram and it’s spiritual meaning.

Upkar Rai from the British Sikh Council is a key leader for over 24 Gurdwara’s in East London.  He is a humanitarian figure that has been challenging existing persecution in India and Pakistan.  He will be detailing the sacrifice of “Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji” also known as the “Shield of India”.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Peace in Redbridge an innovative way to achieve it....

Redbridge Peace Monument

A short description of the Redbridge Peace Monument installation and first large scale Peace concert in our borough.  The event was held on the 24th September 2011 the last day of the official "London Week of Peace." 

Redbridge Carnival, British Pakistani Christian Association and the East Ilford Business Partnership (who also funded the installation of the monument, organised and managed the Peace Concert.  Wilson Chowdhry the Chairman of two of these groups deserves credit for his efforts in seeing these two project to fruition. 

Superintendent John Sweeney spokes of the need for communities to work together to restore local peace and cohesion.
VIP Kids manager described an appeal to Simon Cowell for support for the anti-violence rappers

Ann Oakes-Odger MBE spoke of the pain she suffered when her son lost his life in a violent attack.
Hundreds Gathered in Ilford Town Centres biggest ever event..
Evolution Dholl kicked things of in style.
Desi Dholl - a must see in Ilford Town Centre
Ravi Benot a man holding another meeting in the Town Hall came out  to ask visitors to join his event too.  We must have had some impact!
Angel Dance Academy were inspiring...
Rani King PA to Baroness Newlove spoke on behalf of the Baroness and described hope that our endeavour would have success.
Mayor Chris Cummins, Cllr Balvider Saund  and various other dignitaries joined the unveiling of the monument.
Wilson  introduced speakers at the monument.
Mother of slain Kashif Mahmood- Parvin Mahmood was joined by Ann Oakes-Odger MBE in unveiling the monument.
The monument revealed in all its glory!
Designer Gary Drostle spoke of his inspiration for the design and the intrinsic symbolic messages of peace, hope and unity.
People were awestruck that a project with initial council disdain was able to succeed and produce a fitting tribute to victims of violent crime in Redbridge.
Families stopped to hear the testimonies.

Mayor Chris Cummins spoke of his pride that our community was so resilient.

Flowers at the base of the monument reminded us that a tragedy had occurred at the location.  Gandhi's words inspired us with hope.

A 1 minutes silence caused an emotional outpouring and deeper reflection.

It is hoped the monument will become a beacon of hope for all people in our borough illustrating the futility of knife crime and the severe consequences to perpetrators of violent crime.  Plaques are to be introduced to base of the monument that will contain eulogies to victims Kashif Mahmood and Wesley Odger.  This year a schools/local groups painting competition will result in  the conversion of young peoples art to mosaic designs for installation at the base of the monument.  We hope to see this work complete by the first anniversary of the monument installation. Families of victims have agreed to speak of the impact to their lives that the loss of a family member circumstances caused, it is hoped that local schools will contact us to facilitate such meetings. Wilson Chowdhry said:

Wilson Chowdhry said:

"Although, unintentionally the monument is shaped like a pencil- I hope it will be used like a pencil to write a more positive future for our borough"

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

King George is dead!

Wilson and Tony Parker submitting a petition to save King George Hospital last year.

The Redbridge Community will no doubt be in fury as they learn that local people have lost the campaign to save Accident and Emergency facilities and Maternity facilities at our much beloved hospital.

On Thursday last week Andrew Lansley accepted a report form the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) for it's closure, leaving local people anxious about the level of service that can be provided by Queens hospital, that is already burdened with a small and significantly burdened A&E.

The IRP reason for this huge loss revolves around a belief that reducing the burden of the maternity and A&E function, would allow our local PCT to address with more vigour other more important deficiencies.   I have always believed that local A&E was an essential service and felt that local mothers deserved a stress free treatment close in proximity.  This decision undermines the needs of a rapidly burgeoning community and bodes ill (excuse the pun) for the future quality of life and health care in the borough.

Upkar Rai (Mian Organiser), Cllr Ralph Scott, MEP Jean Lambert, Wilson Chowdhry (Main Organiser), various Doctors and religious leaders at the British Pakistani Christian and British Sikh Council community protest for King George Hospital in February 2011.

As leader of several of the local campaigns to retain local facilities I thank all those who supported our campaigns and would call on local people now to continue the drive to improve other languishing health care facilities.  Moreover, I am concerned this is only the first stage in a war of attrition that will eventually lead to an end to King George Hospital in it's entirety.  Please continue to be vigilant and prevent any further loss to our beleaguered community.

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If you would like to inform Andrew Lansley what you feel about his decision please use the following details:

Rt Hon Andrew Lansley CBE MP
Secretary of State for Health
House of Commons