On Wednesday 10th September, Redbridge Citizens, a local branch of national community organising charity, CitizensUK, met the Leader of Redbridge Council, Jas Athwal, Deputy Leader, Wes Streeting and Chair of the Ilford BID, Rai Holdstock, to publicly thank them for working to ban the sale of low cost, high strength alcohol in Ilford town centre.
Thirty two Redbridge Citizens leaders, from member organisations including Salvation Army Ilford and allies from City Gates Christian Centre, had a public gathering outside Redbridge Town Hall to recognise the Council’s response to our call to end the sale of low-cost, high strength alcohol.
Street drinking was raised at the Redbridge Citizens Accountability Assembly on 6 May 2014, amongst other issues, including paying Social Care workers in Redbridge a Living Wage.
Candice Steen, a local Redbridge Citizens leader, said: “Street Drinking is a massively complex problem but in order to tackle it you have to begin somewhere.”
Redbridge Citizens leader, John Clifton from the Salvation Army, said: "Today, we took the opportunity to thank and celebrate Cllr Athwal and Cllr Streeting for their leadership of the Council, Mr Rai Holdstock, chair of the Business Improvement District, and the police for doing something that we wanted them to do: getting businesses to stop stocking high strength lager. We are excited not just about what they have done, but the way they have approached it: relationally, voluntarily, and without stigmatising anybody. We look forward to continuing working with them on this and similar issues which are affecting the everyday lives of in Redbridge."
Redbridge Citizens is focussing on several other local issues it would like to tackle, in particular, it will start to organise actions to help improve the housing situation in the Borough.