Calls have been made for Redbridge council to introduce new public forums for neighbours to have moiré of a say in local democracy.

Last week the new Labour council scrapped area committee meetings, saying they were poorly attended and were ineffective.

But residents who attend the meetings have hit back, saying area committees were the one place they could have their say and be heard.

Anne Crook, 59, of Monkhams Avenue, Woodford Green, regularly attended area committee meetings in the Monkhams ward.

She said: "It is the only place where residents can meet person to person with councillors and have their views taken into consideration."

John Sharrock, chairman of residents’ committee Barkingside 21, called on the council to offer an alternative for residents.

He said: "It is rather disappointing, our committee has always been very supportive of the meetings and they were excellent vehicles for getting our views across.

The council has been contacted for a response.

For more on this story see next week's Wanstead and Woodford Guardian - out next Thursday.