Pay and display will not come to High Street, Wanstead say Area One councillors

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Pay and display parking will not come to the high street, say councillors, after concern was raised that some of the new 250 bays proposed in the council budget could come to Wanstead.

Budget proposals for the next three years were presented to the Area One Committee meeting last night for councillors to make their recommendations.

Greg Eglin, a labour activist, raised concern that the budget proposals for pay and display across Redbridge, which would net the council around £160,000 a year, would spell disaster for High Street, Wanstead.

He said: "This will hit places like High Street, Wanstead, hard."

But councillors were quick to reassure residents there were no plans to introduce any pay and display schemes in Wanstead.

Cllr Chris Cummins said: "No pay and display will be introduced during the lifetime of this administration and hopefully beyond."

Councillors agreed to recommend that the decision for parking controls should not be taken out of Area Committee's hands and placed into the hands of cabinet.

Front line services such as libraries are protected in the council's budget proposals for the next three years.

Cllr Alex Wilson said: "With this budget we have not only managed to protect frontline services, we have frozen council tax for the fourth year in a row.

"We are in a stronger position than many other similar local authorities.

"We have a music service and a drama centre to be proud of and we are reversing some of the previous savings made on them."

It is proposed that £75,000 is being reinstated back to the Redbridge Drama Centre per year over the next three years and £100,000 to the Redbridge Music Service per year also over the next three years.

This comes after the country's only local authority funded drama centre saw its budget slashed by £25,000 in 2011/12 and £89,000 in 2012/13.

The funding means the drama centre in Churchfields, South Woodford, will now be eligible for grants from Arts Council England.

Funding has also been set aside for a street lighting replacement programme and a flood strategy for the River Roding.

By 2015 £2.3million will be spent on replacing street lights in the borough which have outlived their 20 year life expectancy.

And, by 2016 £600,000 will be spent on providing a flood strategy for the River Roding.

Cllr Michelle Dunn added: "It could have been a terrible budget, but it shows the commitment we are giving to our services."

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