One man's 15-year battle for a new postcode.

Wilson Chowdhry has spent the past 15 years petitioning for Ilford to be granted a London postcode.

After a BBC presenter reported that the east London town, home to 165,000 people, was in Essex, Mr Chowdhry was enraged and once again pledged to give campaign to give Ilford a London postcode.

The chair of British Pakistani Christian Association launched a petition, did a callout on social media and sent a firm email to the public broadcaster.

He said: "When I heard the BBC presenter say Ilford was in Essex I found it really grating. It wound me up for the whole day.

“We get the worst of both worlds,” Chowdhry said in a small hall at his company’s headquarters, tucked around the corner from a fried chicken shop. Ilford has big-city problems such as knife crime, he says, but its Essex postcode, IG, means it doesn’t get as much investment and attention.

“I hate it. I just think people should simply accept that we’re from London."

A local councillor had first thought of the idea to petition the council in the 1970s, but it was quickly dismissed.

He then took on the issue seriously and first brought it to Redbridge Council and the Royal Mail service in 2004.

Now, Mr Chowdhry is planning to set up another petition to hand to the council at its next meeting in two months' time.

In 1965, Ilford and two other districts were combined to create the borough of Redbridge, which would become part of a collection of 33 councils known as Greater London.

Mr Chowdhry has reported that the founding of Redbridge severed Ilford from Essex and ushered in a new age, or at least should have done.

Royal Mail has long maintained that its alphanumeric codes are there to efficiently sort and distribute post.

But Mr Chowdhry has argued that postcodes have become a powerful tool which determines much of a resident’s life, from the quality of healthcare they receive to house prices.

He has further reported that customers have been dissuaded from using his security business for the past two decades because they do not understand where Ilford is, assume he is based in Essex and therefore believe he is too far away to provide guards to inner London.

He is adamant that culturally Ilford is part of London and not Essex.

He said: "The great thing about London is our diverse culture, the festivals that we have and the ability of people of all faiths to come together.

"I look at some of the Essex carnivals and the audiences are generally white.

"There is a certain cache that comes with having a true Londoner identity that offers rewards for those areas.

"Stratford was involved in the Olympics, Waltham Forest has been chosen as the London Borough of Culture.

"Ilford has just as much to offer as these areas and has great transportation links too which means it is perfectly accessible from Central London and yet it does not have that full London identity because of the postcode.

"That fact is really angering and it is why I will continue to campaign for this to change."

If you would like to sign the petition click here.