AN historic stone, which gave Leytonstone its name, is to be cleaned up and Redbridge Council is looking to spend £7,000 on the work.

The milestone marker is against the boundary wall of a block of flats at the junction of Hollybush Hill and New Wanstead in Snaresbrook, just inside the Redbridge border.

Earlier this year Snaresbrook councillors Chris Cummins and Peter Goody asked for a report into improving the appearance of the stone.

Redbridge Council's Area 1 Committee is due to meet on Monday night and its officers have recommended that members agree to the improvements.

Barry Crace, who lives in New Wanstead, questioned whether it would be money well spent.

The 65-year-old said: "It seems a fair bit to spend, it's not something I look at that often.

"If it's not in danger of falling down or anything like that then it seems a lot to spend on a clean up in the current climate."

Peter Lawrence, chairman of Woodford Historical Society, said: "It is a little odd that the stone that gave Leytonstone its name is no longer in Leytonstone.

"It is all because of boundary changes and the stone has been moved three times in my life time so there could be an argument for it to be moved a fourth time.

"Local historians, or people interested in Leytonstone's heritage, I would have thought would have jumped up and down saying 'can we have our stone back please?'"

Mr Lawrence said he supported the project to enhance the stone.

"I come at it from a particular point of view but anything that maintains out heritage is money well spent."

The Grade II listed landmark is in poor condition with the lead engraved figures showing the mileage wearing away, according to the council report.

It has been proposed that the stone is gently cleaned, two diseased trees nearby are removed, a panel is put in next to the stone explaining what the well-worn inscription said and pedestrian safety barriers are removed around the junction where the stone is.

The cost has been estimated at £14,000 with Redbridge Council hoping English Heritage will foot the other half of the bill.

The stone, whose base is thought to be Roman in origin, served as an important mile marker at the junction of what were once the old London to Ongar and Norwich roads, and is the site where Leyton was officially created into a municipal borough in October 1926.

The council report states criminals were hanged at the site hundreds of years ago and "every effort should be made to ensure it has a long-term future in the borough as one of its heritage assets".

A decision will be made at the meeting on Monday which will be held at Wanstead library in Spratt Hall Road from 7.15pm.