Ilford resident urges Redbridge Council to act over “most unhealthy street in borough”

Redbridge Council has been urged to take action over “the most unhealthy road in the borough”.

Linda Ray says the only way to get a salad in Ilford Lane, Ilford, is in a burger and fears schoolchildren have no healthy options available.

After seeing that another two takeaways are due to open to add to the 39 already trading on the mile-long road – one every 50m if they were spread out – she contacted council leader Cllr Jas Athwal.

Ms Ray, 49, who has lived in the area since 1987, said: “You can’t get a salad on Ilford Lane unless it’s in a burger.

“After school, all you see is kids with chicken and chips and, while you’re never going to stop that… you don’t see that in High Street, Wanstead, or in Snaresbrook.

“I do believe it’s like a class system. Not many people object because we are quite a transient population or because people do not know how to. That’s why we have got so many problems.

“It must be cheaper (for businesses) to be down here but it’s to our detriment. We should leave burgers for the high street.”

Ms Ray said she was particularly concerned given the high rates of diabetes in Redbridge, with almost one in 10 residents suffering from the condition in 2019.

On Twitter, responding to the imminent opening of a new takeaway, Burger Base, she added: “Does Ilford Lane need another fast food bar? This is the most unhealthy road in Redbridge.

“Jas Athwal was informed about this and nothing has been done. Ilford Lane is being brought to its knees by mismanagement.”

Redbridge Council cannot control what businesses open in the borough unless they require a licence, for example to stay open later than normal or to sell alcohol.

Ilford Lane takeaway BIM’s finally won the right to stay open later in December, after months of meetings with the council and being fined £1,000 for breaking lockdown curfew.

Redbridge Council was contacted for their comment on March 1 but has yet to respond.

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter