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Just the beginning for ‘thriving’ Barking area, say councillors

PUBLISHED: 13:56 29 September 2015 | UPDATED: 13:56 29 September 2015

Cllr Bill Turner and Cllr Josie Channer (centre) at the Rivergate Community Centre with Jeorgina Soares and Fatuma Edomi who run the Triangoals youth club

Cllr Bill Turner and Cllr Josie Channer (centre) at the Rivergate Community Centre with Jeorgina Soares and Fatuma Edomi who run the Triangoals youth club

Archant

“The Riverside in Barking is the future,” so says Cllr Josephine Channer and Cllr Bill Turner who represent Thames ward.

“This area is going to transform in the next 10 years,” Cllr Channer added. “It’s going to be somewhere people across London are fighting to live.”

The councillors, who both live on patch, believe that Riverside is growing at a remarkable pace.

They’re lobbying for better transport links, some “hipster” coffee shops, a GP service and a better connection between the two areas, Riverside and Thames View.

“Riverside is shiny and new and most residents moved here in the past five years, whereas in Thames View many people have lived there for years,” explained Cllr Turner. “We really want to bring the community together and knock down the metaphorical divide between the two.”

More than 600 homes have been built on the Riverside so far with another 25,000 expected by 2035.

The community’s Rivergate Centre is thriving, too, since youth club charity Triangoals was launched there in August 2013.

“The centre is in the perfect place to bring the two communities together,” Cllr Channer said.

“We want everyone to benefit from the facilities here because everyone is equally important.”

She recently helped residents fight an application for an asbestos transfer site.

She said she spoke to many residents about the plans for Barking’s Lyon Business Park.

“They were distraught,” she said. “I liaised with council officers to make sure that the application didn’t go through and I’m very proud it was withdrawn.

“We want the community to be one and move forward, not backwards.”

Cllr Turner explained they also want the Overground extended to include a station in Thames View.

They are lobbying Labour mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan, for a DLR extension too.

“Tragically, Boris pulled plans to extend the DLR,” Cllr Turner said. “But fighting for this is something we’re really dedicated to.

“It’s important that Thames View isn’t forgotten.

“We’re keen to keep the old and the new together because it’s just the beginning for this vibrant area.”


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