Search

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal urged to be ‘bold and visionary’ when making £70million savings

13:30 11 August 2014

Jas Athwal, leader of the council

Jas Athwal, leader of the council

Archant

The council leader needs to be “bold and visionary” in his approach to finding savings of £70million, according to the opposition leader.

Paul Canal, leader of the ConservativesPaul Canal, leader of the Conservatives

Conservative Cllr Paul Canal said he did not “underestimate the scale of the challenge” facing Labour leader Cllr Jas Athwal, but hoped he would seize the opportunity to reimagine the way services are delivered.

In his leader’s blog, Cllr Athwal said the cuts, to be delivered by 2018, could significantly affect frontline services.

Cllr Canal said: “I think there is an opportunity here for Jas to be bold and visionary and I hope he takes it. In the past, we have taken an existing budget and squeezed it and squeezed it and squeezed it.

“We have to work from the ground up.”

Speaking to the Recorder, Cllr Athwal said the council was looking at reshaping the way services were delivered and tough decisions lay ahead.

“It’s time to look at redesign” he said. “We need to have the appropriate levels of officers and offset the cost of extra officers against the savings we are having to make.

“We have only just taken over the council, but we are looking at everything. We want to protect frontline services and make them much more efficient and we need to look at ways of working which perhaps the council hasn’t looked at before. But there will be harsh decisions to make.”

Cllr Athwal also claimed the challenge has been exacerbated by the previous administration taking £13million out of reserves.

He said: “I won’t allow this council to make decisions like that. It is so short-sighted. It is unbelievable it was allowed to happen.”

But Cllr Canal, who believes the council should introduce policies such as the outsourcing of services, hit back: “I think it is completely unfair.

“We used the money judiciously and we still have some of the highest reserves in London.

“If you go back to the last Labour administration we were left with no reserves. I won’t take any lessons from Labour on that at all.”

He added that consultation with councillors has so far been “very poor” citing the abolition of area committees and regional planning committees.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00
Mammoth campaigner Hannah Chowdhry, 10, talking to the students of Fullwell Primary School about bringing Monty back to Ilford

Children at Fullwood Primary School in Barkingside enjoyed a lesson about Ilford’s oldest inhabitant, Monty the mammoth.

Yesterday, 09:00
Redbridge Town Hall. Picture: Redbridge Council

Community officers are set to continue their work helping to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour.

Fri, 19:00
Marjorie Tappenden

A pensioner who killed a cyclist was sentenced to a community order today and suspended from driving for three years.

Fri, 17:28
Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena

A mother who allegedly had female genital mutilation performed on her by a Clayhall doctor has condemned the practice while giving evidence in court.

Most read news

People thought the Deputy Prime Minister was pretty funny actually.

Brothers: The David Haines Story, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 10.30am on Sunday.

Over £30,000 has been raised in a couple of days for a mugging victim, despite the goal only being set at £500.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder