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 Ilford News Stories

35 minutes ago
The two RAF pilots died after their aircraft crashed in a field near Castle Howard on Saturday. PA Images

A RAF pilot and former Ilford pupil was killed alongside his co-pilot, when their aircraft came down in a field in North Yorkshire on Saturday.

Charlie Roberts, Lavonn Grant with baby Navaeh and Chloe Osborne with babies Bobby and Skye at the foyer

Vulnerable young people – who will soon be kicked of their supported housing – have accused the authorities of “abandoning” them.

Yesterday, 12:00
His and Hers has opened a new headlice clinic. Owner Natalie Prime tests out the equipment on children Alexi 11 and Ella 8, assisted by Myna Vu

What does Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker have to do with Woodford Green?

Sunday, May 1, 2016
C&R Appliances at  Gants Hill, has ha a new showroom fitted for people to come an view appliances
CEO Chris Wade.

A family business promising “luxury appliances at affordable prices” is celebrating its expansion as staff open a new showroom.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe