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Redbridge Labour Leader Jas Athwal: ‘The last few days have been hectic’

PUBLISHED: 17:46 28 May 2014 | UPDATED: 18:19 28 May 2014

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Jas Athwal, the Redbridge Labour leader, is working with the incumbent council leader to ensure all his party’s election pledges are achieved after gaining full control of the local authority for the first time ever.

Cllr Athwal, a Mayfield ward councillor, also dismissed “preconceived” claims the borough was to become the “socialist republic of Redbridge”.

Redbridge’s new council will be made up of 35 Labour councillors, 25 Tories and just three Lib Dems.

Speaking to the Recorder on Wednesday, he said: “The last few days have been hectic - the organisation and re-organisation behind the scenes has to be done now.”

Labour will assume full control of the council, taking over from Cllr Keith Prince, the former Redbridge Conservative leader, on June 12. Cllr Prince will remain a Barkingside ward councillor.

And Cllr Athwal is keen to put everything in place before moving into Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, next month.

He added: “There is a lot of hard work to do. [The people of Redbridge] can expect very pragmatic ideas - things that will work.

“We did not just run a campaign for two years - we picked up on issues that concerned our residents.

“We know these issues because we have been on people’s doorsteps and listening to them.”

He also added: “If people are expecting “left-wing loonies” that is not going to happen.

“People who think that really need to let the dust settle rather than full back on preconceptions like that. They need to give us a chance. The election is over now.”

Cllr Athwal called for the Tories and the Lib Dems in Redbridge to work with him for the local people.

“It is about what we can bring to the borough,” he added. “That is one of the things we can deliver.”

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