Cuts of �25million debated by Redbridge teenagers

YOUNGSTERS with big ideas about how the council should spend its money met the town hall’s three party leaders during a lively youth summit.

More than 100 teenagers from across the borough, including the eight Redbridge Youth Council members, met at the Downshall Centre, Aldborough Road South, Seven Kings, to pitch their ideas to the borough’s decision makers.

The discussion centred around the options for cuts and spending in the Redbridge Conversation - an online consultation which asks people how they would save �25million from the council’s budget.

Leader of the council Cllr Keith Prince, deputy council leader Cllr Ian Bond and Labour group leader Cllr Bob Littlewood, mingled among break-out groups of youngsters aged between 13 and 19.

The party leaders were on hand to explain how the Redbridge Conversation works and to gauge their views.

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There was disagreement over whether the parks police gave value for money as well as whether the budget for education should be maintained or cut.

Spending on libraries also divided opinion.

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Cllr Prince, said: “I’ve heard some very interesting discussions here and it has been helpful to listen to what you have to say about various services.

“We have some very difficult decisions to make and we won’t be able to keep everybody happy but we are grateful to you for taking the time to be part of the Redbridge Conversation 2010.”

Cllr Bond said: “I have heard a mix of views from you all on parks police and the resurfacing of our roads and it has not made our jobs any easier, but it has given us a valuable insight into where your priorities lie.”

Cllr Littlewood said: “From tonight’s discussions I’ve been hearing that you would like to see more youth centres evenly spread across the Borough and maybe one idea would be to look at using other buildings for youth resources.”

The Redbridge Conversation can be completed until October 31.

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