Labour strategy for Redbridge unveiled

A vision for Redbridge where residents have as much of a say on how services are run as councillors has been unveiled by the leader of the Labour opposition group.

Rethinking Service Provision in Redbridge, touches on a radical way of running the council, according to Labour group leader Cllr Bob Littlewood.

He is adamant engaging with and involving people in the running of council services will boost their quality and help to put the users first.

And the example of Lambeth Council, which is calling itself a co-operative authority, has inspired him.

Unveiling his vision for the borough he said: “We need a new approach.

“Already there are examples elsewhere of youth clubs being run by young people and residents running their own centres. There are so many possibilities.

“This is the model we should be looking at and if Labour was in charge, we certainly would be looking at a strategy which engaged with people.”

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The Lambeth model is seeing each council department asked to look at ways of better involving the public both in the decision-making process and the running of services.

Cllr Littlewood, Labour group leader since last year’s elections, said: “We’re not saying the way their [Lambeth’s] council is run can be transferred to Redbridge, but there are opportunities for doing some of these things.

“We believe in volunteering and we want to develop ways to incentivise volunteering.”

The Rethinking service provision in Redbridge document also calls for:

n More services to be provided by not-for-profit organisations.

n A bigger role for area committees, with more money to spend on ward issues.

n A clear set of priorities for the council, which is a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition.

Cllr Littlewood said his strategy was not being developed as a money-saving measure, but savings could come with the changes.

But according to the council’s deputy leader, Cllr Ian Bond, the Tory/Lib Dem administration is already leading the way in involving the public, He said: “I think we’re very strong in working with the community. We’re always keen to look at new ways to involve people.”

He used the online Redbridge Conversation, which asked residents how they would save �25million over three years, as an example of how the coalition has involved the public.

Cllr Bond said council leader Cllr Keith Prince has got a really good track record for wanting to work more with the local community.”

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