Motion passed to ask cabinet to move Redbridge Music Service and Drama Centre to Vision

Redbridge Music Service performing a concert to mark its 50th anniversary. Picture: Kois Miah

Redbridge Music Service performing a concert to mark its 50th anniversary. Picture: Kois Miah - Credit: Archant

A committee has recommended the cabinet to transfer the borough’s music and drama services from the council to its leisure contractor in less than three months time.

Redbridge Council passed recommendations at its Health, Social Care and Civic Pride Service Committee meeting yesterday to ask the cabinet to move Redbridge Music Service and Redbridge Drama Centre to Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure.

The company, which manages facilities and services in the borough such as parks and libraries, could take charge on Friday, April 1, if it is approved at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, January 12.

At the meeting, held at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, Cllr Sue Nolan suggested delaying the move.

“I don’t think it would do any harm to delay by having a working party. Would it be worthwhile suggesting that a couple of representatives go on a working party of the places to see how the services are running?” she asked.

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal replied: “The view is that we will do it the full justice that it deserves.

“The whole process has to be managed in a sensitive manner and going forward it would be that we will support both services as much as we can.

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“But we have to move forward because a decision has been made.”

The council leader said it was part of the administration’s plans to make services “more effective”.

“We’re trying to be ambitious and we want to be bold and innovative – we want to give a first class service.”

Cllr Athwal backed Vision’s experience as a service provider and said the music and drama services were in “good hands”.

The transfer sparked controversy after council documents were leaked to the Recorder regarding the move in November, last year.

The Friends of Redbridge Music Service expressed concerns in a statement released soon after.

It claimed proposals to transfer the services were “rushed through without any proper consultation”.

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