Redbridge Council leader promises he will get “best deal” for Redbridge from next London mayor at local forum

Jas Athwal, leader of the Redbridge Labour Group

Jas Athwal, leader of the Redbridge Labour Group - Credit: Archant

Housing was the main topic of discussion as councillors clashed over the landlord registration scheme.

The leader of Redbridge Council has promised residents he would get the “best deal” for the borough from Labour’s prospective London mayoral candidates.

Cllr Athwal was responding to questions about housing at last week’s local forum, held at Wanstead Library, on Spratt Hall Road, Wanstead.

He said: “I have met four of Labour’s members hoping to be the next Mayor of London and I am going to give my support to the one which will benefit my borough.”

Cllr Athwal added: “I am making sure that if it is going to be a Labour Mayor, they will help Redbridge before he or she gets my vote.”

The primary for Labour’s Mayoral election will be held in the summer, shortly after the general election, and the London mayoral election will be held in May 2016.

Cllr Athwal made the comments after it was revealed by the Recorder that Westminster City Council had purchase 10 properties in Redbridge to house their homeless.

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Deputy leader of the council, Cllr Wes Streeting (Lab, Aldborough) described this as “the social cleansing of central London and Westminster.”

Also fielding questions from a crowd of more than 60 people, were leader of the opposition, Cllr Paul Canal (Con, Woodford Bridge), and director of environment and community services, Simon Barry.

There was largely a consensus when responding to residents’ issues, but the two parties disagreed on the landlord registration scheme, which is currently under consultation.

The initiative, which aims to stamp out rogue landlords, would require them to register with the council and comply with certain conditions.

Cllr Canal said the scheme was something the two parties “fundamentally disagreed on,” adding: “The housing registration law is about as useful as banning rain in August.”

The next local forum is on March 25 at Parkside Community Centre in Goodmayes Lane, Ilford,

The meeting will start at 6pm.