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Redbridge Council labelled 'dictatorial' as opposition removed from scrutiny committee

PUBLISHED: 17:10 25 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:20 25 June 2018

Redbridge Town Hall

Redbridge Town Hall

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Redbridge’s Labour-run council has removed the sole opposition councillor from sitting on a committee tasked with scrutinising health services affecting east London boroughs.

It was announced at a full council meeting in Redbridge Town Hall, in High Road, Ilford, on Thursday, June 21, that Conservative Councillor for South Woodford Suzanne Nolan’s tenure on the three-person Outer North East London Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee will come to an end.

She has been swapped with Labour Councillor for Hainault Roy Emmett.

“You have gone back on your word,” Cllr Sue Nolan said, reacting to the news.

“I do really fear for the future if [the Labour administration] continue in this dictatorial way.

She and fellow South Woodford councillor Michael Duffell released a joint statement.

They said: “Unfortunately, this administration seems to be in a mess, and having to pander to its back benchers.

“This created the spectacle of the Labour leader speaking against, and amending his own proposals.

“It is a shame the administration decided to make this committee political, rather than bi-partisan which something like health should be and has been in the past.

“Cllr Nolan has a wealth of experience and a genuine concern for the health and well being of this borough.

“This is on the back of the leader promising to work with the Conservatives for the good of all the people of Redbridge.

“Unfortunately, this is what we can expect now for the next four years.”

Council Leader Jas Athwal responded by saying that he believes he has been a victim of “character assassination” by Cllr Nolan.

“This is not personal,” he said, adding: “There is nothing political about this.

He added: “I wish I could put you on there.

“I wish I could twist some of my people’s arms.

“But looking at the talent I have available to me, I feel a bit like Gareth Southgate and his current England World Cup squad.”

He explained that the decision had been taken to proportionally reflect the election result in the committee’s membership.

The committee is responsible for scrutinising health service which affects two or more of the boroughs of Waltham Forest, Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.

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