Storm clouds gather at town hall

THE NEWS this week that local councils have been hit by a perfect storm caused by the recession will set alarm bells ringing in homes throughout Redbridge. The downturn, which private industry has been struggling with over the past 10 months, will put m

THE NEWS this week that local councils have been hit by "a perfect storm" caused by the recession will set alarm bells ringing in homes throughout Redbridge.

The downturn, which private industry has been struggling with over the past 10 months, will put massive pressure on town hall resources with more people seeking benefits assistance.

It is also believed state school places will come under further pressure from parents unable to afford private education.

A cash crisis in the town hall will also not bode well for those council tenants concerned over the performance of Redbridge Homes, the organisation managing the housing stock in the borough.


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A one star rating has led to a cut in our share of �150million improvement cash and the horrific accident in a block of flats in Woodford Green puts the safety of the borough's tenants in greater focus.

It goes without saying that residents will expect cuts to be made to non-essential services before the axe falls on the usual suspects.

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Just as with private industry - and newspapers are no exception - all expenditure must be looked at with a critical eye, no matter how small.

If it comes to councillors having Rich Tea biscuits instead of Hobnobs, in their meeting break, so be it.

It could even mean mothballing one of the mayoral cars in order to save some cash and reviewing the allowances of members.

In the long run, the whole system of local government may once again need to come under focus - we may need to ask do we really need 63 councillors claiming allowances.

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