Speaking in Parliament during the statement on the Local Government Financial Settlement Mike Gapes MP praised the improved services introduced by the Labour led Council in Redbridge but expressed concern at the impact of further cuts in support for Local Government on Redbridge and other councils.
Here is his exchange with the Minister on 18 December 2014
Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (Lab/Co-op): Labour-led Redbridge council has re-introduced weekly refuse collections, brought in free bulk waste collections and, to help local businesses, introduced 30 minutes’ free parking. All those proposals were in the manifesto on which the council was elected. Despite the legacy of the previous Con-Dem council and the problems emanating from the Con-Dem Government, we are supposed to pay £70 million in the next three years. What figure will be taken out in addition, and does that mean that the improved local services will be put at risk?
Kris Hopkins: I was beginning to wonder which party was in if the council had introduced weekly bin collections and free parking. Perhaps we can look at what reserves the council has. Councils across the country have increased their reserves by some £2.2 billion, taking the grand total to £21.4 billion, a huge amount of money. Some of those councils can make some choices that would make the whole system work better.