Redbridge microcosm of national government - Miliband (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Redbridge microcosm of national government - Miliband
Labour leader Ed Miliband has described Redbridge Council as a microcosm of central government which has caused a cost of living crisis.
Speaking to the Guardian after launching his party's local election camapign at the Redbridge Sport and Leisure Centre in Forest Road, Barkingside, this morning, the Labour leader also highlighted a primary school places "crisis" in the borough.
Redbridge council has been a coalition of Liberal Democrats and Conservatives for eight years, but Labour members say they are confident of taking control of the council on May 22.
Speaking to the Guardian, Ed Miliband said: “I am here because Redbridge is a microcosm of central government.
"The coalition in the borough represents the challenges that Labour faces nationally.
"People in Redbridge are facing a cost of living crisis that needs to be tackled.
"We want to send the message to people in Redbridge that Labour can make a difference here.
“I am confident and optimistic about local elections here in Redbridge.
"I am incredibly proud of (Labour group leader and deputy) Wes Streeting and Jas Athwal and we believe that winning the local elections here can pave the way for a Labour central government next year."
"There is a primary school place crisis in Redbridge.
"People should not have to travel five miles from Wanstead to Barkingside, that is something this Labour will tackle in the borough."
Labour leader announced his government would cap rent increases in the private market and abolish letting fees to estate agents in an attempt to give tenants a "fairer deal".
Labour's group leader on the council, Jas Athwal, was bullish about Labour's chances of seizing power in the borough.
He said: "We are delighted to welcome Ed here and it is an exciting prospect for him to chose this borough. He has chosen it as we are confident of winning the election here.
"Redbridge has never been completely Labour so Ed is looking to launch the local elections campaign in a key area.
"Redbridge is very diverse and represents modern Britain, so it is a fantastic place to start the campaign."
His deputy Cllr Streeting added: “We are delighted Ed could make it and is a real endorsement of what we are trying to achieve in Redbridge.
“There is an enormous growing population in Redbridge and this offers huge challenges for us.”
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