Jennette Arnold
London assembly member for North East London — fighting your corner at City Hall

Newly elected Labour Leader of Islington Council sums up his priorities in five words….

Cllr Richard Watts newly elected Labour Leader of Islington Council sums up the priorities of his Leadership in five words……. Jobs,housing,cost of living.

Earlier today Cllr  Richard Watts said

“It’s an honour to have been elected the new Leader of Islington Council, taking forward the fight to make our borough a fairer place.

When I walk into the council chamber tonight to accept the position, I’ll be setting out my priorities.  I can sum them up in five words.

Jobs, housing, cost of living.

Islington has an unemployment crisis with more kids growing up in households where no adult works than anywhere else in the country.  We’ve got to change this. One of the first things I’ll be doing as Leader is setting up an Employment Commission bringing together local businesses, colleges, unions, the voluntary sector and more to focus on tackling unemployment and helping local people get the skills and support they need to fill the vacancies that do exist.

Times are tough for our residents.

As Leader, I’ll stand up for residents struggling with the cost of living and massive Tory-led government cuts.  From our flagship universal free school meals programme that saves families over £500 per year to building thousands of homes at social rent and more communal power stations, like the one in Bunhill, to cut fuel costs and provide cheaper, greener heat.

I got involved in local politics because I believe that everyone, whatever their background, should have the opportunity to go to a good school, get a decent job, have a secure home, be safe and have dignity in retirement.

The policies of this Tory-led government and Tory Mayor are making inequality worse.  I want to show Leadership from the top by cutting my own salary by £5,000.”

It seems to me that the Leadership of Islington Council is in safe hands.
Later tonight I will join colleagues in congratulating Cllr Watts on his election into one of the most important position in Local Government in the UK.  He takes over from Cllr Catherine West, and I know Richard would be the first to recognise that she will be an extremely hard act to follow.

But this is what we do in Islington – we take on challenges and we succeed. I look forward to working with the new Labour Leader of Islington over the coming weeks/months/years – working together in our fight to make Islington fairer.

 

Note: You can find out more about Cllr Richard Watts here: http://www.islington-labour.org.uk/cllr-richard-watts-elected-as-new-leader-of-islington-labour-group/
Thursday 10th October 2013.