A university is “in discussions” about opening a campus in Redbridge with more details to be announced soon, the council’s deputy leader has said.

Deputy leader Kam Rai spoke to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) to set out Labour’s plans for the borough following its success in the local elections.

Further details about which university or its location are likely to be announced “in the next month or so” following further negotiations.

Cllr Rai told the LDRS it would be the “first time” a university campus would be based in the borough and hopes it will “increase aspirations” for residents.

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He said: “I think, firstly, it shows that a large organisation has confidence in the borough, for it to be a good place to be and school children will have access to higher education locally, knowing that they’ve got a university nearby.

“Having that on the doorstep, knowing that people will go there, will only benefit our area. I look at it as something that will increase aspirations, helping older and younger people.”

Cllr Rai set out other Labour plans that are being put into motion following their approval in the council’s annual budget in February this year.

This includes expanding the council’s enforcement team so it can respond to complaints 24 hours a day and Parkguard officers and new CCTV cameras to improve safety in parks.

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Other new projects to improve safety include upgrading street lighting and a smartphone app to make reporting harassment and other issues easier.

In terms of women’s safety, Cllr Rai said Labour is keen to build a “consistent approach” to educating children about issues such as consent and coercive control in relationships.

For school children, the Labour council plans to launch a low-cost summer activities programme “focused on sport, but also painting and craft activities”.

Cllr Rai said his administration wants to support local businesses by organising new markets to provide “an opportunity to sell local goods to local people”, similar to Victoria Park’s popular Sunday market.

The council also plans to set up a framework to make it easier for small local businesses to bid for council contracts.

Reflecting on the election success, winning 55 of the 60 seats, Cllr Rai said Labour are “absolutely concerned” about delivering their manifesto and “delivering on the trust” residents have put in its councillors.

On the challenge of the cost of living crisis, he added: “We absolutely understand there is a cost of living crisis and that is hitting communities.

“We need to think about what we can do as local authorities to try and help. We don’t want to walk into winter and see people that are going to die of the cold.”