Happy new year!

Ellie writes…

I can’t believe last year went so quickly! We use this blog to talk mainly about ward specific issues but as I was filing (aka shredding) my papers over Christmas I flicked back through some of the Council and Cabinet papers and felt a lot had been achieved Borough wide (though of course there is still lots to do!). Some highlights for me included:

  • The allocation of grants to foster carers and adopters to carry out work on their homes. This should increase the number of permanent homes for our looked after children, particularly those who are harder to place such as disabled children, older children or sibling groups
  • The commissioning of activities for young people. The voluntary sector and Council are now providing a range of activities enabling young people to be active and connected (Forest Gate’s provision is through the youth zone opposite Wanstead Park station)
  • The approval of an Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence (DSV) Advocacy Service. This is a vital element of our one stop shop service which I have talked about here before and should reduce repeat victims of DSV and increase the reporting of DSV to the police
  • The ban on advertising of high cost payday loan companies on council-owned spaces.

We also agreed: a new training programme to help Workplace candidates to get a sustainable job; the lease of Ascot Community Centre to the Friends of Ascot Hall Limited (a community group); for more homes to be built; to lead the campaign against gambling on the High Street; to set up MoneyWorks (a new initiative which will offer affordable credit and advice to residents in need of financial assistance) and to give a loan to NewCred, the local credit union. Such a wide range of things!

And a personal lovely thing for me from last year has been working with Seyi and Rachel locally who are both terribly hard working, passionate and good fun!

So, looking forward, this year Newham celebrates its 50th birthday! For us the General Election is also a biggy and we’ll be campaigning to make sure a Labour government can get in power which will help the lives of our residents. Personally, I am particularly looking forward to a few local things in the next couple of months including the launch of play streets (I’ll blog about this soon), the Community Garden taking off, and the opportunity to get as many people involved in the Crossrail consultation as possible (I will blog about this in more detail soon as well).

I am sure by next week a whole new load of things will be wriggling their way into the priority list! One of my new year’s resolutions is to remember to blog when I find time so watch this space to see if I manage it.

All the best to you and yours for 2015.

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