Happy New year!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a well-deserved break.
Four years ago, Forest Gate North branch took a chance on a young 21 year old Labour activist and not only selected me to be their Labour Councillor candidate, but embraced me as a member of a supportive and hardworking family. Then less than a year later Forest Gate North residents elected me as one of their ward Councillors . I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and building relationships with residents across the ward. I know it sounds cheesy but honestly, it has been a real privilege to represent you and make positive changes to the ward and borough I grew up in.
Today I have written to the Procedures Secretary of the Newham Labour selection process to withdraw from the panel as I am no longer seeking re-selection.
It has been a humbling four years; I would especially like to thank Forest Gate North branch members and residents for supporting important campaigns and activities around youth safety, re-zoning of Maryland Station, helping set up a thriving community group in Maryland, regeneration of Thorogood Gardens and Muraland Public Arts project.
I also would like to say, it has been a pleasure working with all branch officers over the years. Thank you for helping to keep Forest Gate North an active and growing branch. I remember when our branch meetings were just about quorate and held in the smallest room, upstairs at Durning Hall. Door-knocking Sebert or Odessa Roads would take forever because there was a group of us. Now with a growing membership we’re in a much bigger meeting room, and out campaigning locally and in marginals as a big Labour squad #SquadGoals. From working with you all, I’ve learnt how important it is to champion the local Labour party, our message, and ensure that we not only have a presence locally but demonstrate good local leadership.
Thank you to Forest Gate North Safer Neighbourhood Police team, local housing associations, the Youth Zone, local businesses and Forest Gate Community Neighbourhood Officers. It’s been great (and fun) working in partnership with you.
Thank you to my colleagues on the council, especially members of Overview and Scrutiny over the years. We’ve produced really great recommendations, I’m particularly proud of our work on Domestic Violence.
Thank you to my lovely ward colleagues, past and present. Thank you, Rachel, Anam, and Ellie for all your encouragement, advice and grace.
Once again, warmest thanks to all Forest Gate North residents for the life-changing opportunity, and I wish you all the best.