So you may have heard by now that there is a by-election coming up in Forest Gate North.
While I’ve been going round talking to local residents about what we can do to help them, I hear time and time again about environmental concerns: fly-tipping, rubbish on the streets, and dog mess.
If elected, I would prioritise solving these problems. However, some of them come down to one thing: money. And we all know how this Conservative government has tightened the screws on the most disadvantaged boroughs in the country. Newham is high up on that list.
Sir Robin Wales has been spreading the news everywhere that we have to save £50 million a year from now on; potentially even more after the economic disaster of last week. So Labour in this area have been quietly getting on with privatising one public service after another. So far this includes:
- Council housing (Red Doors);
- Administration (OneSource);
- Supplies to council services (NewCo);
- Waste collection (East London Waste Authority);
- Language and translation services (Newham Language Shop);
- Schools (academisation across the borough)
…and worse is to come as more savings need to be found. (Here’s an excellent blog by councillor John Gray of West Ham on his concerns over the increasing privatisation of council services).
However, Newham Greens have a plan to raise the money we need without privatising one more service. It can get us the extra money we need to stop fly-tipping, and improve street maintenance, as well as reopening Sure Start centres and community centres!
Throughout the 2000s, our Labour council took out over £500million in loans (called LOBOs) from private banks. They were a very bad deal. And now we are paying the equivalent of 80% of our council tax in interest each year. How much does that work out at? Surprise: £50 million!
Our legal advisers say that Newham’s mayor, Sir Robin Wales, could put a stop to all this by taking the banks to court for mis-selling, just like we can do with PPI.
Help us get our money back from the banks by signing this petition.
If you support our efforts and live in the the ward, please make sure to vote Green on the 14th July.