Newham Hospital under pressure

A Care Quality Commission report yesterday placed Barts Health NHS Trust (which runs 6 hospitals, including Newham Hospital) under special measures. Although Newham Hospital has been performing well, campaigners have raised concerns that it could face “funding pressures” as a result of the CQC report. This is another consequence of the top-down reorganisation of the NHS, enforced by the Health and Social Care Act (2012).

On a more positive note, this week we heard Caroline Lucas (MP for Brighton Pavillion) propose a new NHS Bill to roll back privatisation and reinstate founding NHS principles. The political will to restore a ‘public NHS’, protected from privatisation and free at the point of delivery is coming from the Green Party. It’s backed by rebels from across the benches, PPCs, medical professionals and campaign groups throughout England.

We applaud the great work which Caroline Lucas is doing, and some of our local members will be travelling down to Brighton later this month to support the #TeamCaroline campaign for re-election!

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Tackling air pollution

We currently have a campaign to tackle air pollution across Newham. 
This blogpost summarises why we think this is important, and what we plan to do about it.

What is air pollution?

There are many pollutants which contribute to air pollution(more information can be found here). The biggest threat to clean air these days is traffic emissions. Petrol and diesel-engined vehicles emit a variety of pollutants, principally carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM10).

What are the consequences of air pollution?

Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett said:

Air pollution causes 29,000 early deaths a year in the UK and it’s a disgrace that the Coalition government have largely neglected this worsening problem. There has been far too little action from authorities despite 15 years of warnings and several extensions and postponements granted to the government”

There is good evidence that air pollution has consequences forhuman health. Specifically, the following groups are more likely to be affected by air pollution:

  • Adults and children with heart or lung conditions
  • Older people
  • Children

However, if the levels are particularly high it can affect the general population. The health impact will be worse if a) there are high levels of air pollution and b) people are exposed over a long time period.

So, what do we know about air pollution across Newham?

In 2001 Newham Borough Council (NBC) confirmed that some areas close to major roads were exceeding levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and PM10. These findings required NBC to declare an Air Quality Management Area, which they did in March 2003 – and they produced an action plan.

NBC produced a progress report in 2008, which confirmed that NO2 levels were still higher than target levels (annual average and hourly measurements).

What do we want to do in Newham?

  • Measure air pollution level across Newham
  • Raise awareness where high levels of air pollution exist
  • Promote green solutions to reduce air pollution

We’re planning to start a citizen science project soon. This will require us to identify community areas of concern, measure the air pollution using diffuser tubes, and share the results with the community.  We will be sure to update the blog with further details as we progress.

For information on The Green Party’s policies on pollution, click here.

Keep the rich, off the pitch!

Yesterday Newham Greens teamed up with the Friends of Queens Market to gather objection letters and leaflet for a public meeting (24th March) that will demand 100% social housing from the development of West Ham stadium.

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We’ll have a stall next Saturday (21st) too – so do pop down to support this important local campaign between 12-2pm. The more the merrier!

Other ways to support:

  1. Follow @BoleynDev100 on Twitter
  2. Sign the petition to demand 100% social housing on the Boleyn Ground to serve the needs of local residents
  3. Lend a hand on Saturday 21st March – there will be a stall at the entrance to Queens Market from noon – 2pm to raise awareness and collect signatures of support
  4. Come along to the public meeting on Tuesday 24th March, 7pm at Harold Road Centre,170  Harold Road, E13 0SE

The Green Party Conference

This blogpost was written by Newham Green Party member Rachel Collinson who recently ventured up to Liverpool to participate in her first Green Party conference. Here is her take on Green politics in action.

Forget what you read in the snide newspaper reports about smells or rights for rodents or colouring in or magic: the gathering. Preposterous lies! I can tell you this, because I was there. As you might expect from the Greens; here is the real news – the facts the establishment don’t want you to know.
Beautiful visual minutes at the Green Party conference
Beautiful visual minutes at the Green Party conference

Real democracy

This is the only main UK party conference where YOU, the member, get to set and vote on policy. It is true democracy. And it was thrilling to be able to raise my voting card, along with the 1,300 other people there. One of the things I voted on, heart pounding, was what the Green Party’s response would be to potential coalition negotiations in the event of a hung parliament.

Making history

The result? A resounding NO to any agreement containing austerity policies. The Greens would only join a confidence and supply agreement if part of it including a commitment to increasing spending on the poor and taxing the super-rich to pay for it. I am proud to say that voting on this felt like part of making history.

Here, everybody is truly in it together

Other highlights for me included:

  • Forming a Christian Greens group and helping others to start similar faith groups within the Green Party
  • Attending the UK’s first ever political party conference event on intersex and trans issues
  • Giving a standing ovation to Amelia Womack’s barnstorming speech (see below)
  • Watching Natalie Bennett vote alongside everybody else
  • Seeing the vast room full of young Greens doing a stirling job of fundraising
  • Joining in solidarity with the climate march on Saturday
  • Seeing the care and attention paid to including everybody.

And I mean everybody, from parents with young children, to non-members, to those angrily opposed, to non-binary gender folks, to the working class, to people with limited mobility; even waiting for a person with a stutter to make their contribution during a tense debate. And even those described by the Telegraph as the frizzy-haired do-gooders, like me.

Thanks, Telegraph. Remind me: which hair care brands are paying the wages of your journalists?
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100% social housing for Boleyn development

Newham Green Party are proud to support the campaign to stop Galliard’s proposed development of the Boleyn ground, and to demand 100% social housing instead.

We urge everyone to support this local campaign. Here are some ways to help:

Don’t let developers price local people out of Newham
  1. Follow @BoleynDev100 on Twitter
  2. Sign the petition to demand 100% social housing on the Boleyn Ground to serve the needs of local residents
  3. Lend a hand on Saturday 14th and Saturday 21st March – there will be a stall at the entrance to Queens Market from noon – 2pm to raise awareness and collect signatures of support
  4. Come along to the public meeting on Tuesday 24th March, 7pm at Harold Road Centre,170  Harold Road, E13 0SE

Newham needs a Living Wage

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“…please mind the gap between the rich and the poor”

This week I found out some shocking statistics from TUC.

  • In East Ham 21.9% of all male employees and 29.2% of all female employees are being paid below the London Living Wage.
  • In West Ham, the numbers are even worse. 32.1% of all male employees and 34.2% of all female employees are being paid below the London Living Wage.

This is bad news for all local residents. But in particular, it shows that local women are getting a very raw deal. Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, and what these statistics show is that gender pay inequality is an issue in Newham, as it is in the rest of the world.

What is a Living Wage?

At the moment, the law has set the minimum hourly wage at £6.50 for employees aged over 21 years. However we believe this isn’t enough to meet the basic cost of living in the UK. The Living Wage Foundation suggest that everyone in Newham should be paid at least £9.15 per hour – however it is clear from the numbers above that this is not the case for a third of local workers across Newham.

A Living Wage is important and beneficial

Newham Green Party are campaigning for a Living Wage in Newham. We believe this will help ensure low paid workers earn enough to provide for themselves and their families, and this in turn will help people stay out of poverty. A Living Wage is also good for businesses; case studies have highlighted a positive impact on recruitment and retention, less absenteeism, better quality of work from staff, and more staff motivation. To find out more visit:

The Green Party of England and Wales is calling for the minimum wage to rise to £10 an hour by 2020. In an address to Greens’ autumn conference, party leader Natalie Bennett said Britain was a low-wage economy and people deserved “a decent return on their labour”

Newham needs a Living Wage.

It’s good for business, good for families, good for Newham!

The Green Party is surging in Newham

What an amazing start to 2015. Alongside the national surge in Green Party membership, locally in Newham we’ve grown from around 30 members in 2014 to over 170 members!

We’ve decided to launch this blog to keep you informed about what the Newham Greens are up to, what issues we care about and how we are making a difference in Newham.

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