Wed, 11:08

Tomorrow morning at 7am polling stations will be opening across the borough. I hope you, like me, will be voting in the Mayor of London elections and for who you want to represent us on the London Assembly.

Elections debate is all you will hear these days, on TV, radio and in newspapers.

A remarkable house in Spitalfields is home to the extraordinary Museum of Immigration and Diversity, the oldest museum of its kind in Europe.

I saw in the news that a chair has been sold for £278,000!

Members of black and South Asian communities make up 14 per cent of the UK population.

The NHS affects us all - that’s why it’s always in the news! Whether for amazing life-saving procedures, care that goes beyond the call of duty, for financial difficulties or when things go tragically wrong. Equally as a service that cares for more than one million patients every 36 hours everyone has their own opinion on how it could be better. However, the NHS has to stay responsive to ever changing needs and demands.

The new production of The Chairs, adapted by Extant, features an experimental set. Picture by Lily Owen

A sensory and modern adaptation of Eugène Ionesco’s absurdist play The Chairs arrives at Stratford Circus on April 28-29.

Over Easter, the Panama Papers revealed the worst excesses of the super-rich. Most media attention was on the Prime Minister’s overseas tax affairs. The ‘did he or didn’t he’ benefit from shoddy tax avoidance practices left a bad taste in our mouths.

What is it about the word ‘offshore’ that conjures up visions of deceit and dishonesty that the word ‘foreign’ seems to evade. Or is that avoid?

It’s now a little over a year since Foundation for FutureLondon was established to help bring the Olympicopolis dream to life.

Do you remember Buzby? Back in the 1970s he was a big yellow bird who used to encourage us in adverts to “make someone happy with a phone call”. Forty years later, there are still lots of people who could do with that kind of phone call.

As spring gets into full flow and many of us are naturally thinking about cleaning our homes, sheds and garages, more of us need to think about spring cleaning our borough and keeping it clean year round.

Much has been written about the housing crisis and the impact it is having across the country.

In February, I joined the Education Select Committee. It’s role is to monitor “the policy, administration and spending of the Department for Education, and its associated arms length bodies, including Ofsted”.

Government plans to compel all council run schools to become academies will have a huge impact on Newham.

East London is one of the most vibrant and diverse communities in the county, and we deserve the very best healthcare. However, we know that we have a rapidly growing population and there are increasing numbers of people suffering from long term conditions, such as diabetes, where we have an occurrence of almost double the national average. We want to change healthcare in Newham for the better so we meet residents needs, now and in the future.

So here are my predictions for the three upcoming elections.

Happy Easter holiday to all. The school half terms have started, and most parents are stuck with a choice to go away or to stay local due to the inflated holiday costs.

I hope you and your family had a relaxing and rejuvenating Easter weekend. Easter is a celebration of new beginnings and the transition from winter to spring.

Lucia Fortune-Ely will appear at Sadler's Wells next week in a performance directed by Michael Keegan-Dolan. Photograph © Jane Hobson.

A sixth former will be swapping school books for the stage when she leaps into the limelight next week.

Joseph Sellman-Leava will perform Labels at Theatre Royal Stratford East's new theatre space

Take a walk through any Newham street and you’ll find people who identify themselves as black, Asian, mixed race, white – such is the norm when you live in one of London’s most ethnically diverse areas.

Nando Messias performance at Toynbee studio. Photo: Loredana Denicola: Chris Daly

Clad in red underpants and matching heels, Nando Messias sits alone on the bare stage at the Toynbee Studios.

The European Aquatics Championships coming to the London Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in May is absolutely amazing.

The last decade has seen a transformation in the performance of London schools. Deprived students in the capital are almost twice as likely to get five or more A-C grades at GCSE than in the rest of England.

The latest 2015 index of deprivation figures indicate that Newham has risen 23 places from the second most deprived authority to 25th – a remarkable improvement over a five-year period.

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