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Newham Mayor highlights priorities for the borough

13:37 09 June 2014

The Newham Mayor SIr Robin Wales with the borough's councillors

The Newham Mayor SIr Robin Wales with the borough's councillors

Archant

More than a thousand families will get help in putting their foot on the housing ladder with a new council-owned shared equity scheme.

NewShare will mean more residents being offered the chance to settle down and buy their own home.

Details of the scheme were revealed by Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales at Newham Council’s annual general meeting. The Mayor said: “Residents, many of them young families, will get an equity loan from the council. We will help at least 1,200 households get a foot on the housing ladder.”

During the meeting he set out his priorities for the borough for the next 12 months. Speaking to residents, businesses, stakeholder partners, councillors and council staff, he said: “These are tough times for local people with stagnant wages, slashed benefits and the rising cost of living. Together we can be optimistic and aspirational. We will stand up for Newham nationally and locally. We do not abandon people. We recognise when residents need our support and we make sure our work helps them in the long term.”

Sir Robin said the work of Red Door Ventures, the council’s new housing initiative, would be prioritised in the year ahead, with the council building or buying 3,500 new homes for rent, with up to half of them offered at subsidised rents.

Among other new initiatives announced by the Mayor was Money Works, an alternative to pay day lenders, where residents can go if they are struggling financially or in need of affordable credit. It will bring together sustainable loans and savings products, with money and debt advice.

The Mayor also committed to continue to invest in the services that residents say matter most, These include employment service Workplace, which has supported more than 20,000 residents into work; additional police officers to help tackle anti-social behaviour; free school meals, which puts £500 back into the pockets of hard-working families; and Newham’s Every Child programme.

Sir Robin outlined how the council’s network of communiuty hubs will create a resilient community by offering greater opportunities for residents to get involved and come together. He also maintained the council would only commission services that have a genuine impact.

The annual general meeting also saw Councillor Joy Laguda elected chair of the council for the next 12 months. There was also a performance by children from the Every Child a Musician orchestra and choir.

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