Newham pensioners discuss how they’ll be casting their vote in the upcoming local elections
13:00 03 May 2014
With statistics showing that the older generation are most likely to use their vote, Janine Rasiah met some Newham pensioners to find out how they plan to vote on May 22.
Although Roy Graham, 78, from Forest Gate, has always voted for Labour, he plans to vote for another party this year, although he hasn’t yet decided which one.
“I just want to give somebody else a chance,” he said. “They [Labour] have been here long enough.
“Immigration, the health service and housing need to be sorted but I don’t know how it can be, only that the present situation doesn’t make sense.”
Eyvonne McDougall, who has lived in Stratford for more than 20 years, says she might not vote for the first time,
“I don’t know if I am going to vote and, if I do, I don’t know who I am going to vote for,” she said. “There are a lot of candidates but I don’t want to vote for any of them.”
Eyvonne says voting for the current mayor, Sir Robin Wales, is out of the question as he failed to respond to letters that her daughter wrote to him when they had housing problems.
“I think if people write to you and explain the situation, I think you should pay attention and respond - especialy if you want people to vote for you,” she said. “But I don’t want to vote for the Conservatives because they take away money from people.”
Crafton Stephenson, 79, from Stratford, is a loyal Labour supporter.
He says lots of things have changed since he moved to the borough 54 years ago, but most of them are for the better.
“When I came to Stratford, Stratford was Stratford but if I was to go away now and come back, I wouldn’t recognise it,” Crafton said. “The improvements have been great with the Olympics and all the development.”
He is quite pragmatic about what improvements are needed in the borough.
“There are a lot of young people coming up now who would like to have a little house and a lot of things still need improving but you can’t please everybody all of the time,” Crafton added.
Iceline Ademoye, 84, from Stratford, plans to continue to vote for Labour.
“There has been a lot of change since I came here in the early Sixties but for me it is in a good way,” she said. “I have no complaints with the council at the moment.”
Sid Hamilton, 79, plans to vote for Labour.
“They support the working class and you can trust them,” he said. “The most important thing that needs addressing is the exorbitant rents but the adult education facilities in Newham are very good and cheap.”