There has been a street market at Canning Town for over 200 years. In the ‘60s and ‘70s Rathbone Market was one of London’s leading street markets. Sadly in more recent times the market has declined, reduced in size and lost customers as Canning Town itself has experienced immense change. However, the decline has been halted and Rathbone is now entering a new phase of growth and development.
Those who don’t live in Newham might be surprised to learn that one of the highlights of our social calendar is a celebration of the life and work of the Scottish poet Robert Burns - but we have a number of proud Scots in our midst, few prouder than our Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, who led the tributes and the dancing at our Burns’ Supper recently.
On Wednesday, January 27 we will gather at Stratford Town Hall to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. We will light candles to remember those who lost their lives to the sickening atrocities of Nazi persecution and commemorate the liberation in 1945 of the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
It’s just over two weeks to go until Christmas and everyone is frantically running around looking for that last minute gift or seeking out the top selling toy that no one has in stock anymore or buying enough food to last through to next Christmas.
The horrific terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIS in Paris, Bamako and Beirut were at the forefront of everyone’s minds in Parliament this week. There is no justification whatsoever for such abhorrent violence.
Recently I spoke at the Olympic Stadium to mark 10 years since we won the bid to host the 2012 Games, and to mark the official launch of the Foundation for FutureLondon, a charity that will deliver arts, culture and creative education programmes on Queen Elizabeth Park and in surrounding boroughs.
We’re in the season of remembrance; we’ve had All Saints Eve, or Halloween, All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day when we remember all those people who have died who weren’t recognised saints – almost everyone then! - with Remembrance Day and Armistice Day soon after it’s appropriate that we recently had a conference called Dying Well in Newham
Earlier this year I focussed a column on the need for a local history museum in Newham - something the borough has not had since the Passmore Edwards Museum at Stratford, which was closed by the council in 1994.
The government decision to cut tax credits have once again been in the news over the past week. This time because the House of Lords got involved and voted to delay to tax credit cuts until the government come forward with protections for low income families for at least three years.
The findings of the Department of Communities and Local Government English Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2015 indicated that Newham had progressed from being the second most deprived local authority in England in 2010 to now being the 25th most deprived authority.
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Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.