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Opinion

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stephen Fry recently caused a stir on an Irish religious affairs programme when asked what he would say in the unlikely event of meeting God at the gates of heaven.

Every year, GPs in Newham offer free health checks to adults with a learning disability to ensure any health issues are identified and treated early. We are thrilled that Newham is rated top in London for supporting these residents to have a health check.

Regular readers know I’m the Shadow Fire and Communities Minister. Recess Week gave me the opportunity to visit fire stations up and down the country. I was privileged to meet many brave public servants and I’m delighted to report that Cara the Dog was a hit everywhere.

Tax avoidance has been a big issue in the news as of late, particularly in relation to HSBC.

Sir Robin Wales

Newham hosted a groundbreaking conference last week which saw nine London boroughs coming together, to explore how powers could be devolved from central government to a more local level.

Since it was first mooted that there should be in single currency in Europe back in the ’90s I have always believed this to be dangerous step, where an economic policy misadventure would ultimately end in political peril for the people of Europe.

I was greatly encouraged, but even more frustrated by the article on last week’s business page – ‘Dock development must not repeat Canary Wharf mistake’.

Last Thursday was National Voter Registration Day.

As we move towards spring and summer, now is a great time to get more involved with Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - whether it’s volunteering at an event, or giving us your views at a residents’ meeting.

My topic this week is the esoteric subject of prayers before council meetings. It may be esoteric, but it occupied a good chunk of parliamentary time in a debate on January 16.

Regular readers will know we lost dad just before Christmas. After losing mum, dad found things very hard and, as his illness progressed, we needed to bring in additional support to help to care for him.

The weather forecast for London says it will get colder next week. People will pick up colds flus and other winter illnesses. Prevention is better than cure!

I was listening to the radio last week about the events in Paris when after much discourse about the problems of religious fundamentalism, the presenter commented that freedom of speech is a fundamental right. I wondered did this make him a fundamentalist?

This week in Newham we remembered victims of the Holocaust.

As I write the weather forecasters are warning of a pending real cold spell with high winds, low temperatures, ice and snow.

I know it’s already the middle of January but I want to wish you all a happy new year.

Last year I organised a Politics Summer School for young people living in Newham.

Well, the Christmas tree is back in its box and the lights have been re-wound and put away along with the decorations; the last sheets of Christmas kitchen roll and toilet paper have been used and I have taken down the cards.

I hope you had a happy Christmas and really good start to this year.

In a disappointing intervention just before Christmas, Downing Street has blocked the introduction of Humanist marriages in England and Wales.

When you’re stuck in a traffic jam in Ghana’s capital, Accra, the last thing you expect to see is a street trader wearing a West Ham shirt.

On behalf of everyone at Newham Council I would like to wish you all a happy New Year.

2015 is here and another general election is months away.

Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions. Often they are about losing weight, getting fit or changing behaviour.

Most read news

A new report is highly critical of local organisations across the county.

The Hollywood actor took on politicians and it was amazing.

Climbers are leaving a big mess on the world’s highest peak.

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