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Opinion

City & London AM John Biggs accuses Tower Hamlets council of improper use of time

I remain busy at City Hall. There are new ideas for east London river crossings, plans for the next Crossrail line, major planning applications to dig into, budgets to manage, challenging policing matters to consider. Yet I am drawn back to comment yet again on Tower Hamlets politics. It’s not surprising – the East End is always the most raw and lively place in the UK.

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Chair East London Humanists Paul Kaufman asks what community means

Do you think of yourself as a member of a community, say the black community or the Muslim community?

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West Ham MP Lyn Brown won’t let a knee injury spoil her summer read

Summer, so far, is something of a washout for me. I really hurt my left knee while exercising and can barely walk. Changing gears in the car is painfully hard.

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Newham CCG chair and GP Dr Zuhair Zarifa explains out-of-hours GP service

Getting speedy medical advice and assurance from a clinician when a loved one is ill is what residents want.

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East London's GPs protesting at Downing Street over surgery funding

BIG DEBATE: Tough rules could mean GP practices losing NHS contracts

GP practices with “inadequate care” are being given deadlines to shape up—or face losing their NHS contracts and closure. Special measures have been proposed to bring them into line with hospitals regulated by the Care Quality Commission. There are 22 surgeries in east London out of 98 across the country under threat. But east London GPs who protested in Downing Street earlier this month claim the surgeries in Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney are being hit by changes to NHS funding which they say puts practices at a disadvantage in deprived areas with lower life expectancy. Are they doomed to fail in a “no win” scenario?

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Tower Hamlets Borough Commander Dave Stringer on a successful summer

The last few weeks have been exceptionally busy for the police in Tower Hamlets. We started July off with the by-election under great scrutiny, went immediately on to the large music festivals in Victoria Park, Field day and Lovebox and then continued with some of our major relgious festivals. Fortunately, despite all the demands on our resources, we were able to keep all the usual elements of our service going as normal and crime continues to fall.

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Newham Borough Commander Tony Nash on the relevance of war ceremonies

Over the past two weeks we have had events at Barking Abbey and Forest Gate police station to remember the sacrifice of others during the First World War, and, of note the 23 officers from this area who lost their lives in the Great War. Injuries

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Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales is fighting homelessness

London’s housing crisis is never out of the headlines.

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MD Forman & Son Lance Forman wants a truly free Gaza

There is a famous poem by pacifist Pastor Martin Niemoller which reads as follows: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me”

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[Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

BIG DEBATE: Charging criminals cash for crimes—to help their victims

Criminals are to be forced to pay cash for their crimes when they are banged up behind bars. Tough measures come into effect on September 1, estimated to bring in £1.5 million to be used to help their victims recover from devastating effects of crime. But legal reformers say those sent to jail are just being used to prop up the economy. The Justice group of lawyers and MPs argues that money saved by handing out more community punishments instead of jail sentences costing the taxpayer could be used for victims instead.

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Campaign for UK spose visas

BIG DEBATE: Is £18,600 threshhold for a spouse’s immigration visa fair?

Campaigners are protesting in Downing Street later this month over the plight of 4,000 people likely to be denied spouse visas for their foreign-born partners. New rules dictate applicants must earn a minimum £18,600 a year to get a visa for their spouse — but they don’t earn that much. It means families being split up or UK-born citizens forced into ‘exile’ abroad. On the other side of the coin, immigration could get out of control without the regulations, including many arriving on our shores without prospect of work or being able to support themselves and would become a burden on the public purse.

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Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali is rallying to save GP surgeries

It’s often said that the NHS is one of Britain’s best-loved institutions. Anyone who has seen the care it provides for our families and friends would agree with this without a second thought. Yet sometimes, our community comes together to remind us just how much local NHS services mean to them.

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East Ham MP Stephen Timms wants more done for young jobless

We still have more than 800,000 young people unemployed in the UK and a rate of youth unemployment almost three times the overall rate. Yet it emerged last week that the government’s flagship youth unemployment initiative has been scrapped. What is going on?

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Chairman East London Humanists Paul Kaufman wants state schools to be secular

What are “British values?” The decision by recently sacked education minister Michael Gove that these must now be taught in all British schools has stimulated an interesting debate.

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Kevin Jenkins Community Links encourages children to play outdoors

At last the tide appears to be changing and the need for children to be able to access and experience challenging and risky activities is becoming increasingly recognised and advocated across the board from parents, relevant professionals and by children themselves.

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MP for Poplar & Limehouse Jim Fitzpatrick says the Gaza slaughter must stop now

The last week before Parliamentary recess has been dominated by foreign news; the Israeli military strikes in Gaza and the downing of the aircraft over the Ukraine.

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Court & Crime See all

Amina Bibi died from more than 70 stab wounds at her home in Forest Gate (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Guilty: Husband and drug addict he paid to murder wife in Forest Gate

An evil husband and the drug addict he hired to kill his wife, who died from more than 70 stab wounds, have today been found guilty of murder.

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Picture Galleries See all

Sister Sledge wow the crowd

Pictures: Thousands brave weather as Under The Stars returns

East Ham’s Central Park played host to a musical spectacular this weekend as Under The Stars returned for its 15th year.

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Opinion See all

City & London AM John Biggs accuses Tower Hamlets council of improper use of time

I remain busy at City Hall. There are new ideas for east London river crossings, plans for the next Crossrail line, major planning applications to dig into, budgets to manage, challenging policing matters to consider. Yet I am drawn back to comment yet again on Tower Hamlets politics. It’s not surprising – the East End is always the most raw and lively place in the UK.

Read full story »

Features See all

Dan Jones with some of his paintings

New exhibition by artist Dan Jones explores life in the East End

A retrospective of paintings by a local artist whose work has played a role in the borough’s history is being featured in a special exhibition.

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Celebrity / Showbiz See all

Drake has cancelled his Wireless London performance (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for ESPN)

Fans devastated after Drake cancels Wireless London festival

Rapper Drake has pulled out of his headline appearances at this weekend’s Wireless Festival in London, leaving fans devastated.

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