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Newham is fighting for fair school funding. Picture: PA/DAVE THOMPSON

A couple look at floral tributes to the victims of the Westminster terrorist attack. Picture: LAUREN HURLEY/PA WIRE

The events in Westminster on Wednesday left us all shocked and deeply saddened.

One part of spring for many parents is waiting to hear if their children have got into their chosen school.

As the Easter weekend is just a couple of weeks away, I have taken the opportunity to draw your attention to the inaugural Easter Egg Appeal.

Callum Daniel’s passion for robots has led him to set up his own company. Picture: DIONNE DANIEL

We can all feel proud that, last week, Tafsia Shikdar became the first Newham student ever offered a place at the world famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kaashif Kamaly, 15, is congratulated by Forest Gate Community School asst head Omar Deria for securing a place at Eton. Picture: KEN MEARS

I am a firm believer in democracy and also believe that referenda can be useful tools to poll the entire nation on major constitutional issues.

Last November I trekked to the far reaches of the Piccadilly Line.

The possible relocation of Champions statue continues to divide opinion. Picture: ISABEL INFANTES

Dame Vera really did have the X Factor

No-one with a drop of Irish blood in them will need reminding that this Friday is St Patrick’s day.

For all Theresa May’s fluff about helping those “just about managing,” the chancellor showed he couldn’t “just about manage” a budget that sticks to his party’s own promises.

European migrants living in Newham and around the UK assembled on February 20 for One Day Without Us.

Stephen Timms MP voted against Brexit despite the EU referendum result

March is prostate cancer awareness month, which provides a vital opportunity to raise awareness of this disease that affects around one in eight men in the UK.

Sport plays a huge role in bringing our community together and it’s great to see the dedication shown by Newham residents to their local clubs.

Call me lucky if you will, but in addition to predicting three of the recent major politcial events, namely the last general election, Brexit referendum and the Trump victory - many months ahead of each vote, my predictions in financial markets have also been remarkably accurate, so I am happy to leave you with my top investment tip.

Switch off your phone to enjoy the drive home

Since the London 2012 Games, many thousands of local people have worked on the park, including many young apprentices, who we have seen take the first steps in long and fulfilling careers.

Once again the Mayor of Newham is recommending to Newham Council a budget which includes no increase in the Newham element of council tax - for the ninth year running, no additional precept for social care and saving of £80.08 million without cutting frontline services.

It is no secret that in Newham we face a significant financial challenge. It was with that in mind that I presented my proposed budget for the coming year to the council’s cabinet last week.

World Book Day 2016, Southern Road Primary School. Yr 3 and 4 children and teachers (back) Rachel England, Helen Yearnshire, Caroline Sharp, Rebecca Pannifer, Lucy Tripp. Picture: VICKIE FLORES

Teachers need support and investment

I have a confession to make... I really don’t like working with children!

Last week I voted against the Government’s bill to trigger Article 50, and start the process of leaving the European Union.

Going to hospital at any age can be a frightening situation – even more so when you’re a child that doesn’t really understand what’s going on.

Campaigners fighting to keep Champions Statue at Upton Park. Picture: ISABEL INFANTES

No-one is perfect. Everyone gets it wrong sometimes.

Last week I joined colleagues and students from the University of East London and the London Design and Engineering UTC to protest two adverts from the payday loan company Smart Pig at Cyprus DLR Station.

The role of Indian soldiers and fighter pilots in the First and Second World Wars is a fascinating subject.

The number of people living in east London is growing rapidly. People are also living longer, meaning that they need more care and support later in life.

It was sad to see two Jobcentres in Newham closing as the government continues to save money by putting services online, writes Richard Sheppard, White Road, Stratford.

I grew up in a loving family in Silvertown.

While the birth of Facebook and Twitter has helped connect people like never before, launched careers, created millionaires, allowed us to follow our heroes and get in the mind of President Trump, social media has a sinister side.

Do you ever check the weather forecast? If so you are in good company. Most sensible people want to know what an expert thinks before planning a day out.

One of the key parts of our plans to create sustainable new communities as part of the long term legacy from the 2012 Games investment was the promise of building much-needed new housing.

Ghastly plans to build concrete plants on the Olympic Park have been shelved. But we can’t be complacent. Any alternative plans put forward must take into account the spirit of the Games legacy. With air quality quite rightly, dominating our political agenda, let’s hope we don’t get such proposals again. Tribute has to be paid to the determination and perseverance of the resident -led campaign. This is their victory.

I refer to the excellent article printed in the Newham Recorder on the blue plaque commemorating the late Major Allan H Beckett RE, writes W M Moncur Major RE (Rtd), Camberley, Surrey, full address supplied.

There must be a smarter way to approach the Jobcentre closures.

With all the talk in the food industry about sustainability, roughly one third of all food produced in the world is wasted. It is estimated that the value of this is almost one trillion dollars annually! And EU food labelling regulations do nothing to assist.

It’s fantastic news that Newham’s 11-year-olds are making the best progress in the country in terms of writing, and are in the top ten nationally across a range of government indicators that measure their performance during primary school.

As we enter the last throes of winter (hopefully) and everyone begins to look to the arrival of spring and the longer days and lighter nights that come with it, it’s also the cue for the Let Newham Play Again group to come out of its own winter hibernation and get active again.

People power has won the day but the battle is far from over for those who opposed three concrete factories proposed for land at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

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