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Wed, 08:00

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

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.

This month I made – with my wife – my first visit to Kerala, India. We were guests of Follow Me TV, which broadcasts in the local Malayalee language. Set up by the Catholic Church, the station was organising a big celebration of its expansion onto satellite.

I hope you’ve had a good start ao 2017 so far. With West Ham United playing their first matches at the newly- refurbished London Stadium, thrill-seekers braving the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit, and our venues hosting some of the biggest events in sport and entertainment, 2016 has been another great year on the Park.

Battle worn soldiers or maimed victims of conflicts far away often stir in the mind when we think of war.

These are interesting times, someone said to me recently grimly, perhaps echoing the old Chinese curse. “But there’s always hope!” was my reply. And I meant it, because there is.

In the early evening of January 19, 1917, Catherine Oates, a beautiful determined, fiercely loyal woman was walking in Silvertown when she was caught up in the biggest explosion London has ever seen. She was to become my Nan.

Is Trump really that bad? Can we take his more outspoken statements with a pinch of salt? Well yes, he is that bad. And as our government starts to court him, in the wake of Nigel Farage, it is important not to forget the poisonous platform Trump used to achieve power.

In December the UN Security Council passed a resolution critical of Israel for settlement building in the disputed territories of the West Bank.

Before Christmas I took part in Walk the Met – an initiative where Assembly Members amongst others, were invited to join police on patrol.

Whatever your age, the evidence shows that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life.

My relationship with John Denis hairdressers at the White Horse, East Ham, began when, aged nine, I decided to cut my own hair just before we went on holiday!

Hopefully, your new year resolution(s) are still on track – four days into the new year.

On behalf of everyone at Newham Council I would like to wish everyone a happy new year.

It is often said that young people are apathetic about politics. It’s true that election turnout among younger people is lower than among older voters.

It’s been another great year on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and I want to thank you for all your support.

Back in the dark days of December 1939, when our country was facing war with Germany, the young Princess Elizabeth, aged just 13, gave her father, the King, a copy of a poem. He was so moved by it that he quoted it in his Christmas broadcast to the Empire.

I’m a well organised woman. You can’t do my job otherwise.

This is a good time of year to talk about uplifting spirits. I speak of the alchoholic variety rather than the religious! Drink has been enjoyed since time immemorial by civilisations around the globe. Of course, before I am lambasted for being irresponsible or insensitive, it has also caused illness and misery and is often behind violent and anti-social behaviour. But for many it has proved to be a welcome social lubricant associated with conviviality, friendship and pleasure.

As the festive season draws closer, I’d like to encourage local people to make sure they know where to go for treatment and health advice over the holidays, as well as to think about some simple steps they can take to stay well this winter.

Once again the sounds of jingle bells are all around us, Christmas lights are shining ever so bright and Christmas trees are the centre of attention for all. It is time to celebrate.

Life continues to be busy on the assembly police and crime committee and Newham has featured heavily in our recent work, which saw the issue of policing and security in and around the London Stadium as a major topic.

You might not have noticed, but there’s an epidemic sweeping this country at the moment with devastating results. It is shortening life-expectancy and destroying people’s quality of life. Doctors diagnose it all the time, and we should all be looking out for it: It’s called loneliness.

Personally, I was not surprised that recent research carried out by the Big Give in to individual giving, found that individuals living in the poorest boroughs (including Newham) give a higher percentage of their income to good causes than those living in more affluent areas.

This week, the branches, unions and affiliated organisations that make up the Newham Labour Party voted that I should be their candidate in the next election to be Mayor.

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in the referendum of June 23 was the most significant political moment of our generation.

The Chancellor ended his Autumn Statement saying “We are bold in our vision”.

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