Community view: Vote to shape our borough

PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 April 2018

Kevin Jenkins

In just four weeks time, Newham residents 18 and over (and sadly not those 16 and over) will have the opportunity of voting for Newham’s new mayor and council to run the borough for the next four years to 2022.

Additionally, this time, there is an opportunity to elect a new mayor, as Sir Robin Wales, who has held the position for the past 16 years, will not be the Labour party candidate on May 3.

Whatever your potential persuasion, it is important that you use your vote for the mayor and councillors you wish to represent you over the next four years. To vote you must be registered and if you think you’re not, contact Newham Electoral Services for advice.

Over the next four weeks, you will no doubt receive leaflets from all mayoral and councillor candidates, which make all sorts of promises and commitments if they are elected. You may also receive a phone call or visit from candidates, giving you an opportunity to ask questions directly about their promises.

From experience, it is very easy to get lost in the deluge of paper received. I would suggest that you ask yourself three questions about each promise or commitment given – is it needed or just an opportunist claim to attract my vote, is it feasible and there is a chance that it may actually happen and lastly, will it make a positive difference for the borough and/or residents who need support.

If you get more yes’s than no’s for a particular candidate or party, then perhaps they should get your vote.

For me, we need a mayor and council who will always listen and learn, who recognise the challenges Newham faces and are prepared to meet these challenges, even if this includes making unpopular decisions, recognise that they always need to work in partnership with businesses, health, the police and the voluntary and faith sectors to achieve what is best for all residents, who always consult with and involve residents effected by specific projects and initiatives, who always use available financial resources to their optimum to make a difference beginning with young people and housing, and remain accountable throughout their four years by introducing independent scrutiny rather than maintaining the failed internal self scrutiny that no one trusts anymore.

Use your vote to help shape the Newham you want to live in!

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