Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales on united Newham

PUBLISHED: 10:04 09 December 2015 | UPDATED: 10:04 09 December 2015

Newham Cll PR

The world can sometimes be a scary and intimidating place, where difference and ignorance can lead to fear and isolation.

There has sadly been examples recently where we have seen a small extremist minority express views in spiteful war of words on social media, blogs and in the media, but also imposing their views by turning to violence and bloodshed – as near as two Tube stations away in Leytonstone.

No one wants to live in a world of fear and intimidation. In Newham we have spent many years trying to break down barriers and build a strong, united community.

Our consistent approach has been to treat everyone equally, regardless of your background, religion or education. We have done this by providing funding for residents’ events only if they are open for all to attend, we host events like the Mayor’s Newham Show and Under The Stars that are inclusive of all and we have a Community Neighbourhoods team tasked with bringing residents together to know their neighbours.

We work with schools to ensure tolerance and understanding is shared amongst our youngest and potentially vulnerable members of society, while working with our newest residents by running adult English courses to help them integrate and connect within their new home. We are now working to actively involve the borough’s voluntary and religious communities.

We are planning a second faith conference early next year to build even greater relationships and more common ground. We are hoping to work with faith communities to help us support the Syrian refugees who are brought here to escape the refugee camps.

What we will not do is alienate and ostracise those with differing views and beliefs to our own, we will work together to protect our neighbours and community so that we can live together in peace and not let the divisions of the world outside of Newham take root in our back garden.

Working together as a whole community in these difficult times we can share, develop and celebrate our common values of solidarity and mutual respect. More from Sir Robin

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