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Q&A: We put Newham people in the spotlight

PUBLISHED: 08:30 23 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:05 23 August 2017

Archant

This week borough former Newham Recorder editor and journalist Colin Grainger answers our questions.

What’s your connection with the borough?

Born and bred here over 60 years ago. Went to primary and secondary schools in Silvertown and Plaistow. Worked in Newham all my life, spent 40 years at the Newham Recorder, starting as a trainee reporter and the last 15 as editor. Now a freelance journalist and working with charities.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

The strengths of the communities, no matter what is thrown at them. Different generations have battled against all kinds of poverty and discrimination but have survived and flourished against the odds.

There still is a great sense of community spirit, shown in the many good things that are being achieved despite those who would divide us.

Use three words to describe the area?

Courageous, diverse, committed.

What one thing would you change?

The road network. Too much meddling has created unnecessary gridlock blighting local lives.

When the South Woodford to Barking Relief Road – the A406 – was created years ago, the idea was to relieve the area of traffic. The council meddled with side roads, disrupting local traffic flows and creating the nightmare we have today. Bus lanes operate in uneeded times and controlled parking zones that locals don’t want have made matters worse.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

Kevin Jenkins, founder of charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, and co-founder and life president of charity Community Links.

What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?

Make cyclists take a competency/driving test and fine them for going through red lights.

If you were editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

Having been editor, I would continue a focus I started more than 35 years ago, accentuating the positive things being done by younger people in our community.


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