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Review of the decade: The stories that made the headlines in Newham

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 January 2020

A Newham Recorder front page from 2011. Picture: Archant

A Newham Recorder front page from 2011. Picture: Archant

Archant

A lot has happened in the past 10 years - and here are just some of the stories that made the pages of our paper since 2010.

2010

Just days after winning his seat at the 2010 General Election, East Ham MP Stephen Timms was stabbed at a constituency surgery. His attacker, 21-year-old Roshonara Choudhry, of Central Park Road, East Ham, was convicted of attempted murder later that year. She told police she wanted revenge for the Iraq war, which Mr Timms voted in favour of.

Newham Council was given more than £17m to create 2,000 extra primary school places to cope with the increasing demand.

An inquest ruled the death of Pc Gary Toms, who suffered severe head injuries during a police chase in Stratford, was accidental. The firearms officer died six days after being flung from a car in April 2009.

And campaigners celebrated after developers pulled out of a £125m planned revamp of Queens Market, which would have seen 340 flats built on the Green Street site in addition to a new building for traders.

2011

Westfield Stratford City - at the time Europe's largest urban shopping and leisure complex - opened its doors for the first time. Boasting 300 shops, 70 restaurants and bars and a 17-screen cinema, the £1.45billion centre was officially opened by singer Nicole Scherzinger.

And it was that cinema that found itself at the centre of vampire mania as stars of hit film series Twilight walked the red carpet. Fans camped out for up to 12 hours to catch a glimpse of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart ahead of the premiere of Breaking Dawn Part 1.

Protesters clashed with police outside the town hall during a demonstration against more than £47m worth of cuts by Newham Council. A 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer, with others - including a councillor - claiming they had been hurt in the scuffle.

2012

The summer of 2012 put Newham - and Stratford in particular - at the centre of the world's attention with the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Millions watched around the globe as the likes of Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Bradley Wiggins helped Great Britain to third place in the medals table.

Plans for a £600million regeneration scheme in Canning Town were given the go-ahead, with developers and council officers putting pen to paper on the contract to build 179 homes and a supermarket.

A former airport worker was hailed a hero after saving the life of a baby who had stopped breathing in the street. Ivan Teece rushed off the bus in West Ham Lane after hearing the 10-month-old's mum shouting for help.

And Newham Council was forced to apologise after a car was wrongly clamped and towed away, before being torched in an arson attack at one of its pounds.

2013

West Ham's move to the Olympic Stadium - later to be renamed the London Stadium - was secured after a deal was agreed. The announcement came in the same year that the club marked the 20th anniversary of Bobby Moore's death with a series of tributes to raise money for Cancer Research.

Elsewhere, single mums living in a mother and baby unit faced eviction after their hostel closed due to funding cuts.

Plans were announced to close two of the borough's police stations - North Woolwich and Stratford - as part of money-saving plans by then-mayor of London Boris Johnson. Borough commander Rob Jones vowed to save Stratford police station - and two months later it was given a reprieve.

And a £1bn deal to build a university campus on the Carpenters estate fell through over what was termed "commercial reasons".

2014

Plastic replaced glass at Aspers Casino following a spate of attacks involving gamblers. Newham Council reconsidered the Stratford venue's licensing terms after three serious assaults were committed in the space of just 24 hours - and also temporarily revoked the alcohol licence over a separate incident.

West Ham's former Upton Park home was sold to developers, who revealed plans for new homes, retail outlets and leisure facilities.

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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was officially opened by Prince Harry, with many of the venues used for the Olympics and Paralympics being transformed into facilities for public use. The prince returned to the park several months later when it played host to the inaugural Invictus Games tournament for servicemen and women.

And a Royal Docks Community School teacher donated one of his kidneys to a sick pupil so that the 13-year-old could receive a life-saving transplant.

2015

Three members of the London Ambulance Service were hailed as heroes for evacuating more than 20 people from a burning building in Beaconsfield Road, Canning Town. The crew - two of whom were on their first day in the job - saw smoke billowing from a block of maisonettes and stopped their vehicle to raise the alarm and rescue residents.

Rugby fans helped to provide an economic boost to the borough during the Rugby World Cup, with a 65 per cent surge in footfall at Westfield Stratford City on the day of the first pool match to be held at the London Stadium. The venue hosted five games during the tournament - four pool matches and the third place play-off.

Teachers at Rokeby School went on strike over plans to turn the school into an academy. Members of the National Union of Teachers feared their contracts would be affected by the proposed changes.

2016

A £344m plan for the expansion of London City Airport was agreed. Concerns were raised about noise and air pollution from the Royal Docks venue, but the project - expected to create 1,600 jobs - was given the go-ahead, with the announcement coming from Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond.

West Ham departed their Upton Park home after 112 years, going out in style with a victory over Manchester United that was followed by a fireworks display. Plans to build more than 800 homes on the Boleyn Ground site had been approved earlier that year, and the stadium itself was partially dismantled before being used as a film set for action movie Final Score.

And families were forced to flee their homes after a suspected First World War bomb was found in a garden shed in Grange Road, Plaistow. It was found by three siblings who were sorting through their dad's belongings in the weeks after his death.

2017

Stratford was once again at the heart of the sporting world as the World Athletics Championships took place at the London Stadium. But just a few months later, Newham Council withdrew from ownership of the venue following the publication of an independent report on the cost of transforming the ground, which was more than £133m over budget.

Union bosses raised concerns after the Department of Work and Pensions announced it would be closing the Jobcentre branches in Plaistow and East Ham, saying they were underused. Claimants faced being transferred to branches in Canning Town, Barking or Stratford - something which was criticised by the Public and Commercial Services union due to the extra cost some would face to travel there.

A newborn baby was found abandoned in Plaistow Park. The tot, named Harry by hospital staff, was discovered by a dog walker. And the Christmas Toy Appeal celebrated its 40th anniversary.

2018

Hundreds of lessons were cancelled after a false widow spider outbreak affected several schools across the borough. Some set up temporary classrooms in libraries or at other schools to continue teaching pupils while investigations into the infestations were carried out.

Rough sleepers were kicked out of the Stratford Centre in the middle of the night and handed community protection notices barring them from returning. They were woken at 4.30am and ordered to leave within five minutes, with the centre being closed overnight for three weeks for essential electrical works.

And Newham gained a new mayor, with Rokhsana Fiaz taking over from Sir Robin Wales. The first directly elected female mayor in London, she won the Labour party candidacy after a controversial 'trigger ballot' contest to determine whether the incumbent Sir Robin would stand automatically or face a selection vote was re-run.

2019

Newham University Hospital staff celebrated after the trust that runs it was taken out of special measures for quality after four years. The Care Quality Commission recommended removing the sanction on Barts Health NHS Trust following an inspection of three of its hospitals, including Newham.

Twenty councillors signed a petition against plans for the MSG Sphere entertainment venue in Stratford. The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) submitted proposals to build a live music hub on land west of Angel Lane.

The NHS agreed to fund a "wonder drug" for his baby daughter with a rare genetic condition. Little Maryam Malji has type 1 spinal muscular atrophy which affects eating, drinking and breathing.

And the contract for the controversial Silvertown Tunnel was signed. Work on the £1bn road link - which has been criticised over the impact it will have on the environment - is set to begin in 2020.

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