Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales looks forward to 2015


- Credit: Newham Council

On behalf of everyone at Newham Council I would like to wish you all a happy New Year.

This year promises to be exciting and challenging; exciting because Newham celebrates its 50th birthday and we are also hosting Rugby World Cup 2015; challenging because we have to continue to protect the services residents value in the face of deep cuts in our funding from government.

In April it will be the 50th anniversary of when East Ham and West Ham came together officially under the umbrella of Newham. We are planning many activities to mark the occasion and residents will play a huge part in those celebrations. The first 50 years of Newham is a great story; we have a rich heritage, one of the youngest and most diverse populations in Britain and the harmony in which we live side by side is renowned. We have heralded the arrival of some iconic landmarks – London City Airport, the Thames Barrier at Silvertown, and more recently one of Europe’s biggest shopping centres, Westfield, in Stratford. Hosting an Olympic Games and a Paralympic Games put us on the global map and we are continuing to benefit from this with our investment in the redevelopment of the Olympic Stadium.

We have built up a track record as an area that welcomes people, trade, business and innovation. We are a council ready to show the way in being positive, far-sighted and in tune with the bigger picture to help capture economic gains.

Our main motivation has always been to give residents the same opportunities as those in better off parts of the capital. We recognise when residents need our support and make sure our work helps them build life-long skills. I am sure you have memories of events from the past 50 years. I look forward to hearing about them as we mark our past and plan for a successful future. More from Sir Robin.