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View from the Chamber: 'Radical vision' to change for the better

PUBLISHED: 08:00 10 November 2018

Rokhsana Fiaz

It's six months since I stepped into office, there's still a lot to do but progress is being made in key areas. That's the reason I stood to become mayor: to deliver for residents and deliver positive change through targeted action.

We now have £107 million following a successful bid to the Mayor of London to support my promise to start building homes at social rent levels to help tackle the housing crisis.

It’s the highest amount allocated to any London council. It will help me deliver 1,123 quality homes across 40 sites by 2022.

All the homes will be available at London affordable rent levels and I’ll also start building at least 100 of these homes in my first year.

Getting this money also reflects the confidence people outside of Newham have in me and the ambitious programme of change I am delivering.

And I promise you this: I will continue to challenge developers who aren’t putting forward the right levels of affordable housing and campaign for a change to Right to Buy to protect our housing stock.

I have set out a bold and radical vision to change Newham for the better, making the council more transparent, more accountable and involving residents more.

I’m leading by example! I have made changes so the decision-making power in Newham held by the mayor – in other words me – is now shared with all members of cabinet.

At my first annual council meeting I said I wanted to make Newham a blueprint for participatory democracy, and having completed our first round of citizen assemblies, I am delivering on that promise too.

We had 1,100 people attend 16 events.

You can see what people thought of these at newham.gov.uk/CitizensAssemblies

Another of my promises was to combat the violence and crime that harms our communities and young people. So when police invited me to join them as they targeted people suspected of violence and drug dealing, I was keen to join them.

I accompanied Detective Superintendent Zena Marshall on Operation Pomerelle where 14 people were arrested with officers finding a suspected imitation firearm and a substantial amount of cash.

Any action that keeps our young people safe and prevents them being exposed to criminality has to be a good thing.

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