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Newham councillor Veronica Oakeshott steps down after three years

PUBLISHED: 18:31 14 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:54 17 September 2018

Veronica Oakeshott, who's been a Boleyn ward councillor for three years. Picture: IB

Veronica Oakeshott, who's been a Boleyn ward councillor for three years. Picture: IB

Archant

One of Newham’s councillors has announced she’s stepping down.

Veronica with East Ham MP Stephen Timms, in a Bike From Boleyn ride in 2017. Picture: Melissa PageVeronica with East Ham MP Stephen Timms, in a Bike From Boleyn ride in 2017. Picture: Melissa Page

Veronica Oakeshott, who’s been a councillor for three years, said she’s leaving to be “closer to my family”.

The Boleyn ward councillor announced her resignation in a tweet on Friday.

She said: “After three years as a councillor I am stepping down today to move house, closer to my family. It has been a huge privelege to serve in Boleyn. Thank you Boleyn for your friendship – I’ll miss you.”

Explaining her decision, Cllr Oakeshott said: “I am moving to Oxfordshire for family reasons and will watch Newham’s development with great interest from there.

“The new Mayor has an exciting agenda ahead and I have every confidence that this young, talented borough will go from strength to strength.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work for the people of Boleyn, alongside my Labour colleagues and Newham’s hardworking staff.”

The Labour Party councillor was born in Edinburgh to English parents and raised in Dunbar, East Lothian.

She studied politics at Newcastle University, and settled in Plaistow after working for the British High Commission in Nairobi and the Kenyan Women Parliamentary Association.

She was first elected in a December 2015 by-election, where she won 72 per cent of the vote, and was re-elected in May this year.

During her time as a councillor, she played a key role in the campaign to keep the Champions statue in Upton Park, and was also involved in the Bike from Boleyn cycle rides between West Ham’s former and current homes.

The mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “Veronica has shown great tenacity in representing residents passionately across a range of vital issues.

“Her concerns about genuinely affordable housing provision on West Ham United’s former Boleyn Ground, alongside the campaign she started to keep the Champions sculpture in the ward, is a tribute to her excellence as a local representative.”

Details of the by-election to choose a new councillor for the Boleyn ward will be announced in due course.

Cllrs Gen Kitchen and Harvinder Singh Virdee will continue to represent the ward.

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