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Mayor of Newham promises to build record levels of council-owned homes if he wins local election

PUBLISHED: 16:47 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:13 14 February 2018

Sir Robin Wales is the current mayor of Newham. Picture: Newham Council

Sir Robin Wales is the current mayor of Newham. Picture: Newham Council

Newham Council

The Mayor of Newham has promised to build record levels of council-owned homes in the borough if he is voted back in the forthcoming local elections.

Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz will be battling against Sir Robin Wales. Picture: Rokhsana FiazCllr Rokhsana Fiaz will be battling against Sir Robin Wales. Picture: Rokhsana Fiaz

Sir Robin Wales made the election pledge in a Facebook post today where he also highlighted his past achievements.

In addition to promising to building record levels of council-owned homes, he also said he will install more charging points for electric cars, and increase the number of GP surgeries in the borough.

Newham became the first local authority to build council-owned homes for it residents through its Red Door Scheme but rents are charged at the market rate.

Sir Robin made the announcement following the news that he would not automatically be reselected to be the Labour mayoral candidate but will have to battle it out against councillor Rokhsana Fiaz in an open selection process.

On Monday, Labour members voted for the open selection to choose the next mayoral candidate instead of an automatic renewal of Sir Robin’s candidacy.

This was the second vote, after the result of December’s ballot was discarded.

In his statement, Sir Robin highlighted the council’s clampdown on criminal landlords which he claimed contributed to the housing crisis and his community approach to tackling gang crime.

He also spoke about shunning shunned right to buy schemes, which he claims have “stripped” councils of the number of homes they are able to offer.

“I am delighted that we can have a real debate about ideas and unite as a party, Sir Robin said in his post.

“I will proudly stand on my record, whether that’s private rented sector licences, highest growth in employment in London, universal free school meals or my radical vision to stand up against austerity and for social justice in the future.”

Cllr Fiaz told the Recorder she will be announcing her election pledges shortly.

She said:: “Labour members have unanimously voted for choice, so in the coming weeks I will be setting out my vision for Newham on housing, jobs, education and health; and where residents are at the heart of everything we do.”

Voting to choose Labour’s mayoral candidate will open on March 1.

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