Thursday, January 05, 2017

Councillor Report to West Ham Ward 5 Jan 2017

Councillor Report to Ward

tel: 0203 373 2615 or email

Report to Ward Meeting 5 January 17

Apologies that I have not submitted a written report since October but I have made verbal reports to meetings.

8 October I had my surgery where I dealt with housing and planning issues, then attended West Ham Labour Party street stall on opposing the reintroduction of Grammar schools followed by a canvass session with Lyn Brown MP in Canning Town North.

Later that day Cllr Whitworth and I visited a street community party, garden planting and litter pick in Church Street Triangle E15 next to the historic All Saints Church. It was very well supported by local residents, safer neighbourhood police and voluntary organisations.

10 October I helped out in the Hoxton West Council by election in Hackney. A friend of mine, Yvonne Maxwell, who is the daughter of a former Newham Chief Whip and Chair of Social Services was standing for Labour.

11 October I attended a London Housing Priorities Seminar on behalf of Unison and questioned a Chief Executive of a Housing Association why he does not believe in accountability for residents and human rights for his workforce.

12 October I had evening surgery at Brassett Point. Complaints about ASB, drug use and street lighting. Then attended Investment and Accounts Committee at Old Town Hall in Stratford followed by West Ham Executive Committee.

18 October attended Local Authority Pension Fund Forum business meeting in Docklands.

20 October we had an Extraordinary Full Council meeting at Newham Town Hall on the Local Plan.

22 October I went to a well-attended meeting in central London of the "Axe the Act" campaign. This was about campaigning against the Tory Housing and Planning Act. Which I am pleased to note that plans to tax tenants and sell off Council homes to pay for Housing Associations “Right to Buy” have since run into trouble.

27 October attended West Ham General Committee as Vice Chair Membership.

29 October I helped out again in West Hoxton by election which I am pleased resulted in a convincing majority for Yvonne. I just missed Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn who had arrived by bicycle to help out.

3 November attended West Ham ward meeting, gave verbal report and then left to chair Forest Gate North meeting.

5 November I was really pleased to attend the opening of the Darul Jannah Community centre in Plaistow Road with Cllr Whitworth and Cllr Islam. It has been one long hard slog for this centre to open. I have been speaking to the trustees on this issue ever since I was elected in 2010, there has been numerous and complex emails, applications and scale diagrams.I have had meetings and telephone calls with Council officers and been twice to local planning committee meetings on speak on the application. I hope this will prove to be an excellent and much needed local cultural and community asset. 

7 November attended Newham Compass planning meeting on future events.

9 November surgery at Brassett Point (housing issues) and then West Ham Executive Committee.

11 November attended a moving Armistice Service at the Cenotaph in Central Park.

12 November surgery in Vicarage lane (Housing again).

13 November another moving Remembrance Sunday service at All Saints Church on the anniversary of a dreadful First World War battle where many "West Ham Pals" in the local infantry regiment were killed and wounded.

17 November I was at the Forest Gate North Mayoral Trigger Ballot where I spoke in favour of an open selection process and was pleased that an overwhelming majority of local Party members also supported this.

21 November I assisted in the Newham Co-operative Mayoral Trigger ballot as its Assistant Secretary. This resulted in a narrow vote for there to be an open selection process.

26 November I swapped my December surgery with Cllr Whitworth. Parking and environment issues came up.

1 December I attended West Ham ward meeting and gave verbal report then went off to chair Forest Gate North meeting.

5 December I went to a meeting organised by the Church Hillsong about its application to take part in the Community Sponsorship scheme and support two Syrian refugee families to live in West Ham ward. Our ward Chair, Cllr Akiwowo, is involved and it was a very professional and well thought out presentation and workshop. I have since heard that their initial application to the Home Office has been approved. 

7-8 December I attended the Annual Conference of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum.

12 December I attended to the Newham Investment and Accounts Committee.  I wish advisors and fund managers when they make presentations on performance would use statistics net (after) of their fees and not gross (before the impact of their fees). It is very misleading.

14 December surgery at Brassett Point followed by West Ham EC.

15 December I attended the Newham Council Christmas reception at the Old Town Hall in Stratford. I spoke to some of the many Newham Labour Party members demonstrating outside about the allegations of serious wrongdoings and malpractice in the Newham Mayoral Trigger ballot. I share many of their concerns and believe that the Party should    annul the result and investigate the issue as a matter of urgency.

22 December I had swapped my surgery again with Cllr Whitworth.

John Gray

West Ham Ward Councillor 

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