Posted on May 24, 2014
by John Stewart
Robin Wales was reelected Mayor of Newham on 24% of the vote yesterday. 60 out of 60 Labour councillors were returned on a wave of apathy, with some wards barely registering a 30% turn out.
Many of us are in despair. Not only has Wales delivered little for Newham in his 12 years as Mayor, his style has caused widespread alienation and anger.
Wales’ record is poor. He might – and does – point to the Olympics and the shiny new Westfield Shopping Centre but all his pictures grinning beside celebrities can’t hide the stark facts: –
in 2000 Newhamranked as the 5th most deprived borough in the country; in 2004, the 6th; in 2007, it slipped to the 2nd most deprived; rising to 8th in 2011.
Wales’ much-criticised style was in evidence in his response to an invitation to an election hustings meeting organized by HACAN East. His agent Ken Clark, now a Newham councillor, responded by saying ““Newham Labour will not be at the meeting on Monday evening, organised by two self-appointed organisations that deliberately misrepresent the views of the Council and those elected to it”. Despite repeated emails to give us chapter and verse that we deliberately mispresented the Council’s views, we have heard nothing. We can only conclude that they don’t have a shred of evidence to back up their claims; that they were merely an attempt to smear us.
Our lawyers say that we could sue but, to be honest, we have better things to do than waste our time on Robin Wales. He is not going to change. Time and again we’ve heard from people that this behaviour is typical of Wales and his clique. This is the council which set a record for local authorities of only have a total of 12 hours of debate in full council over FOUR years!
We will challenge Wales over City Airport (“challenge” but not “misrepresent”). Other community and campaign groups will try to brave the wrath of his regime and fight for their people. The other political parties will not go away and will probably growth in strength. (in fact, bucking the national trend, there was a notable swing from Labour to the Conservatives in these Mayoral elections) But, in the short term, we look to the decent Labour councillors to challenge Robin Wales and his clique. Give us some hope in our of despair!
Posted on May 13, 2014
13/5/14 for immediate use
All candidates at a packed election hustings meeting held last night in the Royal Docks area of Newham expressed opposition to any further expansion of London City Airport. The meeting, organized by HACAN East, the body which represents residents under the airport’s flight paths, was addressed by representatives of the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the Christian Peoples Alliance, the Trade Union and Socialist Party and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and the Green Party (1). UKIP sent its apologies. Only Newham Labour refused to attend. It was represented by an empty chair.
In one of the very few hustings meetings being held in Newham, a wide range of topics were raised by both the speakers and the audience.
John Stewart from HACAN East, who chaired the meeting, said, “It was lively, informed debate. It is just a pity it was boycotted by Labour.”
HACAN East has written to the Labour Party asking it to back up with hard evidence their allegation made to the media that HACAN East has “deliberately misrepresented the views of the Council and those elected to it”. It has yet to get a reply.
Notes for Editors:
(1). Speaking at the meeting were: Lois Austin (TUSC), Caroline Allen (Green) and Stefen Mrozinski (Conservative), Alex Ocan Latim of the Christian Peoples Alliance and Jonathan Fryer of the Liberal Democrats.
For further information:
John Stewart on 07957385650 or 0207 737 6641
Posted on May 12, 2014
We reprint in full below the statement Labour has just issued turning down an invite to the election hustings being organised tonight be HACAN East and Momentum. It is so vitriolic and defensive it ids barely worth comment but just to explain we invited Newham Mayor Robin Wales. When he turned us down, we asked if anybody could represent Labour. Apparently, nobody can. The pupose of the hustings, like any hustings, is to allow candidates to explain their views.
“Newham Labour will not be at the meeting on Monday evening, organised by two self-appointed organisations that deliberately misrepresent the views of the Council and those elected to it.
“These groups are fully aware that any expansion of London City Airport is currently subject to a planning application. As the planning authority, Newham Council has written to more than 25,000 local homes asking for their views on the proposed expansion of London City Airport and will listen carefully to these and other responses as part of a proper process.”
“By contrast, we were not even consulted about the date or time of Monday’s meeting and are already fully committed that evening to meeting hundreds of residents across Newham as we continue our campaign to elect a Labour Mayor of Newham, local Councillors and MEPs.”
Posted on May 3, 2014
TO ASK THE POLITICIANS ABOUT CITY AIRPORT AND THE ROYAL DOCKS
· Have concerns about London City Airport?
· Want to find out what the political parties will do for the Royal Docks and for Newham?
May 12th at 7.30pm
Britannia Village Hall
(65 Evelyn Road, West Silvertown, London E16 1TU)
· Hear what the political parties have to say!
Ask them questions!
A representative of all the parties standing at the Mayoral, council and European elections to be held on the 22nd May has been invited to the meeting.
The meeting has been organized by HACAN East and the Momentum Project