Ask MP Stephen Timms

We will be interviewing MP for East Ham Stephen Timms next week.

Photo:ICAEW Press Office/flickr

He has been MP for the area since 1994, having previously been Labour’s MP for Newham North East. He’s the shadow minister for employment and was formerly financial secretary to the treasury.

Stephen Timms was elected to Newham Council in 1984 and chaired the Planning Committee from 1987 to 1990, before serving as Leader of the Council from 1990 to 1994.

He has lived in the East London Borough of Newham since 1979. He has concentrated on regeneration in East London – including regeneration partnerships, the Thames Gateway initiative, Stratford international station on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, and the Olympics in Newham in 2012.

We plan to put some of the concerns we have heard from small business owners and workers over the course of the last few months to him. These include the effect on businesses of road closures, VIP lanes and congestion, compulsory purchase orders, problems of forced labour, how changes to Sunday Trading laws could affect businesses and much more.

If you have any questions you would like us to ask, please tweet us on @2012newham or leave a comment on this site……

We look forward to hearing from you!


Donations needed to develop Cody Dock

A charity is trying to raise enough money to turn a derelict dock into a vibrant creative quarter.

The Gasworks Dock Partnership have started to welcome donations from today to help turn Cody Dock into community gardens along with a wooden swing bridge.

Initially built in 1870 on the Lower River Lea, it is currently cut off by industrial estates and has been neglected.

The charity has part-funded the project with backing from the council. However they still need £140,000 to complete their plans.

If you’re able to donate then you can do so here. In the long term they wish to create affordable studio space and even a visitor centre and a cafe.

When I visited the site the riverside path was blocked off by fencing. If this project is completed then the fences will come down and open up a continuous 26-mile pathway that stretches all the way from Hertfordshire.

New community website launched

Permission for screenshot granted by The Real Newham

Last weekend saw the launch of a brand new community website for the borough. The Real Newham is a website full to the brim with stories, videos, photos and information.

The website describes it as “a consultation for everyone in the borough to share their stories, their worries and their dreams and ask the question: How do we build the best future for Newham?”

It’s a project supported by Hacan East and Climate Rush (who recently scrubbed a message on the inside wall of the Rotherhithe Tunnel – see video below).

There’s many ways to get involved such as submitting videos, filling out a questionnaire or joining their team of volunteers. Get in touch with them today.

‘London’s secret weapon’ – and how the Olympics is inspiring the business people of the future

Much has been said and written about the effects, both positive and negative, of the Olympic Games on the borough of Newham in particular, and on London and the country as a whole.

But where did it all begin?

Cast your mind back to a time when we didn’t know whether London, Paris, Madrid, Moscow or New York would host the event. In July 2005 Lord Sebastian Coe led a delegation to Singapore to make its final presentation to the International Olympic Committee. Amoung the delegation was 30 young people from East London.

They have since been described as ‘London’s Secret Weapon’.

This is an extract from Sebastian Coe’s speech:

Why are so many here, taking the place of businessmen and politicians? It’s because we’re serious about inspiring young people. Each one of them comes from East London, from the communities who will be touched directly by our Games.

Most of these young people were from Langdon School. It’s a designated sports college, located just 5 km from the Olympic Site.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I talked to Jan Ward, assistant head teacher at the school. She told me how the students were a key part of the Olympic bid and how, in turn the Olympics is inspiring their futures….

Here’s what some of the students themselves felt about the experience:

Year 8 boy:

Going to Singapore made me learn how much effort was being put into the London bid. It showed me how competitive the bid to get the Olympics was. All the cities that tried to win the bid all tried really hard. Paris has bid a couple of times before, just like London. However, we won! It will mean lots of jobs for the area, and it will be good for businesses and tourism. It will also give people the opportunity to see so many sports right here in London. I can’t wait to be there.

Year 8 girl:

From the experience of going to Singapore, we learnt a lot about other people and about ourselves. We learnt just what we are capable of.  Being there gave us a lot of confidence and encouragement to do more for sports in the future. Not only was this a phenomenal experience but it has also opened up doors to other things. All young people will benefit from this as we will now have the Olympics and it will encourage a lot more people to get involved. It will also open up a lot for careers as well as for sports. All the hard work that went into it really did  pay off. So Thank you for giving me this fantastic experience.

A training venue for Taekwondo 

This summer Langdon School will break up early on July 13th and hand over its facilities to London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG). The school will then become a training venue for taekwondo competitors. Up to 128 athletes will train at the venue every day and LOCOG expects that there will be 12 buses each day transporting the athletes to and from the Olympic village.

But they do not anticipate any disruption to local businesses which they say will be accessible as usual. The school will receive around £50,000 in return and will use the funds for infrastructure upgrading to roadways and fencing and also some redecoration for the sports hall.