The Metropolitan Police have released the latest crime statistics for Newham and they don’t make for happy reading, with a 4% year-on-year increase.
While robberies and residential burglaries are down, violent crime – murder, assault, rape and other sexual assaults – are all up. As is gun crime – up 27%.
Also worrying are the significant increases in hate crime.
||Yr to June 16
||Yr to June 15
|Violence Against the Person
| Robbery (Person)
| Robbery (Business)
| Burglary Residential
| Burglary Non-Residential
|Motor Vehicle Crime
|Racist & Religious Hate Crime
Although it’s not obvious from these figures, reducing crime is one of the mayor’s ‘priorities’:
In 2015 we funded 40 police officers to help us tackle rogue landlords, crack down on dodgy traders and catch those who fly-tip.
Those officers cost an extra £425,000 a year. And, as important as rogue traders and fly-tipping are, residents might question how effectively that money is being spent.
With this year’s Under the Stars coming up at the weekend, a timely Freedom of Information response has revealed the true cost of the mayor’s ‘free’ events for residents.
Over the five years covered that’s a total of £4,314,409.
Imagine what else that money could have been spent on.
An excellent article in Tribune arguing that Labour needs to support fair votes.
The penultimate paragraph sums up so much of what frustrates me about the party and its unwillingness to cooperate with other progressive voices (my emphasis added):
In July, a private member’s Bill on PR introduced by Green MP Caroline Lucas was stifled at birth by a just a handful of votes. Labour MPs – under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – were whipped to abstain, and only eight defied the whip and voted in favour. The arrogance of the Labour Party in denying the right of the electorate a fair vote because it sees itself as the only legitimate voice of ‘the left’ is matched only by it’s stupidity in failing to recognise, or at least acknowledge the changed balance of power in British politics, and the fact that without PR, England and Wales face the prospect, with or without a Labour split, of becoming a Tory one-party state.
Another day in the Labour leadership contest, another open letter.
This time it’s backing Owen Smith MP in his fight against Jeremy Corbyn. Eight Newham councillors have signed:
- Cllr Andrew Baikie
- Cllr David Christie
- Cllr Ian Corbett
- Cllr James Beckles
- Cllr Jo Corbett
- Cllr Mas Patel
- Cllr Patricia Holland
- Cllr Quintin Peppiatt
In addition, both Newham MPs, Lyn Brown and Stephen Timms, are among those who formally nominated Smith.
UPDATE (19 August 2016)
Councillors Salim Patel, Aleen Alarice and Alan Griffiths have now added their names to the list of signatories
West Ham councillor John Gray has blogged about the re-run of the Newham Co-operative Party AGM earlier in the week.
The re-run was “due to ‘irregularities’ at the AGM in January.” I understand that these were far more serious than the ‘voter guidance’ I blogged about at the time and as a consequence the meeting was chaired by officials from party HQ.
Despite the apparent success of the meeting itself, Cllr Gray’s account ends on a sour note:
The evening was marred by the abusive and threatening behavior outside the meeting by one Co-op member towards another, which I will be bringing to the attention of Party officials. Such behaviours are not acceptable in the Co-op Party or any other progressive organisation.
The perpetrator is not named, but his identity will be easily guessed by anyone who takes an interest in Newham politics. Thin-skinned, short-tempered and given to outbursts of foul-mouthed abuse towards those he thinks are plotting against him?
Another clue, appropriately enough given the outcome of the meeting: surname rhymes with ‘fails’.
Details of the allowances paid to Newham councillors in the last financial year (to 31 March 2016) have been published in the Newham Mag.
As usual, every effort has been made to prevent residents doing anything useful with the information. The online version of the Mag is published in PDF and Word formats; and the Word version – from which the data could easily be cut-and-pasted into a spreadsheet – completely omits the allowances section!
The standalone version, which is a statutory requirement, has not yet been published on the council website, but when it is it will be a PDF.
Nonetheless, a few minutes work reveals that over the past year our elected representatives took a total of £1,241,206 in basic and ‘special responsibility’ allowances, plus an extra £2,456 in travel and telephone allowances.
Of course, these allowances were not evenly distributed. The mayor and his closest friends took the lion’s share. And ranking councillors by the total they received gives a very clear indication of the kind of people Sir Robin favours politically: men.
The top ten earners for 2015/16:
Clearly, you don’t just have be a dick to get on in Newham Labour politics, you have to have one too.
Newly-elected Anamul Islam joins his fellow councillors
The results of yesterday’s by-election in Forest Gate North have been announced:
So congratulations to Anam and commiserations to the other candidates.
To no-one’s great surprise, Labour held the seat comfortably with more than 50% of the vote. But their vote was down about 5% on the 2014 election. Interestingly, another by-election in Islington last night saw a similar decline. Perhaps even at the local level the negative consequences of the current party infighting are being felt.
Although they didn’t win, the Greens will be celebrating too. Second place and 31% of the vote is a terrific performance. They put a lot of energy into the campaign and benefited from having an excellent candidate.
The Tories fractionally increased their vote, but remain (ha!) a very long way from being contenders in this part of the borough.
The Liberal Democrat candidate withdrew from the contest not long after nominations closed, so it was a surprise to see his name on the ballot paper yesterday. There was no advice at the polling station to let voters know either. In the end it didn’t matter much, but had his vote been greater than the gap between first and second it might have created an interesting challenge for the returning officer.