Archive | January, 2018

Sir Robin says NO!

29 Jan

Sir Robin has finally had to confront reality. He cannot win the trigger ballot if it isn’t rigged by his mates.

But he is putting a brave face on it.

In an email sent to local Labour members this evening he is calling on them to vote for an open selection at the branch trigger ballot meetings:

I am writing to ask you to vote no in the upcoming trigger ballot meetings so that we can have an open contest for Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Newham.

I have also written to all the organisations affiliated to the Newham Labour Party thanking many of them for their support and asking that if they do take part in the up-coming trigger ballot, that they vote no.

Over the next couple of months I want Newham Labour Party members to give their mandate to a Mayoral and 60 councillor candidates, so that we can unite as a party and focus on the Labour-led values and manifesto that we take to residents in the May local elections.

It is important we have an open debate about the vision that we present to the people of Newham.

We can be proud of our achievements that have changed peoples lives for the better:

  • Council Tax frozen for nine years without making cuts to vital frontline services.
  • The largest increase in employment in London, with over 35,000 jobs filled with Newham residents through our jobs brokerage service Workplace.
  • Initiatives such as universal free school meals and Every Child a Musician with 1.2 million musical instrument lessons delivered that have contributed to Newham having some of the best school results in the country. 
  • A ground-breaking private-rented sector licence, that has allowed us to prosecute more criminal landlords than the rest of London combined.
  • The creation of council-owned small businesses, protecting jobs and services and innovating with public-sector reform.

That is the radical agenda that we have been following since I have been Mayor and continues to drive my vision for Newham in the future. It is this record and vision that I want to proudly defend and promote in an open selection.

That is why I am calling on all members and affiliates in Newham to vote in favour of an open selection if they attend their branch meetings to cast their vote on the trigger ballot.

So please vote NO to result in an open selection.

Of course, this could be a huge fake-out and he hopes the email will keep the No voters at home and his friends can all turn up to automatically re-select him. But let’s take him at his word. Labour members should turn up in droves to vote No and win the open selection they wanted in 2016.

You have to wonder why Sir Robin didn’t say this to the NEC or the press a month ago, rather than just at the point the trigger ballot meetings are starting. The open selection, which he now says he wants, could have started sooner and allowed alternative candidates to organise their camp… oh, right. 



29 Jan

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Councillor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE has announced that she will challenge Sir Robin for Labour’s mayoral nomination should the trigger ballot result in an open selection.

She broke the news in an interview with the Newham Recorder over the weekend, which they published this evening.

The Custom House councillor has thrown her hat into the ring ahead of the first wards casting their votes tonight in the re-run of the process.

She said: “I’m putting myself forward for this because I want to offer a fresh start for this council and a new ambitious alternative for Newham.”

Cllr Fiaz, who was born and brought up in the borough, was first elected as a councillor in May 2014 and currently sits as chair of scrutiny as well as a member of the council’s audit board and strategic development committee.

She explained that she was passionate about the issues facing a lot of people living in the borough, including affordable adult social care, the safety of young people and investment in early years education.

“I’m passionate about making sure there are genuinely affordable, quality homes for people,” she added.

“I’ve been working closely with an organisation called Peach, who are in my ward of Custom House, to allow residents to have their say during the regeneration.

“Uniquely, I’m also the only councilor who does regular youth surgeries for young people to come and meet me.”

The trigger ballot, also known as the affirmitive nomination process, is being held to decide whether to automatically select incumbent mayor Sir Robin Wales as Labour’s candidate for May’s election or whether to open it up to other prospective candidates.

Ward meetings in the re-run trigger ballot start tonight.

Trigger dates

28 Jan

Here are the dates for the Labour Party branch meetings to re-run the trigger ballot.

Branches in West Ham CLP are first between 29th January and 8th February

  • Mon 29th Jan – 7.30pm – WEST HAM – 306 High Street E15 1AJ
  • Tue 30th Jan – 7.30pm – CANNING TOWN NORTH – Neighbourhood Centre, 18 Rathbone Market E16 1EH
  • Tue 30th Jan – 7.30pm- CUSTOM HOUSE – Main Hall, Ascension Church, Baxter Road E16 3HJ
  • Wed 31st Jan – 7 pm – PLAISTOW SOUTH – Barking Road Centre 627 – 633 Barking Road E13 9EZ
  • Wed 31st Jan – 8 pm – PLAISTOW NORTH – Harold Road Community Centre, 170 Harold Rd, London E13 0SE
  • Thur 1st Feb – 7.30pm – FOREST GATE SOUTH – Durning Hall, Resident’s Lounge, Earlham Grove, London E7 9AB
  • Thur 1st Feb – 8 pm – FOREST GATE NORTH – Durning Hall, Earlham Grove, London E7 9AB
  • Thur 1st Feb – TBC – GREEN STREET WEST – venue TBC
  • Thur 1st Feb- 7.30pm – STRATFORD & NEW TOWN – 306 High Street E15 1AJ
  • Thur 8th Feb – 7 pm – CANNING TOWN SOUTH – Cafe Eat 16, 89 Tarling Road, E26 1HN (Old St Luke’s church)

All the East Ham CLP branches will all meet on Sat 10th February at East Ham Town Hall, 328 Barking Road E6 2RP at the following times:

  • 10.00am – BOLEYN
  • 10.30am – BECKTON
  • 11.30am – EAST HAM CENTRAL
  • 12.30pm – EAST HAM NORTH
  • 1.30pm – EAST HAM SOUTH
  • 2.30pm – LITLLE ILFORD
  • 3.00pm – ROYAL DOCKS
  • 3.30pm – GREEN STREET EAST
  • 4.00pm – MANOR PARK
  • 4.30pm – WALL END

West Ham Women’s Forum will meet on the deadline day of Sun 11th Feb at 18.30 at Vicarage Lane Community Centre, Govier Close E15 4HW

If you are a Labour member, please attend your branch meeting and vote NO, which is a vote for an open selection. You are advised to arrive in good time (half an hour early) as late-comers will be turned away. You need to take your Labour Party membership card or another form of ID.


28 Jan

Hat-tip to @newhamlabourwtf on Twitter for linking to this.

The uploader calls himself Ken Clark, though I suspect that may be a pseudonym!


25 Jan

Newham for an open seelction campaign leaflet

Branch meetings for the re-run trigger ballot start next week. To avoid the (ahem) ‘problems’ with the original process in 2016 this is being managed by the London Labour Party rather than the local campaign forum.

Wards in West Ham are organising their own meetings, while those in the other half of the borough are under the direct supervision of the regional party because East Ham CLP is in ‘special measures.’

I understand that the agreement between the Labour party and the members who took legal action over the 2016 process includes a full list of affiliated trade union branches and others able to vote. Newham Fabians, the Co-operative Party and Bectu won’t be taking part this time.

Sir Robin has been in power since 1995, as leader of the council and as mayor. It’s time the Labour party gave itself the chance to consider an alternative. If you have a vote, vote ‘No’ to automatic re-selection.

Signs of the times

25 Jan

New signs to East London Rugby Club have appeared in West Ham

Cllr Julianne Marriott tweeted the montage above yesterday, observing

Six signs for East London Rugby Club appeared this morning. Seems overkill in an era of sat navs… #WestHam #Newham #eyesore

East London RFC play in a league that is at the eighth level of the English rugby union system and is limited to club sides based in Essex and north-east London, so it is unlikely that hordes of fans will be flocking to their games, in desperate need of directions.

So why the sudden appearance of so many signs?

Perhaps the club’s president Sir Robin Wales knows. Or maybe the chairman Nick Bracken, who is also chief operating officer of Newham council.

Fabians a-go-go

25 Jan

Amna Abdul addresses the Newham Fabians AGM

The recently re-formed and reinvigorated local branch of the Fabian Society held its AGM last night at Durning Hall.

It was, by Newham standards, a warm and comradely affair. Perhaps that was due to the presence of national Fabian officers supervising proceedings. Or perhaps it was down to the absence of Team Robin. 

During discussion of the annual report it was disclosed that there had been a very large influx of new members just prior to the AGM – as many as 150 people had signed up in the past month or so – coincidentally around the same time as the Labour party announced the mayoral trigger ballot would be re-run. Those applications are being processed by the national Fabian Society and they decided to impose a freeze date to prevent these recent joiners from voting or standing for election. In any event, Newham Fabians won’t be participating in the re-run trigger.

The officers who have run the local society so successfully this year were all re-elected unopposed. They will be joined by new treasurer David Gilles. He replaces Lester Hudson, who declined to either re-stand or provide any report of his activities over the past year. Judging by the mood of the meeting, he won’t be missed.

The new executive in full: 

  • Chair: Anita Pollack 
  • Vice Chair: Rokhsana Fiaz 
  • Secretary: Rohit DasGupta 
  • Assistant Secretary: James Beckles 
  • Treasurer: David Gilles
  • Women’s Officer: Moniba Khan
  • Events & Fundraising Officer: Jeanette Dye