Tag Archives: Ellie Robinson


2 Jun

Ellie Robinson

Forest Gate North councillor Ellie Robinson has resigned to take up a new post working for Sadiq Khan at City Hall.

She explained her decision in an email to her fellow councillors this morning:

Dear friends, 
As some of you may have heard yesterday I handed in my resignation from the council. It has been a very hard decision, and I feel very emotional about it – it has been an absolute honour representing Forest Gate North over the last six years. As you will know, I have been working for Sadiq Khan over the past year and following the excellent result a few weeks ago I have been offered the opportunity to work for him as his Senior Advisor at City Hall. This will be a great opportunity to help deliver everything we campaigned for – affordable housing, a fares freeze, cleaner air and much more. However, the role is politically restricted which means I am no longer legally allowed to continue as a local councillor. 
It has been a privilege being a councillor in Newham and working with you. The support, guidance and advice I have received over the past few years has helped shape my world view, and the passion and dedication I have seen from officers to the residents of Newham has been inspiring and humbling. 
Finally, I am grateful to have been able to work with Labour councillors and a Mayor who believe in the power of democracy. They believe that persuading, listening and talking to people wins elections, and winning elections is what gives you the mandate and resource to change the world. Ultimately, if we didn’t have a Labour Council in Newham we wouldn’t be cracking down on bad landlords (we had the first licensing scheme in the country), we wouldn’t have free school meals for all our kids (and music lessons, and theatre tickets), we wouldn’t have agreed plans earlier this year to build 800 homes for homeless families and we wouldn’t have MoneyWorks (affordable credit and advice for those in financial difficulty). To name but a few things. Equally, if we didn’t have a Conservative government we wouldn’t have the cuts to welfare, cuts to public services and a dangerous lack of house building. So the fight continues.
I know we will continue to work together to change our little corner of the world, I will just have a different hat on! I look forward to that. I will continue to be Newham’s biggest cheerleader and wish you all every success. 
Warmest wishes, E

I’m not a fan of Newham’s generally useless councillors, but Ellie was a breath of fresh air when first elected in 2010: open, engaged and approachable. It was a marked contrast to her predecessor and to her fellow Forest Gate North councillors at the time. Happily, Rachel Tripp and Seyi Akiwowo have followed in the same vein. I hope whoever succeeds her will too, whichever party they represent.

No date has yet been set for the by-election to fill the vacancy.

Shuffling the pack

14 Dec


Sir Robin has written to councillors to announce some changes to his team of ‘mayoral advisors’, including a couple of additions to the already bulging executive payroll.

Cllr Ellie Robinson (Forest Gate North) is taking over responsibility for Commercial Opportunities, leading “work to make the Council more commercial, to ensure we have a strong income stream to mitigate the loss of government funding.” This probably means resurrecting the mayor’s crass MoneyWorks payday loans idea, flagged in the 2014 manifesto but largely forgotten since. The other money-spinning manifesto promise, a kind of BrightHouse competitor to flog white goods to the poor on the never-never, has also vanished from sight. Perhaps Ellie will be tasked with reviving that too. 

Having passed over the commercial brief, Cllr Forhad Hussain (Plaistow North) will be able to spend more time with Ken Clark, working on ‘Community Neighbourhoods.’ Lucky man.

Ellie’s previous role as lead for OneSource, the partnership with Havering council to share back office services, will be taken up by deputy mayor, Cllr Lester Hudson (Wall End). According to Sir Robin, this “will enable us to better harness the synergies between strategic and operational finance work.” Beings as the perennially useless “Three Jobs” is already cabinet lead for finance AND he chairs the audit board AND he chairs the investment and accounts committee, this further consolidation of financial responsibility looks like a governance disaster waiting to happen. 

Cllr David Christie (Beckton) gets responsibility for the “Newham 2020 transformation programme” and the “reconfiguring of our services.” Which will make him the public face of everything that goes wrong in local public services for the next five years. 

Joining the ’special responsibility allowance’ gravy train for the first time are Cllrs Julianne Marriott (East Ham Central) and Tonii Wilson (Beckton).

Cllr Wilson will be taking Ellie Robinson’s seat on the OneSource board. With 14 previous directorships – all at companies which are now dissolved – she brings a wealth of boardroom experience.

Cllr Marriott is a surprise addition to the team. As recently as last June she was one of nine councillors excluded by the mayor from a budget pow-wow at a swanky hotel in Chigwell. But time (and money, no doubt) heals all wounds. Like Forhad Hussain she will be spending a lot of time with Ken Clark in her new role. The mayor assures councillors that her appointment to the Regeneration brief “will give us more capacity to ensure we are delivering regeneration that genuinely transforms people’s lives.” Perhaps by scheduling extra buses to ship them out of town before their homes are bulldozed to make way for yet another ‘luxury development’? 

Residents interested in finding out what any of these ‘jobs’ actually entails or what councillors will be doing to prove they are worth their additional allowances will be out of luck. There won’t be anything resembling a job description on the website for months. And even then nothing by way of performance targets. Luckily for our mayoral advisors, if there are no targets they can’t miss them. Trebles all round!

Let’s do the Time Warp again

2 Apr


Back in October 2013 Forest Gate councillor Ellie Robinson and Plaistow councillor Forhad Hussain were appointed to the mayor’s cabinet as ‘deputy executive members for community affairs.’

Their detailed job descriptions have recently been published on the council website, along with the allowance they will be paid: £31,000 a year, on top of their £10,800 basic.

That might seem a lot, but every penny will be spent funding development of the time machine they’ll need to fulfil one of their key responsibilities:

“Inspire residents across the borough to ‘get the party started’ in 2012 and work closely with all Councillors to maximise enthusiasm and participation.”

Community affairs

8 Nov
The Community Affairs team. What exactly  does Richard Crawford do?

The Community Affairs team. What exactly does Richard Crawford do?

Congratulations to Forest Gate councillor Ellie Robinson, who has been appointed to the Mayor’s cabinet as “Executive member for Community Affairs (North) and Safeguarding”.

Likewise to Plaistow South’s Forhad Hussain, who is now “Executive Member for Community Affairs (South) and Capital Projects”.

With Ellie looking after community affairs in the north of the borough and Forhad the south, both sitting in cabinet, what exactly is there left for councillor Richard Crawford to do as ‘Senior Executive Member for Community Affairs’?

As he’s currently pocketing close £43,000 a year in allowances from the council, I think we should be told.