Tag Archives: Forhad Hussain

Over and out?

15 Feb

Councillor Forhad Hussain is not seeking re-selection as a candidate for the elections in May.

He has written to residents and colleagues to let them know:

After eight enjoyable years serving as a local elected councillor in Plaistow, I sadly write to inform my ward residents and local Labour colleagues that I will not be re-standing as a councillor candidate in the upcoming local elections in May 2018. I have thought about this decision a great deal, it was not an easy choice to make but I feel that I need to focus on my young family and develop my career further outside Politics.

However, this is not the end of my involvement in Politics. I will continue to help the Party to win in May’s local elections and in the next General Election to bring in a Labour government.

I would like to thank the Mayor, my local Councillor and Labour party colleagues, council officers, and most importantly Newham residents for their continued support during my time as an elected Councillor and Cabinet Member.

It has been my honour and privilege to represent Plaistow North. I will always cherish the memories I have of working with local residents to deliver many successful community projects. Some key highlights for me include the development of First Avenue Community garden, Plaistow Big Local Glen Rd Murial Project, our first Christmas Tree and Lights switch-on outside Plaistow Station, saving our local library and converting it to an oasis of community activity, the Queen’s visit to Lister Community School and the Tour de France and the Paralympic flame going through Plaistow High St. There are so many more highlights I could mention!

I am really proud of these achievements and my part in making them happen and believe that they have left a lasting legacy in terms of community cohesion.

I want to wish good luck to potential candidates in the Newham local labour Councillor selections. If selected and elected, you have a huge responsibility to help Newham residents improve their lives and support them in the continued challenges they face in everyday life under this vicious Tory government.

My final message to new Councillors: please always remember the reason why you became public servants. Put the interests of Newham residents’ first and deliver local services to improve the lives of our residents. Most importantly do this with a smile on your face! ☺

Many people thought Cllr Hussain would announce a run at the mayoral nomination once the trigger result was formalised. If he was considering that, he’s obviously decided against.

That he’s also decided to stand down altogether is a big surprise. I’m not sure what it says about the state of the Labour Party in Newham, but it’s not good.

Whose home is it anyway?

8 Jul

Back in 2014 the council announced NewShare – an “exciting new Shared Equity scheme that offers potential home owners, who are currently frozen out of the London housing market, a helping hand onto the property ladder.”

The plan was to offer 1,220 homes for sale, in three categories: “new homes built by the council, street properties acquired by the council and empty council properties.”

According to the marketing guff

All homes available have undergone a comprehensive and high standard refurbishment to ensure that they are ready to move in to. The refurbishment includes refitted kitchens, with brand new appliances, refitted bathrooms, new carpets and redecoration in a neutral colour scheme throughout.

Despite the obvious objection that selling off council houses was a strange way to deal with a shortage of affordable homes in the borough, Labour councillors voted the scheme through.

They believed Sir Robin when he said that helping residents into home ownership would “…encourage them to settle in the borough and really get involved in the life of the community.”

Now that the scheme has launched a number of them are surprised to find that the earnings ceiling has been set at a whopping £90,000 per annum. That’s more than three times the average household income for the borough. Even with house prices at their current ludicrous levels it’s hard to describe anyone earning that much as “frozen out of the market.” 

So, two years on, how’s it going?

According to a recent Freedom of Information request a total of 70 homes have been sold through the scheme so far.

And one of them was sold to a member of the council.

The councillor was not named in the FOI response, but a quick check on the register of interests reveals the lucky man to be Cllr Forhad Hussain, cabinet member for Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour and Deputy Cabinet Member for Building Communities. One of the mayor’s most trusted lieutenants.

He ran for council in 2006 on the Respect ticket and was elected for Labour in 2010. He’s been in the cabinet since 2012. So you’d think he was already pretty well settled in the borough and “involved in the life of the community.” And being the recipient of close to £45,000 a year in allowances should be encouragement enough to stay.

The comprehensively refurbished home Cllr Hussain now owns was previously an empty Council property. 

Super diversity in Plaistow

14 Oct

Diversity and cohesion in Britain’s most mixed community – John McDermott writing in the Financial Times about Plaistow

“If London is the most diverse city in the world, and Plaistow is the most diverse part of the city, Plaistow might be the most diverse place in the world,” says Forhad Hussain, a local councillor. When Hussain came to the area in 1983 with his Bangladeshi-born parents, this part of the city was mostly white and working-class, home to dockers and their families who had stayed put as Plaistow was rebuilt after the devastation wrought by the Blitz.

A few St George’s crosses can still be spotted in the windows of terraced houses or tower blocks, but the English-born population is on the wane. As late as 2001, 62.2 per cent of Plaistow residents were born in England, according to census data provided by Newham council. A decade later, that share had fallen to 47.3 per cent. 

Well worth a read.

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.