Tag Archives: Plaistow South

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.

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Oh Noor!

5 May

Ahmed noor 323

According to the Newham Labour website, Ahmed Noor “is dedicated to making Newham a better place for everyone.” 

What could be more embarrassing for a local councillor than to be served with an enforcement notice by his own council?

That is the fate which has befallen Plaistow South’s Ahmed Noor.

Councillor Noor, like so many of his nominally Labour colleagues, owns a large number of properties in the borough that he rents out. One of these is at 238 Romford Road, Forest Gate. Quite properly, he lists this fact on his register of interests.

Unfortunately for Cllr Noor the property has at some time in the past ten years been converted from offices to ‘a house in multiple occupation’ without planning permission. Worse still, according to the enforcement notice (my emphasis added):

The conversion of the property to a house in multiple occupation provides a poor quality of accommodation which is to the detriment of the persons who reside there, and at a neighbourhood level, harms the objective of creating healthier neighbourhoods and delivering convergence. It is therefore contrary to policy … and the requirements of the Lifetime Homes Standards.

Given Newham council’s well-publicised determination to improve the quality of rented accommodation in the borough this is quite an extraordinary situation. 

And it could get even worse.

As part of its drive to improve local housing Newham has pioneered a private rented property licensing scheme

It is now against the law for any landlord to rent out a property in Newham without a licence. We work with the Metropolitan Police and other agencies across Newham to find unlicensed properties and take legal action. 

If you are found guilty you could face a fine of up to £20,000. You could also have control of your unlicensed properties taken away … and be ordered to repay up to 12 months rent to us or your tenants. 

A search of the property licensing database for 238 Romford Road produces no results. How exactly does Cllr Noor explain that? As a member of the council he can hardly plead ignorance – not that that would be any defence.

I’m sure the members of Plaistow South Labour party will be keen to hear what he has to say, as will his fellow Labour group members on the council.

Thursday’s by-election in Stratford & New Town is unlikely to be the last in the borough this year.