Sorting out parking on London Road

Archive for October, 2015

Sorting out parking on London Road

Friday, October 30th, 2015

London Road Parking

Last week I held a meeting in London Road in Barking to talk about the appalling parking situation facing the local residents. I heard terrible stories from people living on the street, including several elderly residents whose ambulances had been unable to reach them due to overparking in the access road. This is just not on and clearly needed immediate action.

I am pleased to announce that as a result of the meeting the council are starting a consultation with the residents, and plan to have measures in place early next year to make sure those living here can park easily and reach their homes safely.

Visiting the local food bank

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Food bank visit

On Friday, I visited our local food bank, along with some volunteers from Timberland – yes the clothes retailer – who had come to the borough to decorate the food bank.

I’m always impressed by the brilliant work Pastor Obi and his team are doing at the food bank in Abbey Retail Park, and I was delighted to see that they have even got a gym facility now – complete with a boxing ring – for the use of young people in the borough.

It was wonderful to see a national company like Timberland supporting local efforts here in Barking and Dagenham – and of course I took the opportunity to quiz them on their tax affairs!

Cuts endangering our Police Community Support Officers

Friday, October 16th, 2015

I have been angered by the recent proposals to axe some – or possibly all – of the remaining Police Community Support Officers across London. The capital has already lost over 3,000 of our PCSOs and I am so disappointed to hear that now the remaining officers are also under threat.

The safer neighbourhood police teams are one of the most successful innovations of the Labour government. People really got to know their local police officers and police were much more visible in the community.

Cutting that is a wicked, short-term and retrograde step, which will damage confidence in policing in our area.

Cuts to our community police teams will only serve to make people feel less safe in their neighbourhoods, and I will be fighting these cuts at every opportunity.

Column post- School places

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Deciding which school to send your child to is one of the biggest decisions that a parent can make. Unfortunately, I regularly hear from local parents who did not get the primary school place that they wanted. One mother recently wrote to me who had to take her two primary school aged children to two different schools and drop her youngest child off at nursery twice a day every day. Unfortunately she is not alone. The lack of primary school places has long been an issue for the Borough. We are facing one of the most rapid child population increases in the country. In the last Parliament; I brought MPs from different parties to Barking and Dagenham to see these problems first hand. However, as these children grow up, it is inevitable that this pressure is spreading to our secondary schools. These past few months my postbag has been filled with letters from concerned parents unable find a suitable secondary school place for their child. I was shocked by the recent London Councils’ report which found that across London, we will need to find over 78,000 new secondary school places by 2020. Creating these places is not easy or cheap. This responsibility often falls on our local Council but it is up to the Government to give our Council enough money to create high quality school places for our children. The last Government’s record in this area is not great. The Committee I used to Chair in Parliament found that although it was clear there was a big increase in the number of primary school aged children, the Government did not act quickly enough to create places. To add insult to injury, they had spent a massive £240 million on free schools in areas that had no shortage of school places. Residents know that I fight hard for this Borough. My fight to get the money to build Jo Richardson School and George Carey School was successful. Over the next five years I am determined to make sure that this Borough gets the money it deserves to create more top-quality school places for the children across Barking and Dagenham.


Monday, October 12th, 2015



I was delighted to present local community group Triangoals with a cheque for £200 this week.

I have worked with the great women from Triangoals for a number of years. I have always been impressed by their dedication and tenacity. They saw an area that was run down with not enough activities for young people and they decided to do something about it. They have a wide range of activities that I know makes a difference to young children in one of the most deprived wards in the Borough.

I am delighted to give them this money and I look forward to seeing how Triangoals grows over the next few years.