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Mayor’s first 100 days message

15 August 2018 in Mayor
Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz has today (15 August) reflected on her first 100 days in office through an online video message to residents – and pledged to continue to drive the change that Newham needs and for the benefit of all.
​The video message can be viewed here​, and in articles for the Newham Mag​ and Newham Recorder, Mayor Fiaz also reveals how proud she is of what has been achieved so far and is excited about what more there is to come by working together.

The Mayor said: “I cannot believe how time has flown since I stepped into office in May. Today is 100 days since I became the new Mayor of Newham and as a local girl who grew up in Newham it’s been a privilege to serve as your mayor over that period and start addressing the range of challenges facing our borough.

“When I was elected I promised that the council would not only look very different, but will be different with more transparency, accountability and residents involved in decision making. I also promised that I will put people at the heart of everything we do, working collaboratively with residents as your public servant – driven by the determination and focus to improve things for all of us.

“In the past 100 days a lot of change has been happening across the council. It’s been challenging, but it has been positive and hopeful, and fun as well.

“It has meant listening to our young people about their experiences living in the borough, what they need from us to feel safe and working with them to help shape better services for them.

“I have made youth safety a major priority and have launched a programme of Youth Citizen Assemblies. With two events held so far, I am already responding to their concerns and have introduced a targeted and enhanced summer programme of activity to make them feel that we’ve got their back.

“The ideas and passion I’ve seen from the young people at these events is amazing and I will continue to involve them as I transform youth services, double the number of youth hubs, and improve youth safety. 

“It has meant hitting the ground running on the Newham Housing Delivery Plan (which will be published in October), so that I can show how we are going to deliver genuinely affordable homes at social rent levels and improve the quality of housing for our residents in this borough. We’ve announced a review of our whole approach to housing allocations, plus a review of our ‘out-of-borough’ placements policy and Newham Council’s first survey of tenants living in temporary accommodation. 

“It has also meant tackling the issues of homelessness with compassion and care. We’ve made an important start in tackling the homelessness crisis in the borough through securing an additional £500,000 to transform our approach to homelessness, including extra emergency accommodation for the most vulnerable street homeless. We’ve also established a homelessness forum, involving local charities and people with direct experience of the subject to help shape our approach. 

“It has also meant being an open and transparent council, and involving people in decision making.

“I want to rebuild trust with our residents, and ensure that when decisions are made, residents are heard. We have started with the finances, bringing in independent financial experts to provide us with a financial health check and help me ‘clean up the books’. I’ve published the independent QC report on the flawed decisions made by previous administration to invest £40 million in the London Stadium, and we are pursing legal action against Barclays Bank regarding loans taken out under the previous administration too. I’ve also started to make changes in the council, through the appointment of a new interim Chief Executive who’ll be helping me transform the way in which the council operates – so that it becomes responsive to our residents.

“Delivering change takes time, and like you I am impatient! I’d like to see more and more improvements for all our residents happen soon; and believe me I do get frustrated with the way some things take time because there is so much more to do!

“That said, I’m really proud about how we have already made a difference and so excited about what more we will be achieving together.

“You’ll be hearing more soon about our plans to tackle fly-tipping, improve air quality, address child obesity, the fair car-parking review and a whole bunch of other stuff that I promised to deliver on.

“And you’ll be invited to get involved in the process through our Citizen Assemblies in September which will be taking place in every community neighbourhood so that you can be directly involved in shaping the priorities where you live.

“So while in just 100 days a lot has been achieved, I promise I will continue to drive the change that Newham needs and for the benefit of all our residents.”