Merry Christmas and a happy New Year

21 December 2016 in Mayor
On behalf of everyone at Newham Council, I wish you a happy, healthy and safe Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Mayor Sir Robin Wales with residents at a Christmas party
​As we end another year and prepare to enter 2017, I am as committed as ever to improving services and making a difference to Newham residents.

The past 12 months has not been without challenges. We continue to deal with one of the biggest funding cuts from the Government of any local authority in the country, yet despite that, we’ve protected what you say matters most.

We are regarded as one of the most innovative, high-performing councils in the country. We are in the running to become Council of the Year in the prestigious Local Government Chronicle Awards. Our schools are doing better than ever, the number of people we’ve helped into work through our employment service Workplace is now more than 32,000, and we are delivering affordable homes. 

I met some of the six families who are moving into new homes in time for Christmas thanks to Newham Council. Their three-bedroomed properties in Stratford are the first to be built by us in 30 years and many more are on the way.

I’m proud of our repairs and maintenance team who have successfully delivered these quality properties. It’s just one of the ways we are dealing with the effects of the housing crisis. With 17,000 people on our housing waiting list and hundreds of homeless families approaching us for help, we are in desperate need of new homes. We need affordable properties and this scheme is helping to increase the supply.  

In the weeks ahead we will be progressing next steps for the much-needed improvements to the Carpenters Estate in Stratford. We’ll also be finalising our proposals for next year's Council budget. Despite the vicious cuts imposed on us by the Government, we will continue to protect frontline services and keep Council Tax low.
As we approach Christmas I’ve also been visiting some of the fun events organised by our community neighbourhoods to bring people together as well as helping to deliver hampers to more than 3,000 older folk.

As this is a traditional time for giving, can I also encourage you to support the annual Community Links and Newham Recorder Christmas Toy appeal, which is helping more than 4,000 youngsters and their families across the borough. I’ve made my donation so please do the same if you can.

I am very aware that not everyone will be able to take a break through the Christmas period. If you are one of those working to ensure vital services are delivered and others are looked after, please accept my sincere thanks. Thank you too if you are able to spare a little time for anyone in our community who may be alone or who may need a little help during.

However you choose to celebrate Christmas, I wish you a happy, safe and healthy festive season.

Sir Robin Wales
Mayor of Newham