'Greening the borough' voted top issue for first Citizens' Assembly to discuss


Newham’s residents have decided that ‘greening the borough’ is the issue they want England’s first permanent Citizens’ Assembly to discuss this summer.

In a historic opportunity to help shape the borough, residents voted on the two most important local issues from a shortlist of themes via the Council’s website.

Thirty one per cent chose ‘greening the borough’, closely followed with 30 per cent selecting ‘the 15 minute neighbourhood’, which will be debated at the second Citizens’ Assembly in the autumn.

Mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz said: “People have a right to have their say about our Newham community and my job as Mayor is to make sure their voice is heard.

“So many residents have told me how important parks and green spaces have been to their mental and physical wellbeing during lockdown, and it is no surprise that they have decided they want the first Citizens’ Assembly to examine how we can make the borough’s green spaces more attractive and enjoyable for people.

“People want to live in vibrant communities where they can easily work, meet, shop, and access the everyday services they need, but are concerned that some of our high streets are struggling. The 15-minute neighbourhood discussion will allow people to have their say on the neighbourhoods they want.”

Nineteen per cent of residents voted for tackling health inequalities, 15% for a new deal for young people and 5% for good work and taking advantage of new technology.

These important issues are being addressed by the Council through a wide range of initiatives and programmes such as:

  • ’50 Steps to a Healthier Newham’, which aims to tackle the health inequalities that exist within the borough, Newham’s Covid Health Champions, Community Health Champions and Social Welfare Alliance.
  • The Youth Empowerment Fund to support young people in achieving their ambitions, our Youth Zones, Youth Assemblies, Year of the Young Person and our Youth Safety Board.
  • ‘Our Newham Work’, which is designed to help Newham residents into work.

Between mid-June and end of July Citizens’ Assembly participants will take part in Covid compliant events to discuss the best way to green the borough.

Newham Council wrote to 10,000 households selected randomly inviting them to register for a place on Newham’s Citizens’ Assembly.  Fifty people from those registered to take part are being selected randomly to join the Citizens’ Assembly to discuss important issues and recommend ways the Council should tackle them to help make Newham a better, happier and healthier place to live.

Giving people the chance to have their say forms part of a radical overhaul of democracy in the borough, designed to involve residents in decisions and build trust in the Council.

For more information on the Citizens’ Assembly visit https://www.newham.gov.uk/citizensassembly

For more information about how the Council is tackling health inequalities, supporting young people and getting people in to work, visit:









Published: 21 May 2021