I worked in Europe for twenty years, in Paris and in Brussels for the European Parliament as a consultant and software engineer. Returning to the UK in 1997, I worked as a consultant for the BBC, media companies and in the City. I’m one of the founding members of SustainableHackney.org.uk and hope for a similar organisation within Newham.
I’ve lived in Forest Gate for five years. Before that, since returning, in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, but this is the place I have enjoyed the most, it is one of the most mixed and the friendliest. For the ‘big’ subjects, I believe that green issues are above the usual political squabbles, since they concern the future of all our children and grandchildren. If we wreck the planet, left-wing and right-wing become irrelevant. For that reason, I am happy, to work with other councillors from other parties on issues of common welfare.
Apart from the party policies, such as real social housing, what do I see for Forest Gate and for Newham? We do not participate in London-wide air quality monitoring. I would like to change that so that we can see the effects of traffic on our children and on ourselves. I feel that progress is being made with cycling infrastructure in central Stratford, but I’d like to see the school run and short journeys made pleasant and safe for cycling or walking.
Woodgrange Road is getting a cosmetic makeover but remains a nightmare of noise and pollution. Changes in Walthamstow show that less traffic does not mean fewer customers. I’d like to see more trees and plants too, after all it is called Forest Gate. The same for the expansion of allotments (I believe that bits of the Olympic Park should be ‘useful’) and local food growing. I’d also like to see community energy initiatives, perhaps linking with the London Assembly scheme. We have fuel poverty in the borough, but we also have roof space, so we can make some of our own electricity.
There’s probably a lot more, but that’s all folks, from me. As an elected representative, it’s important that I listen to you and try and do what you want too.