Joshua Neicho: Newham is retaining its free school meals scheme but borough budget pressures haven’t gone away

Last week, Newham Council formally reaffirmed its commitment to its £6 million universal free school meals (UFSM) scheme, Eat for Free, after an outcry against proposals for reducing its cost by asking parents to make a contribution.  Local MPs, food poverty campaigners and petition signatories had already expressed relief following Newham Mayor Rokshana Fiaz announcing that […]

Newham: Councillors rebel against Mayor over emission-based parking permit scheme

Thirty Newham councillors, more than half the current total number, have signed an open letter calling on the borough’s Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz to reconsider a new emission-based parking permit scheme introduced yesterday. The councillors say their inboxes have been “overwhelmed” by concerns about the charge and note that the council’s own consultations have shown a […]

Newham: What’s going on with the Mayor and the fight against Labour antisemitism?

In early 2018, Newham’s long-standing Labour Mayor Sir Robin Wales was denied the near-certainty of four more years in the job when a coalition of Labour members decided he’d already been in post too long and taken too much control of the levers of municipal power. Sir Robin was deselected as the party’s candidate for […]

Newham: Council decides choices for May 2021 governance referendum

Newham Councillors have voted to give residents a choice between retaining the current directly-elected Mayor (DEM) model of local government or replacing it with a Committee System, under which decision-making powers are spread more widely among councillors, who also chose the council leader. The decision, taken on Wednesday at a full meeting of the Council, […]

Newham: Mayor confirms wish for governance referendum in May as rivals’ petition ruled invalid

The Mayor of Newham would like a referendum on the borough’s local government model to be held on 6 May next year and says it can take place on that date if approved by a meeting of the full council next month. Rokhsana Fiaz pledged in her 2018 election manifesto that such a referendum – […]

Newham: Campaigners for referendum to change borough Mayor system say they’ve hit petition target

Campaigners seeking to change Newham’s mayoral system of local government say they have secured the number of supporters required to force a local referendum on the issue and will present a petition of over 11,000 signatures to the council shortly. In a press release, organisers of what they call the Newham People’s Petition say they […]

Newham: Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz to create commission that could lead to end of mayoral system

The Mayor of Newham is to propose new mechanisms for involving her borough’s residents in council decision-making and exploring holding a referendum on whether the mayoral system itself should be abolished. Rokhsana Fiaz, who succeeded her long standing fellow Labour politician Sir Wales as borough Mayor in May, will on Monday seek councillors’ formal support […]

Newham: Labour retain Boleyn ward with big by-election majority

The association of a part of East Ham with the name of Anne Boleyn derives from a long-demolished stately home that was correctly known as Green Street House but often referred to as Boleyn Castle, on the basis of a tenuous link with the Boleyn family (the dates appear not to add up to any […]