On Tuesday 12th April I attended the Redbridge Chamber of Commerce’s breakfast networking event. The meeting was held at The Papermarkers Arms in Roden Street, Ilford, and hosted by the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Julie Woodward.
This was attended by Members of the Chamber of Commerce, the Mayor of Redbridge, Councillor Jim O’Shea, Councillor Robin Turbefield, Councillor Thomas Chan and the Borough Commander Sue Williams.
The event enabled members to get to know other business people in the area, exchange views, experiences and mutual interests. It was a great opportunity for me to discuss issues with a number of different businesses that I have known over the years and also, in this time of financial constraints I am pleased to say, meet up with a number of new business ventures.
The Chamber provides businesses with recognised status within the community, opens gateways for networking and provides information on business opportunities and legislation.
The Chamber works actively with Redbridge Council and other Agencies to stimulate business activities and help influence decision making bodies in the Borough.
For more information, visit the Redbridge Chamber of Commerce website.
On Monday 11th April I joined 1966 World Cup football winner George Cohen MBE at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club to support the launch of an important new NHS bowel cancer campaign “Bowel Cancer: Know the Signs” across the Boroughs of Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Havering. This campaign is to encourage people to learn about the signs of the disease so they are able to catch it early.
Mr Cohen is a bowel cancer survivor and it was very moving listening to his personal experience and fight against the disease. As a player in England’s only World Cup winning team it certainly added weight to a worthwhile campaign.
Although bowel cancer rates across North East London are not as high as the national average, symptom awareness is lower and death rates are higher. I hope that this campaign can help improve residents’ knowledge about this subject so they can live happy healthy lives.
I would encourage all residents to visit the NHS Choices website to learn a little more about Bowel Cancer and its symptoms so that they are able to spot any symptoms:
Over the last week the fight to save King George Hospital has really gathered pace and I am pleased so many people are coming together to demand that this proposal is reconsidered.
On Thursday 7 April I joined a delegation from Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Waltham Forest, the Boroughs affected by the proposed closures to present letters to Downing Street asking the Prime Minister to reject the plans to close the Accident and Emergency and maternity units at King George Hospital. Standing there with all eight Members of Parliament for Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Waltham Forest made this a memorable event.
Never before in all my 30 years of political involvement have I seen a cross party occasion when all of the MPs and Councillors came together like this. I think that in itself underlines the strong commitment that politicians from all sides have to fight these totally unacceptable cuts. I would like to put on record my thanks to all of the Members of Parliament that attended and, of course, the GLA Member Roger Evans but most of all to Councillor Andy Walker for pulling off this remarkable event.
This was followed by a demonstration and march on Friday 8 April from Queens Hospital Romford, to Ilford Town Hall. I joined residents and community leaders at the post-march rally at the Town Hall from 6pm. I was extremely impressed with the turnout of around 600 people from across the community for the King George Rally and seeing all of the different communities together united in purpose was something to behold.
King George Hospital is vital community resource and the proposals have not been thought through properly or considered the needs of our residents. I hope that by continuing to give the issue a high profile we can make sure the proposal is carefully considered. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the march and all the other good work that’s taken place over the last couple of months. Let’s keep it going until we hear a proposal that would be beneficial to residents of Redbridge and neighbouring Boroughs.
The Independent Reconfiguration Panel is now considering the plans and will report to the Secretary of State for Health later this year. Any comments should be sent to:
The Independent Review Panel
157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
Every year the Army hosts a number of presentations throughout the UK. These are delivered by the Army Presentation Team (APT), which consists of Officers and soldiers, all with recent operational experience. Their main aim is to raise awareness and understanding of the Army.
I accepted the kind invitation from the Trustees of the South Woodford Muslim Community Centre to attend the British Army Presentation held at the Community Centre in Albert Road on Saturday 2 April.
The event was opened by Dr. Fahim, Head Imam and Chairman of Trustees Qur’ani Murkuz Trust (QMT).
As part of their Educational outreach to the London communities, the APT gave the presentation to help increase the mutual understanding. They exchanged views with the faith group about the roles, organisation and the current challenges faced by the Army.
The presentation covered many aspects which included information on why we have an Army, how they train and develop their people and what they do on behalf of the nation. The talks were very informative and interesting and the question and answer session which followed provided an opportunity for everyone to ask the presenters about the Army and its policies and resulted in a thought provoking discussion..
Prior to the presentation, guests mingled with members from the Armed Forces. I had a very interesting chat with a young man who was a Member of the Territorial Army who had recently been deployed in Basra and recounted a story of when he came under small arms fire.
I would like to thank the Army Presentation Team for giving us an insight into the work they carry out and also to thank South Woodford Muslim Community Centre for my invitation and for hosting the event.
For more information about army events visit the army events web page.
I was honoured to attend a reception at the House of Commons for the Heritage of London Trust on Monday 21 March.
(R-L) Leader Councillor Keith Prince, Adrian Alwood and Ronald Barden
I was invited by former Redbridge Councillor and Chairman of the Trust Ronald Barden.
The reception was hosted by Ed Vaizey, Member of Parliament for Wantage & Didcot and concentrated on the importance of maintaining the capitals historic buildings and landmarks.
There are many such buildings in Redbridge including Valentines Mansion and Claybury Hospital site in Woodford Bridge so I take great interest in the trust’s work and achievements.
The trust is the only building preservation trust covering the whole of London and offers grants towards the restoration of historic or listed buildings and monuments that are in community use.
It held the reception so that Council Leaders, MPs and heritage champions could meet each other and talk about the way they can work in the future to preserve the best of the past.