Where You Live: Newham

London is more than just the City and its famous landmarks. More than its museums, theatres, palaces, taxis and red buses. It is home to some 8 million people. You live, work and socialise across London’s 32 boroughs – you make them tick. You give Newham’s neighbourhoods, from Forest Gate to Royal Docks, their unique identity. It is these distinct areas that make our great capital such a rich and diverse city. Unlike the previous Mayor, Boris is working to give all your boroughs - not just Zones 1-3 - his attention.

Boris Johnson has a nine point plan to secure Greater London’s future. He is paying for this plan by cutting waste at City Hall to free up £3.5 billion for services.

In Newham the plan means:

  • Freezing City Hall’s share of council tax for three successive years and cutting it this year, benefitting 22,594 households and putting an average £445 back into pockets. (Point 2) (GLA, Press Release, 1 February 2012, link: GLA Website, ‘Budget archive’, link.)
  • Investing in local transport with 5 Crossrail stations in Newham, rolling-out Oyster cards onto national rail, and investing £18.2 million to boost local transport in Newham. (Point 8) (TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link; TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010, link; TfL, Press Release, 15 December 2011, link).
  • Boris is benefitting local pensioners by reversing the previous Labour government’s decision to stop those at 60 getting the Freedom Pass until 65.
  • He is also the only candidate in this election who can secure a better deal for London from No 10.

Freezing council tax

  • Boris Johnson has frozen council tax for three years and is cutting it this year. Boris Johnson has frozen his share council tax for three years and is cutting it this year (GLA, Mayor’s Final Draft Consolidated Budget 2012-13, link).
    • This has helped keep cost of living low for households across London (DCLG, Council Tax Base, October 2011), putting an extra £445 back in the pocket of the average household.

Restoring green space

  • 45 Green Spaces. 45 green spaces have been created for Newham residents to grow their own food (Capital Growth Website, link).
  • 480 street trees. 480 Street trees have been planted in Newham under Boris Johnson (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 25 January 2012, link).
  • Ending garden grabbing. Boris Johnson has introduced new protections for gardens from development. His revised London Plan enables boroughs to: ‘introduce a presumption against development on back gardens or other private residential gardens where this can be locally justified’ (GLA, The London Plan 2011, July 2011, p. 86-87, link). Draft guidance also urges councils to prevent garden grabbing: ‘Such a presumption reflects Government’s recognition in PPS3 of the need to provide support for justified, local measures to prevent “garden grabbing”’ (GLA, Draft supplementary planning guidance, December 2011, link).

Investing to transform local high streets

  • £1.2 million to unlock development at Silvertown Quays. Boris has attracted investment and persuaded the government to make the area an Enterprise Zone, creating up to 7,500 jobs. Boris Johnson announced that properly developer Chesterfield has been chosen by the LDA as preferred developed of a 50 acre site. It will bring commercial and retail use to the Silvertown Quays scheme with in the Royal Docks. It is expected to start in two years and be completed in 2018. This investment will result in up to 7,500 jobs (HMT, Budget 2012, March 2012, p. 42, link).

Making your streets and homes safer

  • 1,000 more police across London by May and £132 million more investment under Boris. The number of Special Constables has more than doubled from 2,500 to well over 5,000 (GLA, The Mayor’s Consultation Budget, 22 December 2011, link; MPA Website, Police numbers, link; GLA, Mayor’s Final Budget 2011-12, link; Evening Standard, 30 January 2012, link).
  • 666 more patrols per month in Newham. In 2010-11 there were 666 more patrols per month in Newham than in 2008-9. (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 22 February 2012, link).
  • Total crime and robberies in Newham have fallen. Since May 2008, Newham has seen a 7.7% decrease in total crime and a 19.1% reduction in the number of robberies. Youth violence is down 10.4% and bus crime has fallen 13.6 % (MPS Statistics, May 08 - January 12 compared to Sept 04-April 08).

Ensuring a true Olympic legacy

  • Boris Johnson has funded nine sport participation programmes in Newham so far. They are (Mayor of London, Sporting future for London, April 2009, p. 9, link).
  • 12 organisations in Newham are receiving Sports Legacy Programme grants to offer free sports coaching to London (Freesport Programme Website, link).
  • Investing in 3 Sports facilities. The Mayor has helped fund three facilities in Newham to enhance sporting activities.

Investing in Transport

  • £18.2 million of funding for local transport in Newham. This included more than £1.3 million to improve East Ham Town Centre and give it a new look and feel with better lighting, widened pavements and CCTV cameras for improved safety, and £250,000 to smooth traffic flow and enhance the physical environment along Romford Road (TfL, Press Release, 20 November 2008, link; TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link; TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010, link; TfL, Press Release, 15 December 2011, link).

Underground

  • Upgrade of the London Underground. This is part of the Tube upgrade programme secured by Boris Johnson:
    • Hammersmith and City Line. This will improve capacity by 65% on the Hammersmith & City line, an additional 17,000 passengers per hour at peak time. From 2012, 53 new trains will be introduced on the two lines. These will be air-conditioned, have walk-through carriages, and wider doors and walkways to improve accessibiliy (TfL Website, ‘Hammersmith and City line upgrade plan’, link).
    • District Line. This will improve capacity by 24% on District line, meaning the line can carry an additional 10,000 passengers per hour at peak time. 80 new trains will also begin to be introduced from 2013, with all new trains in service 2016. These will be air-conditioned, have walk-through carriages, and wider doors and walkways to improve accessibility (TfL Website, ‘District line upgrade plan’, link).

 Rail

  • London Overground, London’s first orbital railway, has three stations in Newham. Thousands of residents in Newham will benefit from London’s first orbital railway, with 3 London Overground stations in the borough: Stratford, Woodgrange Park, and Wanstead Park (TfL Website, ‘London Overground’, link).
  • Five Crossrail Stations are being built in neighbouring Tower Hamlets. Building Crossrail will improve five stations in Tower Hamlets, helping to provide better East-West links. The stations are: Stratford, Maryland, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Custom House (HMT, Spending Review, 22 October 2010, p.23, link).
  • Oyster Cards rolled out on national rail. After years of talk under Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson secured the roll-out of Oyster cards onto national rail. Newham is now the 2nd highest oyster- using borough on national rail services (TfL Website, ‘Oyster on National Rail’, December 2009, link).
  • Building the first Cable Car to link two of the Capital’s finest entertainment venues – O2 and EDEXCEL. This will slash travel distances between the two venues by 82% and travel times by 45%. The £40 million, 34-pod cable car will carry 2,500 passengers linking the Edexcel Exhibition Centre in Newham to the O2 Arena in Greenwich when opened prior to the 2012 Olympics. (TFL website, Plans unveiled for a new Thames crossing with London`s first cable car system, link).

Roads and congestion

  • Introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme. Boris Johnson introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme in 2010, resulting in an average 17% cut in the number of road works by utility companies in those boroughs, such as Newham, which have adopted the scheme (GLA, Press Release, 11 January 2010, link London Councils, London Permit Scheme: First Year Evaluation Report, 27 May 2011, link).
  • Scrapped the Western Extension Zone. Boris Johnson scrapped Ken Livingstone’s Western Extension of the Congestion Charging Zone in December 2010 after 69% of residents voted in favour of cancelling the zone (TfL, Press Release, 20 October 2010, link).

Buses

  • Bus improvements. 26 bus routes in Newham have been expanded and/or improved and 4 new routes have been added under Boris Johnson. (TFL, Bus service changes borough by borough, May 2008-January 2012)
  • Bendy Buses removed. Nearly 500 new vehicles boasting the latest clean engine technology will replace the Bendy buses. Transport for London estimates it was save more  than £7 million a year (TFL, Press Release, 5 October 2011, link). 
  • Newham had a bendy bus route removed. Former bendy bus routes 25 running through the borough of Lambeth had the bendy bus withdrawn (TfL, Press Release, 13 November 2009, link).

Cycling

  • Two Superhighways run through Newham. Cycle Superhighway 3 runs from Barking to Tower Gateway; Cycle Superhighway 2 will run from Ilford to Aldgate by 2015 (TfL Website, ‘Cycle Superhighways: About the scheme’, link)

Housing

  • 1,850 total affordable housing units completed in Newham.  740  social rented and 1,100 intermediate affordable housing units were completed in Newham between 2008/09 and 2010/11. (DCLG, Affordable Housing Live Tables 1006,1007,1008).

Mayoral visits

  • Boris Johnson has made more visits to Newham in four years than Ken Livingstone made in eight. Boris Johnson has visited Newham 42 times since July 2008. Whilst Ken Livingstone visited Newham just 12 times in his eight years as Mayor (GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2000 – April 2008; GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2008 – March 2012).

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