View from City Hall: Culture and arts part of dynamic vision

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 March 2018


I joined council leader, Darren Rodwell, and colleagues recently at City Hall, for the announcement of the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture awards.

Although I was disappointed that Barking and Dagenham did not with the top award, I am very glad that we won one of the seven Cultural Impact awards.

In practice this means a sum of £240,000 for arts and cultural projects in the borough.

I also attended the launch of the borough’s bid at the end of last year and I was impressed with the number of young people who showed up to support the council’s campaign at the town hall.

The energy, ambition, and dynamism I saw on the day is something we need to build on as a community and this is something I know that the council are determined to pursue.

Culture plays an important part in the regeneration of our borough and we can see this in a number of developments that are planned in Barking and Dagenham over the next few years, including the film studios in Dagenham. These are all part of the council’s vision for a dynamic and vibrant borough.

In February, I also attended a public meeting, hosted by Dame Margaret Hodge, to discuss local crime concerns.The borough commander and London’s deputy mayor for policing, Sophie Linden, were also there to answer questions and listen to residents’ concerns.

The meeting was well attended and I am glad that the police were there to hear from residents about their priorities.

Some people at the meeting also expressed concerns about the operational running of our police in Barking and Dagenham, following the merger of our police operations with those in Havering and Redbridge.

I understand that many people are worried that local policing will suffer as a result of this.

Borough mergers are taking place across London and this is a topic my London Assembly colleagues and I have done a lot of work on over the past few months. I will continue to monitor this new structure to ensure that the police service in Barking and Dagenham is meeting the needs of residents.

• What do you think of police borough mergers? Email

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories


Austrian scored for east Londoners in 4-1 reverse at Gunners in Premier League


Barking boss Justin Gardner believes his men have everything still to play for ahead of their clash with Tilbury.

26 minutes ago

A 100 metre safety cordon was enforced around a natural gas fire in Dagenham by London Fire Brigade this afternoon.

Police have arrested a seventh man in connection with the suspected murder of Sandel Serbu in Ilford.


Four academy graduates featured for the Essex club in their National League win at Guiseley last week

22 minutes ago

A runner from Barking has raised hundreds of pounds for a charity which cared for one of her family members.


People are choosing to pay their Sky TV bills rather than feed their pets.

A police officer who worked in Barking and Dagenham raped a 16-year-old student twice while they were on a date, a court has heard.


The festive season is a hectic time for many, with frenzied dashes to the shops for groceries and gifts, and parties to arrange and attend.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now