On a recent visit to Dagenham, the Dagenham women strikers mural outside the Unite union offices in the London East Business and Technical Park caught my eye.

Against the context of the new film studios, the City of London Corporation markets coming to the borough, the many housing developments in and around Beam Park and Barking Riverside and other projects, the mural is a reminder of a glorious past for the borough, one from which to draw inspiration for the present and future.

The post-Covid future begins here and now!

Barking and Dagenham Post: Unmesh Desa was moved by the Bethnal Green vigil for Sarah EverardUnmesh Desa was moved by the Bethnal Green vigil for Sarah Everard (Image: City Hall)

The death of Prince Philip has made me reflect on his life of public service and of support for the Queen. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, which runs internationally and of which I am a recipient, is a reminder of the valuable work he did.

I was pleased to see Cllr Darren Rodwell lay a floral tribute to him on behalf of the borough.

I attended the launch of the borough’s Domestic Abuse Commission report last month, and with the tragic death of Sarah Everard opening up a national debate around violence against women and girls, the report and its recommendations are very timely.

The simple message of “I believe you" is crucial if we’re to encourage victims to come forward and not suffer in silence.

We need to look at a broad spectrum of areas from education in schools to support services, to tackle this violence effectively. We also need to secure greater numbers of arrests and convictions, because that will encourage more women to come forward – and that’s the only way we will end this scourge on our society.