Q&A: My Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 February 2018


After making headlines by defecting from Ukip to the Conservatives this week, Peter Harris is keen to tackle the borough’s challenges head on.

What is your connection with the borough?

I married and raised my family here. My sons all attended John Perry Primary School and I lived here for over 27 years.

I have run my own small business in Dagenham East for 12 years. I am a past president of the Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce and remain as executive board member supporting local business.

I have served as a governor of Barking and Dagenham College and I am a current trustee of the May & Baker Eastbrook Community Club.

As a football referee I spent years on pitches across the borough!

Since 2013 I have been involved in politics campaigning on various issues on behalf of residents. In 2016 I led Ukip’s EU referendum campaign that successfully helped persuade Barking and Dagenham residents to vote leave.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

The people! Genuine, decent, patriotic, hard-working.

What one thing would you change?

Reduce the number of councillors to save up to £1 million over four years to invest in public services such as reinstating lollipop patrols that ensure the road safety of our children.

Use three words to describe the area?

Enterprising, diverse, changing.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

Nigel Farage. A man who fought and campaigned against the odds for 25 years in politics to get the UK out of the EU.

Whether you like him or not, without him the referendum would never have happened. His achievement should never be overlooked or underestimated.

What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?

I would introduce proportional representation to ensure every vote matters and counts.

If you were editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

There are major issues and challenges facing Barking and Dagenham such as the council plan to build up to 60,000 new homes. Hardly any will be for social rent. Hardly any will be for people currently living here.

When you consider that there are currently about 72,000 homes here it is obvious the effect on population size, culture, schools, hospitals and infrastructure will be massive.

This will change our borough forever. I believe the people should be more informed and consulted on these plans.

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories

Yesterday, 16:00

Essex club played against 10 men for almost an hour after Josh Staunton saw red for Shaymen

Yesterday, 19:00

A violinist hopes to raise £15,000 to transform an old double-decker bus into a mobile music school.

Second-half goals from Snodgrass, Hernandez and Anderson give Hammers victory over Crystal Palace

Yesterday, 17:45

The MP for Barking has criticised prime minister Theresa May for calling off tomorrow’s vote on her Brexit deal.

Yesterday, 17:18

Our reporter Liam Coleman met with the big man before a hectic few weeks.

Yesterday, 16:02

The Exchange in Ilford has added a state-of-the-art, Savannah-themed play area, with hand painted animal sculptures, to its brand new family zone, designed by American creative agency Playtime

Yesterday, 15:13

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas - and the scores of Santas running through the streets this weekend certainly helped add to the festive feeling.

Yesterday, 14:09

Crossrail, London’s new east to west railway service, may be delayed even further and could require a £2billion funding boost, Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed.


The Exchange in Ilford has added a state-of-the-art, Savannah-themed play area, with hand painted animal sculptures, to its brand new family zone, designed by American creative agency Playtime

Are you aged over 25 and an unpaid carer? If you want to return to employment but need practical help and support to get there, Working for Carers can help.

Everest Estates stress-free service guarantees a fixed income for your East London or Essex property every month, even if no one is currently living there. Here they talk about the scheme and explain how it can help you dodge common letting headaches.

Newsletter Sign Up

Barking and Dagenham Post twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now