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Q&A: My Barking and Dagenham - Luan Goldie, author and teacher

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 August 2019

Novelist and teacher Luan Goldie would cut down the number of chicken and chip shops near schools if she were prime ministe

Novelist and teacher Luan Goldie would cut down the number of chicken and chip shops near schools if she were prime ministe

Luan Goldie

Primary school teacher Luan Goldie has released her debut novel with a major publisher. Acclaimed for her short stories, she talks about the borough, what's good about it and what she'd like to see change.

What is your connection to the borough?

I work as a primary school teacher at Eastbury Community School. Most local people know it as a secondary and college, but the primary is now going into its fifth year. I've worked there since the primary building opened, teaching mainly across Years 1 and 2.

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

Definitely Barking Park. I often think people who grew up with it take it for granted. But it's really great. It's got a brilliant playground, friendly café, pedalos and of course the splash park, which I often take my daughter to when it's hot enough. Barking is also great for transport links.

What one thing would you change?

There is a lot of litter in the area, especially on residential streets.

There's no excuse for it really, there are bins everywhere but for some reason people are choosing not to use them. It's a big issue in lots of boroughs, and I'm not quite sure what we can do about it.

Use three words to describe the area.

Typical east London!

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Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

Too many to name. But there are so many inspiring teachers out there. From some of the ones I had going through really quite tough east London schools to the ones I work with today.

Teaching can be exhausting so it's inspiring to see how people generate enough energy every day to keep bringing out the best in each of their 30 children.

If you were prime minister, what law would you introduce?

That the sheer number of chicken and chips shops next to schools be brought down.

I know this wouldn't go down well with all, but we're a borough with some of the worst childhood obesity in the country.

I know this food isn't the only reason why, but cutting them down would be a good start.

If you were the editor of the Barking and Dagenham Post, what issues would you focus on?

Barking and Dagenham Post has a hard job. The borough is huge, diverse and at times complicated.

I think it does a great job in covering news from the area, even though at times it can be a hard read.

I especially like reading about community initiatives.

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