Leyton ward is part of the parliamentary constituency of Leyton and Wanstead. It is also part of
the London Borough of Waltham Forest and is situated in North East London. It is a very diverse, ethnically mixed ward. Many of Leyton’s residents come from a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) community – mostly from the African-Caribbean and Pakistani communities.
Since May 2004, however, when the European Union expanded to take in twelve new countries,
there has been a rise in the number of people of Eastern European origin coming to live in Leyton.
Many have settled here to work, study and start a new life. They are very much welcome.
Leyton is a very deprived ward. Recent statistics have all confirmed that it has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the borough, the highest rate of unemployment, the highest percentage of pupils receiving free school meals, and the Beaumont Estate – in the north of the ward – was previously assessed as the fifth most deprived estate in Britain. Alongside our other two large estates – the Oliver Close and the Leyton Grange – the existence of the Beaumont also makes Leyton the most densely populated ward in Waltham Forest. Some estimates are that up to forty per cent of residents are living in overcrowded conditions.
However, despite the many serious challenges it faces, Leyton has a vibrant community and a lot of hope. Half of the ward’s population is less than thirty years old and they are therefore ripe to embrace the opportunities that preparations for the 2012 Olympics will bring.
We need to make sure that our local people and our local businesses reap the full benefits of the 2012 Olympics.
We do not want people coming here purely to make a profit and then disappear.
Leyton ward is on the up and that is why I felt extremely honoured to be elected its first Labour councillor since 1994 on the 4th of May 2006.
I was extremely proud to work with my superb former Labour Member of Parliament, Harry Cohen, to lobby effectively for the people who live in our ward and I am pleased that in May 2010, Leyton elected a Labour successor, John Cryer, to continue all of the hard work that Harry and his formidable team carried out for Leyton and Wanstead’s residents.
I thank those voters of Leyton ward who gave me the brief, but rewarding, opportunity I had to serve you and our community in Waltham Forest town hall.
For obvious reasons, I may have lost touch with or neglected quite a lot of you over the last couple of years but I want you to know that I genuinely still do care.
If you therefore think that I can still help you in any way at all, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.