On Thursday 3 May 2018 voters will go to the polls in local elections across England.
In the local area candidates will be selected to represent the newly created Wanstead Village and Wanstead Park wards on Redbridge Council.
Wanstead Ward News has been meeting some of the candidates:
Jo Blackman is standing for The Labour Party in Wanstead Village.
“I have lived locally for the last 10 years. My husband and I chose this area to bring up our young family and we have spent many happy hours on Wanstead High Street, in Wanstead Library and using the nearby playground and children’s centre.
I am an active member of the local community and a busy campaigner and fundraiser. I have led a number of local campaigns and set up the Aldersbrook Playground Campaign to address the lack of play facilities in the south of Redbridge. I am Vice-Chair of the Friends of Wanstead Parklands where I continue to champion play and investment in the park. I have set up the Wanstead Park Nature Club to encourage children and their families to explore nature and I also recently secured £10,000 of funding for books for my daughters’ school’s new bus library.
I understand and share many of the concerns we have been hearing on the doorstep while campaigning. People are worried about rising crime, road safety, pollution, the housing crisis, worsening inequality, Brexit and the impact on local services of cuts imposed by the national Government. Local government is on the frontline of many of these services and we really can make a difference, which is why these local elections are so important for Wanstead Village. Along with my fellow Labour candidates I have already been busy campaigning on many of these issues like reversing cuts to the crime budget, reinstating the old W12 bus timetable and introducing the 20mph speed limits on residential roads.
My professional careeer has been spent campaigning at a national, European and international level for children’s rights, the environment and for the Labour Party. I would like to bring this knowledge of how to affect change to my role as a Councillor.
I have been active in The Labour Party for many years but the Brexit Referendum and Trump’s victory in the US were a real wake-up call. If we do not stand up for the issues we care about we cannot assume that others will do so for us.
I hope I will have the opportunity to represent Wanstead Village as a Councillor and work with local residents to make a difference.”