Left to right: Councillors Paul Donovan, Jo Blackman and Daniel Morgan-ThomasLeft to right: Councillors Paul Donovan, Jo Blackman and Daniel Morgan-Thomas

Jo Blackman, Paul Donovan and Daniel Morgan-Thomas were each elected as councillors for Wanstead Village ward in May. Here, the three Labour representatives explain how their work is progressing.

It's been a few weeks since we were elected councillors for Wanstead Village. As new councillors we've had a lot to learn. Thankfully, Redbridge Council has provided training on the various departments, policies and functions. We're grateful for the support we've received from council officers and councillors.

The local elections to Redbridge Council saw Labour win 51 seats and Conservatives 12. This was a historic result, giving Labour their biggest-ever group in Redbridge and a second consecutive term. Our focus will be delivering on the manifesto pledges and responding to local concerns.

Casework comprises the most significant amount of our time as councillors. During the local election campaign, we picked up a number of concerns, which we have since been following up. And we are regularly contacted by email, social media and phone about a range of concerns related to council services. Though generally people seem pleased with the services they receive, recurrent concerns include keeping our communal spaces clean and tidy, and crime.

On concerns about litter and street cleaning, we're in touch with street cleansing officers to ensure any spots are cleaned up and have so far been impressed with their responsiveness. We would also encourage residents to use the 'report it' function on the council's website.

On crime, we've already met with the local neighbourhood watch and Safer Neighbourhoods Team. We're pleased with the recent drop in reported crime in Wanstead but are not complacent. We encourage all local residents to heed the crime prevention advice from the police and play an active role in their neighbourhood watch groups. We are also continuing to campaign for the government to stop the severe cuts to the policing budget. Police need to be adequately resourced to maintain a presence on our streets and ensure crimes are responded to.

Council committees perform a vital role in scrutinising the work of the council and we were pleased that between the three Wanstead Village councillors, we've covered most of the main committees, which should give us a good overview of the council's work.

We've enjoyed meeting many local residents during the campaign and now as councillors. Wanstead Village is a truly special place and a model for many other communities. We want to work with the local community to ensure it continues to thrive. We are keen to support local events and initiatives, so do get in touch to tell us how we can help.

Wanstead Village ward councillors hold surgeries on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month (excluding August) from 10am to 12 noon in the Vestry of Christ Church. For more information, visit

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