Paul Donovan (Wanstead Village, Labour)

Paul DonovanPaul Donovan

Paul Donovan is a Labour Party candidate for the new Wanstead Village ward in the upcoming Redbridge Council elections. Here's why he thinks he deserves your vote on 3 May.

A resident of Wanstead all my life, I have experienced the highs and lows of living in the area. Highs would include going to Aldersbrook Primary School and Wanstead High School, enjoying the open spaces of Wanstead Park and Flats and community initiatives over the years, such as street parties and the annual festival. The lows no doubt concern crime, being mugged back in 2001 on Christchurch Green and suffering as a victim of burglaries on a number of occasions.

The cutting of police budgets as a result of reductions in central government funding is a major concern. It has seen fewer police on our streets and crime levels subsequently rising. Wanstead is a fantastic place to live but safe streets are vital for our families' way of life and I am determined to fight alongside our Labour council to urge the government to reverse the police cuts.

I have worked as a journalist for the past 25 years, using my journalistic skills, where appropriate, to voice community concerns, such as over a recent rat infestation around Tarzy Wood. More recently, I have been involved with fellow Labour candidates Daniel Morgan-Thomas and Jo Blackman in the campaign to restore a full service to the W12 bus route. We are also backing the 20's Plenty speed reduction campaign, where the local community has expressed a desire to have such measures.

Those who have read the recent series on pollution in the Wanstead Village Directory will not be surprised to learn that this is another issue I would like to see addressed in the area. A committed environmentalist, I have played a role in building up the community-based support groups for Wanstead Park. I am also a member of the Wren Wildlife Group and an allotment holder. I am a parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. I was also part of the local multi-faith Peace and Justice in East London group set up following the 9/11 attacks in America.

Now, I feel it is time to put myself forward as a council candidate. The current Labour council can boast a proud record over its past four years in office, despite the pressure caused by an unprecedented 40% cut in the budget from the Tory government. Not only have they managed to defend and build on basic facilities like the libraries and waste collection but they are also committed to building a swimming pool in Wanstead. A swimming pool will be a major asset to an area that has been denied such facilities for so long.

Also, as a lifelong Wanstead resident, I am acutely aware that this end of the borough can sometimes get forgotten. If elected, I will seek to ensure that our community is heard at the top table in the Town Hall.

Redbridge Council elections will take place on 3 May. Visit wavidi.co/vote2018