Final Words from Ukonu: A chance for Walthamstow to speak up for an open, tolerant and fairer nation
Speaking to the East London and West Essex Guardian, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Ukonu Obasi has outlined his positive vision for Walthamstow and the UK. Giving a final statement before the vote tomorrow, Ukonu called on Walthamstow to commit to an open, tolerated and united nation that invests wisely in education, health and welfare.
Ukono's full message, in which he also rejects the needless damage to our economy from Theresa May's hard Brexit, can be read by following this link.
The Mini Holland scheme in Waltham Forest is primarily a local council matter, and we will expand further on our position in the run up to council elections in 2018. Nonetheless, it is a major development for our community. Walthamstow Lib Dems would therefore like to clarify our position, as endorsed by Parliamentary Candidate Ukonu Obasi, in the run up to the general election.
In line with the national party and Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the London Liberal Democrats, we are committed to building a people-centred and sustainable travel system. We will work to make walking and cycling easier, safer and more enjoyable. We are therefore eager to see initiatives such as Mini Holland succeed.
To truly succeed, Mini Holland must be seen as a success by the whole community. Unfortunately, some residents are unsatisfied with the process and its outcomes. We believe that listening to the concerns of these people - along with the opinions of those who are supportive of the scheme - is important in maximising the benefit for the whole of Walthamstow.
We intend to consult fully with the local population as part of a detailed analysis into the outcome of the Mini Holland scheme. We will learn which features have been most successful, and identify any unintended consequences. This work will be invaluable for future projects in Walthamstow and beyond, and will allow us to identify whether any side-effects can be mitigated without compromising the benefits of the scheme.
The Liberal Democrat manifesto for the forthcoming election - and how it is important for Walthamstow.
On Monday 15 May, I attended a community safety meeting, hosted by Cllr Clare Coghill at Blackhorse Road Baptist Church. This meeting was called in the wake of the murder of 17-year-old Elijah Donnelly on Walthamstow High Street the previous week.
The event was well attended and residents raised concerns on a number of issues to the Borough commander, Richard Tucker. In particular, residents wanted to know what is being done to stop drug dealing, child grooming, and violence in and around the High street/St James Street junction.
I voiced the concern that due to cuts to police funding, there may be insufficient capacity to provide the prevention programmes that will stop young and vulnerable people from getting involved with drugs and gangs, and to stop the supply chain from getting into our community. Commander Tucker pointed out that he had about 30 officers less than he would need, and this meant that he had to prioritise certain areas for his scarce resources.
Commander Tucker did, however, commit to making improvements that will yield positive results in two months. These include increasing police presence in the area, having the police station in the high Street open at hours of more likely criminal activity, and ensuring that security cameras in the area are in good working order.
Other Ward Security meetings have been scheduled as follows:
High Street Ward: 23 May, at Mall office (Upstairs on Walthamstow Mall, above ASDA) at 7pm.
Markhouse Ward: 7 June at Queens Road Adult Education Centre, 7pm.
If you are interested in attending any of these meetings and would like more information about getting involved in community safety then please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ukonu Obasi, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
Walthamstow Lib Dems, lead by Ukonu Obasi, spoke to parents at Woodside Academy concerned by the Tories' proposed cuts to education. The team collected signatures to send to Theresa May to demand she reverses planned school cuts in Walthamstow. The troubling figures for all schools can be found at www.schoolcuts.org.uk. Woodside Academy alone stands to lose £808,889 by 2019. That's 23 teachers. Parents were quick to sign and we averaged about a signature per minute. The Lib Dems are pledging more than double the funding for schools (£7bn) than Labour, and our activists are out lobbying the government all over the country. If you haven't yet got involved, let us know. And vote for Ukonu on June 8th so that he can fight Mrs. May's cuts in Parliament.
Today, Liberal Democrats set out plans to introduce mandatory reporting on the ethnicity pay gap for organisations with 250 employees or more.
Employee ethnicity data is currently patchy at best and there is no uniform way to collect it making monitoring and analysis difficult.
The Liberal Democrats believe that every person, regardless of their ethnicity, should be allowed to reach their full potential in the workplace.
The Liberal Democrats have become the first major party to commit to ending the "national scandal" of rough sleeping across Britain, including in Walthamstow.
The latest figures show there were 47 people sleeping rough in Walthamstow in 2016, up from 33 the previous year.
The Liberal Democrats have set out a series of measures to end rough sleeping, including introducing a Housing First provider in each local authority that would put long-term homeless people straight into independent homes rather than emergency shelters.
The news comes as a coalition of homelessness charities, including Centrepoint, Crisis, Homeless Link, Shelter and St Mungo’s, have called on political parties to commit to end rough sleeping in Britain.
Click here to read the blow-by-blow account of this evening's hustings, at which Ukonu took on his rivals for Parliament.
Ukonu (far left) did battle with representatives of the other major parties.
Ukonu Obasi has joined his fellow London Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidates in taking a stance against rising knife and gun crime. In a letter to the London Evening Standard, Ukonu and his colleagues praised the work of the Metropolitan Police and the efforts of campaigners against gang violence and anti-social behaviour. However, they called for an end to the aggressive cuts to police and social service budgets that have hampered these endeavours.
Click here to read the letter.
Ukonu Obasi and his fellow London Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidates have called for the British people to vote on the eventual Brexit deal in a recent letter to the London Evening Standard. Given the difficulties associated with striking a good deal within a short two-year period, and the lack of effective opposition from the Labour party, Ukonu and his colleagues argue that the public has the right to a final say on the outcome of the negotiations.
Click here to read the letter.
As a public health specialist originally from Nigeria, our candidate Ukonu Obasi knows more than most about both the NHS and our place in the global community. He recently spoke on Brexit and the issues facing Whipps Cross Hospital to the East London and West Essex Guardian. In the interview, he argued that the failure of Labour moderates like Stella Creasy to influence her party's stance on the EU shows that only the Liberal Democrats can provide effective opposition to a hard Brexit.
Click here to read the interview.
The triumphant return of our Chapel End focus newsletter.
Poor execution of Walthamstow's Mini Holland programme is causing delays, misery, frustration, loss of business and pollution, writes Mahmood Hussain, formeer Lib Dem High St Councillor. In a letter to the East London and West Essex Guardian, Mr Hussain claims that while measures to encourage cycling and reduce pollution are welcomed, some road closures are instead having the opposite effect. He suggests that current traffic chaos has led to many roads seeing an increase in stationary vehicles belching out exhaust fumes.
We stress that Mr Hussain is expressing his personal opinions in the aforementioned letter (which can be read by following this link). Walthamstow Liberal Democrats support the aims of Mini Holland, but propose a review and improved consultation to maximise the benefits to all members of the community.
Ukonu Obasi is a 38-year-old Public Health Specialist with experience of working in the NHS, Local Authority and in the Civil Service. He has been involved in the design, delivery and commissioning of community health interventions across the country.
He is a passionate campaigner for health, water and sanitation in Africa and he is the Executive Director of Rural Africa Health, Water and Sanitation Initiative (RAHWSI), an unpaid role he has held since 2007. Its aims are to improve the access to health, water and sanitation to the most hard to reach communities in Africa through educating front line health workers that work with those communities.
He has lived in Walthamstow since 2012, and is a volunteer of Waltham Forest Health Watch, an independent organisation that gives local people a voice on the issues of health and social care in their area. He has run 10K for the British Heart Foundation and volunteers for a number of charities.Read more