The One about the Building Site, the Palace and the City Hall

With mum leaving the Royal Garden Party

Another day, another set of meetings and events. I’ve had a lovely day today. Below, is a quick summary of what I’ve been up to…


At the site of Higham Hill's new Children's Centre

After a quick meeting at Waltham Forest college to discuss a bid they are putting together to help more young people get into apprenticeships and training, I dashed over to Higham Hill ward in Walthamstow, to accompany the Council Cabinet Member for Children’s and Young People’s Services, and the Council’s Head of Early Years, to the site of Higham Hill ward’s new Children’s Centre.

Site manager Brian Jones (pictured above left) gave us a tour around the very impressive venue that is currently being constructed in time for the Children’s Centre’s grand launch in the autumn.

I take a great interest in the whole Children’s Centre agenda from a personal, professional and political perspective. On the council, I sit on the committee that scrutinises our children and young people’s services and I am also a member of the Sure Start board for North Leyton.

Leyton will get its own Children’s Centre in the New Year at new Willow Brook school. I am fully involved in shaping the plans for its development because I feel it is a very important Children’s initiative that we absolutely must get right.

Ladies dress code = day wear with hat

After Higham Hill, it was off to Buckingham Palace with my mum, Jane, to enjoy a cup of royal tea and a cucumber sandwich with H.R.H Queen Elizabeth II.

I won a raffle of the Labour councillors to represent them at today’s Royal Garden Party held to celebrate the Queen’s eightieth birthday (real birthday April, official birthday June). Although mum’s a staunch republican, even she had to admit that she enjoyed the fruit cake. We are rather partial to a slice of fruit cake in the Grell household!


Mayor Ken talks Health

Last stop of the day, City Hall, where I begin my new job in September (I will be going to work for London’s Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron as her political researcher), to attend the summer reception of the London Health Commission, which is chaired by Leyton’s local Greater London Assembly Member, Jennette Arnold.

I invited representatives of local ward regeneration organisation Team Leyton, upon whose board I sit, the wonderful ladies from the African and Caribbean Elders Group and Waltham Forest Women in Public Life (All pictured below with Jennette and I) to attend the reception and have a photo taken with Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Leyton's in da house!

These organisations do marvellous health related work around Leyton ward. Team Leyton’s Community Outreach Workers, for example, do exactly what their name implies – they go into the community and they reach out. With a total of over ten languages spoken between them, these community development workers are able to communicate with Leyton residents who often feel marginalised by the formal health system, because of a lack of English or a lack of knowledge about available health services.

I am keen to ensure that the good work of these groups will not be threatened because of lack of funding or short term decision making.

We have many health challenges in Leyton and these organisations are playing a critical role in tackling them successfully.

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