It is situated 5 mi east of the City of London, and is north of the River Thames. According to 2005 estimates, Newham is the most ethnically diverse district in the country, with no particular ethnic group dominating (39% of the population is White, 33% is Asian, and 22% is Black).
Newham has the highest young population and one of the lowest indigenous white populations in the country according to the 2001 Census. The borough has the second highest percentage of Muslims in Britain (24.3%).
When using Simpson's Diversity Index on 10 aggregated ethnic groups, the 2001 census identified Newham as the most ethnically diverse district in England and Wales, with 9 wards in the top 15. However, when using the 16 ethnic categories in the Census so that White Irish and White Other ethnic minorities are also included in the analysis, Newham becomes the 2nd most ethnically diverse borough with 6 out of the top 15 wards, behind Brent with 7 out of the top 15 wards.
Using the aggregated ethnic groups drawn from the 2001 Census] indicates Little Ilford in Newham to be the most ethnically diverse ward in the United Kingdom. When using the 16 ethnic group categories, this ward becomes the second most ethnically diverse ward, behind Dollis Hill in Brent.
The borough was formed by merging the former area of the Essex county borough of East Ham and the county borough of West Ham as a borough of the newly formed Greater London, on 1 April 1965. Green Street marks the former boundary between the two. North Woolwich also became part of the borough (previously being in the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich, in the County of London) along with a small area west of the River Roding which had previously been part of the Municipal Borough of Barking. Newham was devised for the borough as an entirely new name.
According to a study carried out in 2007 for a Channel 4 television programme, it is the "4th worst" place to live in the UK; the study took into account crime rates, school results, pollution, economic activity and property prices. In the 2006 study, neighbouring Tower Hamlets and Hackney came in at 2nd and 1st place respectively, while Merthyr Tydfil came in 3rd.
Council and democracyEdit
Unlike most English districts, its council is led by a directly-elected mayor, currently Robin Wales. Since 2002, one of the councillors has been appointed as the "civic ambassador", and has performed the civic and ceremonial role previously carried out by the mayor.
Although statistically counted as part of Inner London, the borough is still considered part of Outer London for purposes such as funding. This is because the majority of Newham was not part of the 1889-1965 County of London. However, much of the borough has historically formed part of London's built-up area and economically it is one of the more deprived districts. The council is actively campaigning to have Newham officially considered part of Inner London for all purposes in order to increase its level of government grant by £60 million. Newham is a challenging borough in a number of ways and currently has the second lowest recycling rate in the United Kingdom.
Newham has 60 councillors, of whom 54 are from the Labour Party, 3 are from the Christian Peoples' Alliance and 3 are from Respect. The local elections of 2006 proved a disappointment for Respect: they stood candidates in all 20 wards, secured 26% of the votes of the whole borough, but still only secured 3 seats.
See also List of Mayors of Newham
Notable local residentsEdit
Trade Unionist Vic Turner who was jailed as the leader of the Pentonville 5. A former Communist Party member, after his retirement in 1994 Vic joined the Labour Party just in time to be elected as a Councillor for the former Bemersyde Ward in the Municipal elections of that year. Later in his term as a Councillor Vic was elected by Labour Group (and therefore the Council)as a Ceremonial Mayor of Newham. This largely ceremonial post (now known as the "Civic Ambassador") is of course not to be confused with the far more significant one of Elected Mayor, whereby the incumbent (who has serious and useful political power)is elected by far wider electorate of the whole Borough.
- Actor Perry Fenwick, who has played Billy Mitchell in EastEnders since 1998.
- Actor Billy Murray, who has played Don Beech in The Bill and Johnny Allen in EastEnders.
- 1960s model Celia Hammond.
- Actor Danny Dyer, who has appeared in films including Human Traffic and The Football Factory.
- Actress Carol Harrison who played Louise Raymond in EastEnders during the late 1990s.
- Poet Benjamin Zephaniah.
- Athlete Christine Ohuruogu.
- Basketball paralympian Ade Adepitan
- Rapper Kano
Schools and collegesEdit
The Borough is the education authority for the district providing education in a mix of Foundation, community and voluntary aided schools.
The University of East London has two campuses within Newham, these are:
Birkbeck Stratford is a collaborative project between Birkbeck, University of London and UEL to increase participation in adult learning. This is currently based on the UEL Stratford campus, but is planned to move to its own facilities.
Places of interestEdit
- The Hub, a revolutionary community resource centre built by the local community, in Star Lane, E16, featuring up to the minute "green" features
- Grassroots, also built by the local community and another revolutionary green resource centre built by the community. Grass Roots is in Memorial Recreation Ground, E13.
Newham has 10 libraries (Beckton, Canning Town, Custom House, East Ham, Green Street, Manor Park, North Woolwich, Plaistow, Stratford and Forest Gate) and 1 mobile library.
Canning Town Library was first opened in 1893 and still operates in the original building on Barking Road (albeit with repairs and a reconstructed interior following damage sustained in air raids in 1940 and 1941)>.
- North Woolwich Old Station Museum
- Three Mills, a mill complex on the east bank of the River Lee. A trading site for nearly a thousand years, the House Mill was built in 1776 and was (and remains) the country's largest tide mill. It has been restored and contains much of its original machinery including four large waterwheels, millstones and grain chutes.
There are a number of local markets in the Borough. The Council wants to improve and develop Queens Market (which in Upton Park). The new development will include housing provision, shops, an upgraded and sanitary market,and new Council Local Service Centre and Library. These positive proposals are nevertheless being fought by Friends of Queens Market.
- St. Mark's Church, Silvertown The church was designed by Samuel Saunders Teulon. It was built between 1861 and 1862 after a cholera epidemic swept the district and local clergy appealed through the columns of The Times for funds to provide an architectural, as well as spiritual, beacon for the area. It is now the home of the Brick Lane Music Hall.
- Stratford Circus]]
- Theatre Royal Stratford East
Shopping and exhibitionsEdit
- Queen's Market, Upton Park - London's most lively and ethnically diverse market.
- ExCeL Exhibition Centre - major exhibitions such as the Motor Show are now held at ExCeL.
- Gallions Reach Shopping Park Out of town retail park
- Green Street (street)|Green Street, the largest shopping centre catering for the Asian community in London
- Stratford Shopping Centre, a shopping centre which includes a small market and typical chainstores.
The local newspaper is the Newham Recorder and is edited by Colin Grainger.
- Canning Town
- Custom House
- East Ham
- Forest Gate
- Little Ilford
- Manor Park
- North Woolwich (pronounced "wool-ich")
- Plaistow (pronounced "plaa-stow")
- Upton Park
- West Ham
Transport in Newham is undergoing a major upgrade, with the completed Docklands Light Railway and Jubilee Line Extension, with new or improved stations at Canning Town Station, West Ham Station and Stratford. Stratford International Station on High Speed 1 opened in 2009. The Crossrail scheme will also improve rail connections to several stations in the borough. The Docklands Light Railway was extended to serve London City Airport.
List of stationsEdit
- Beckton Station - DLR
- Beckton Park Station - DLR
- Cyprus Station - DLR
- Canning Town Station - Jubilee Line and DLR
- Custom House Station - DLR
- East Ham Station - District and Hammersmith & City Lines
- Forest Gate Station - National Express
- Gallions Reach Station DLR
- King George V Station DLR
- London City Airport Station DLR
- Manor Park Station - National Express
- Maryland Station - National Express
- Plaistow Station - District and Hammersmith & City Lines
- Pontoon Dock Station DLR
- Prince Regent Station DLR
- Royal Albert Station DLR
- Royal Victoria Station DLR
- Stratford Station - National Express, c2c, Jubilee Line, Central Line, London Overground and DLR
- Pudding Mill Lane Station DLR
- Upton Park Station - District and Hammersmith & City Lines
- Wanstead Park Station - London Overground
- West Ham Station - c2c, Jubilee, District and Hammersmith & City Lines
- West Silvertown Station DLR
- Woodgrange Park Station - London Overground
- Dutchflyer rail-sea service via Stratford Station
- London City Airport
- Stratford International Station (opening 2009, despite trains from 2007)
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