Monthly Archives: May 2014

Local Elections 2014: Ed Miliband hails party’s ‘incredible’ council election victory outside Town Hall

Note: Written by Sebastian Mann and Suhail Patel

Labour leader Ed Miliband swept into Ilford town centre today to hail his party’s “incredible” victory in yesterday’s council election.

Labour leader Ed Miliband sticks to US political website RealClearPolitics

Labour leader Ed Miliband sticks to US political website RealClearPolitics

On the steps of Redbridge Town Hall, he told a small crowd but enthusiastic crowd he wanted to thank the local party for their hard work in the campaign and claimed the win came from a “deep desire for change” in the UK.

Labour learnt it had taken control of the council for the first time in its 50 year history this morning. The party gained 14 seats, meaning 35 of the borough’s 63 councillors are now red.

“I just want to say thanks again for this incredible, brilliant victory in Redbridge,” Mr Miliband told supporters inside Redbridge Town Hall after addressing crowds outside.

“I also want to say how proud I am of you because you’ve done something that’s never been done in the history of Redbridge.”

He told the Recorder: “I think that what happened is that [Cllr] Jas [Athwal] and his team showed the voters they can make a difference to people’s lives”, adding he thought their message would “resound” nationwide”.

Cllr Wes Streeting, Labour’s General Election candidate in the Ilford North constituency, tweeted: “I promised @Ed_Miliband we’d win Redbridge at our campaign launch and he promised to visit again if we did. Great to have him back.”

Kashif Ansar, a 21-year-old student from Goodmayes who heard the Labour leader’s address, said: “I am ecstatic that Labour has won and I think there is a bright future for Labour in the upcoming general election.”

Peter Ledwidth, who works in Ilford, added: “I voted for Labour yesterday. It’s great to see Labour in power but it is important that they actually start doing something and make sure there is change.”

Film highlighting ‘the new slavery’

Note: Originally written for the Ilford Recorder. 

Street Pastor co-ordinator Monica Abdala

Street Pastor co-ordinator Monica Abdala

A charity will be screening a “powerful” and “compelling” documentary next week as part of its “Safer Space Project” – an initiative to increase awareness about human trafficking.

Redbridge & Havering Street Pastors will hold a showing of American film “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls“, next Saturday at Kings Church, Granville Rd, Ilford, as part of its “Safer Space Project” launched last year.

“This is one of the most powerful, compelling and transformational documentaries ever made on Human Trafficking,” said Monica Abdala, Coordinator of Redbridge & Havering Street Pastors.

“In the last month alone we have known of eight cases of human trafficking in our Borough. This is alarming and shocking,” she added.

It is hoped the film will help equip people to identify the signs of human trafficking and respond to what has become known as “21st Century Slavery”.

The documentary, directed by Matthew Dickey and Benjamin Nolot, has won dozens of awards internationally, including Best Feature Documentary at the 2011 California Film Awards.

Since the films initial release it has been translated into 21 different languages and has completed several global tours.

Speaking to the Christian Broadcasting Network last year, director Benjamin said that the purpose of the film is “to draw people’s attention to the issue, but also to inspire them in terms of what they can be doing … to take a stand against this injustice.”

Cllr Balvinder Kaur, Chair of the Sikh’s Woman Alliance, said that the issue of trafficked sex workers is something that is often overlooked in the community.

“It is very important that we start talking and open up about this issue. Many of these girls do not speak English and are afraid to speak out.

“It is a positive sign that this film has been made and it is something that should be supported.”

Doors at the Kings Church will open at 7pm. Entry is free but a ticket is required.

For more information or to book your free ticket, call 02085545850, or email