I was helping out in two by-elections over this weekend. On Saturday it was phoning for Elwyn Watkins in Oldham. If like me you’ve not been able to make it there in person (yet!), making phone calls is a really effective way of doing something for his campaign from home. To offer your services, contact Elwyn’s HQ.
Then this morning it was off to Tower Hamlets to help Fernando North in the forthcoming council by-election there.
The ward in which Fernando North is standing typifies many of the issues across Tower Hamlets, and in other communities. Run-down poor estates sit jarringly across the road from expensive office redevelopments, with the skyline punctuated by a mix of new office blocks and new halls of residence for students. For all the business and educational investment in the area, it often feels as if the money is going into one side of the streets whilst residents live on the other.
Ferdy’s polling day is a week Thursday and if you can help his campaign, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also passed a poignant reminder of how, despite Tower Hamlets seeing great changes over the previous decades, some issues remain the same. In the early twentieth century it was the local Jewish community that suffered huge poverty resulting in this soup kitchen being built; the Jewish community may have moved on but the problems of poverty are still there: