This has been a turbulent year for residents of Dagenham & Rainham, with cuts amounting to £54 million being imposed locally by the Tory-led coalition government. There have been some real trials but we have also seen many triumphs.

In May the local elections saw Labour councillors win all 51 seats in Barking & Dagenham. This clean sweep owed much to the local community, and the campaign was a testament to people power – something I hope will be emulated in next year’s General Election.