Today Barking and Dagenham welcomes Prince Harry to officially open London’s first Youth Zone. Over the last few months Prince Harry has spoken openly about the importance of young people having somewhere to go, and activities to participate in. It is widely accepted that one of the key catalysts for serious violent crime amongst young people is the reduction of funding to youth services across the country, leaving children with fewer opportunities.

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham, has signed a cross-party letter to the Prime Minister asking her to undo the blocks the government has placed on onshore wind energy. This support was welcomed today by 10:10 Climate Action and Power for People, who are coordinating the letter.

In September 2018 Jon Cruddas MP launched a campaign ‘Calling Time on Crime’ as a response to rising violent crime across Dagenham and Rainham. Knife crime has dominated the headlines for the last few months as more young lives have been needlessly lost across London, and more recently right here in Barking and Dagenham, Havering, and Redbridge.

Thursday 7 March marked World Book Day 2019. This year in Barking and Dagenham the day marked the launch of a project by local Councillor Andrew Achilleos and Trees for Cities, a project which has now fully funded a book called ‘The Lost Words’ by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris along with teaching resources for every primary and SEND school in the borough.

Beam County Primary School in Dagenham is the first school in London to get the book as part of the project, and throughout the year Trees for Cities will be delivering the book across the city.

This week Jon Cruddas MP has been contacted by Historic Royal Palaces with a fantastic opportunity for local schools and school children from Key Stage 1 through to Key Stage 5.

The total number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in January 2019 was 2,035. This represents a rate of 3.7% of the economically active population aged 16-64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 3.1%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 4.0% in October to December 2018.

New research has highlighted that changes to free TV licences to over-75s will cost local pensioners hundreds of thousands of pounds a year combined – money which will go straight to the Treasury’s coffers.

This comes as the BBC’s consultation on the future of free TV Licences for over-75s closed last week.

Millions of older people across the country could lose their TV licence in 2020 despite the government’s 2017 Manifesto promise to protect free TV licences until 2022.

Last month Barking and Dagenham Council hosted the first ever East BCU Serious Violence Summit. The East BCU is the tri-borough command unit which covers Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. The event was launched in response to the concerning rise in violent crime across the tri-borough area over the last 12 months.

Over 200 people attended the event from across boroughs including MPs, councillors, voluntary organisations, social workers, charities, and people from the education sector.

This week Jon Cruddas MP submitted a letter to the Planning Inspectorate outlining his concerns over the Riverside Energy Park proposals. The proposals would see a second mass waste incinerator established in Belvedere just across the Thames from Rainham, South Hornchurch and the Beam Park development area.

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham is encouraging local charities and good causes across the constituency to apply for over £3million of funding that has been raised by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Applications are open from 6 February until 20 February, where a whole host of good causes from social enterprises to voluntary groups and registered charities are eligible to apply for grants of between £500 and £20,000.

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