Local MP Jon Cruddas has thrown his support behind a UK charity’s campaign to improve public transport access for the blind and partially sighted. Last Friday he donned a blindfold to experience a ride on the 103 bus near to his Dagenham and Rainham constituency office.

This weekend councils across the nation held Remembrance Day services in memory of all those who have given their lives in armed conflict. This year, November 11th marks 100 years since the start of World War I, one of the most destructive conflicts in modern history. This Armistice Day will provide an opportunity for us to reflect on the sacrifice all those who lost their lives in service to the nation. Dagenham and Rainham have a long and proud history of service in war.

On Wednesday 29th October Jon Cruddas and a small delegation of people took the 10,000 strong petition against the prison plans to Downing Street. The campaign started 18 months ago and Jon Cruddas has said that with the Ministry of Justice still not ruling us out, the fight continues.

This week c2c launched a public consultation regarding the proposed new services running through Rainham and Dagenham Dock to and from Fenchurch Street.

Back in August Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham contacted c2c regarding their Sunday service levels, requesting that they look at improving the line. Since then, Sunday services have improved by extending all the way into Fenchurch Street instead of just Barking, and the frequency of trains has been increased to every 30 minutes.

Havering Council are currently running a survey on pharmaceutical services in the borough. The Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment is used to identify the gaps in the services available so that they can be improved.

Jon Cruddas MP is currently running a large campaign to improve our local health provision, and this is the perfect chance for residents to share their views on Havering’s current pharmacy services.

The number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in September 2014 was 2,004. This represents a rate of 4.1% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 148th highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest rate of unemployment, 650th = lowest rate of unemployment.)

Friday 10th October (today) is World Mental Health Day, and with rising mental health issues nationally more and more charities are working together to raise awareness. This year Barking and Dagenham are holding a ‘Time for World Mental Health Day’ event at Barking Learning Centre. The event will be a chance for local people to find out about the services on offer for people with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

During the recent Labour Party conference Jon Cruddas MP expressed his support for a Friends of the Earth campaign to help London schools save thousands of pounds by installing solar power.

Friends of the Earth estimates that schools could each save up to £8000 per year by going solar – more money to spend on libraries, playgrounds and trips. They would also help to tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions, and provide an opportunity for children to learn about clean energy.

In a new short video published on The Guardian, John Harris samples the aftershocks of Scotland's vote to reject independence, and a passionate new politics that wants to take back power from Westminster. Follow the link below to watch the video.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2014/sep/23/britain-after-scotland-independence-referendum-political-future-video

Education is a huge issue which over the last few months has become increasingly important locally. With the rising need for more school places, the fight against academies and the recent teacher strikes, it is important that residents, parents and teachers get their say and are given a chance to understand the issues in more depth.

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