Newham borough is situated five miles (8k) east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It was a host borough for the 2012 Olympic Games and is now in the middle of huge development schemes at the Royal Docks and the former Olympic Park (now known as Queen Elizabeth II Park).
The area has one of the highest ethnic minority populations and the youngest in the country. The population in 2014 was 324,322 – and rising.
Newham was established on April 1st, 1965 after merging East Ham, West Ham and parts of Woolwich and Barking. Unusually, its council is led by a directly elected Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, who won 61% of votes in 2014’s election and the Labour Party won all 60 of the council seats.
The University of East London is located in the borough at Stratford (with Birkbeck College) and the Royal Docks. The Excel conference and exhibition centre can be found at Royal Victoria Dock.
The house mill on the east bank of the River Lea was built in 1776 and is the counbtry’s largest tide mill. Restored, it still contains most of its original machinery, including large waterwheels, millstones and grain chutes.
Many features of the original Olympic Park remain, albeit, in some cases ,partly changed – the swimming pool, Cooper Box (used for basketball, netball, boxing among many sports), hockey/cycling centres and the Arcelormittal Orbit. The former Media Centre (now known as Here East) is a base for small technical and craft businesses, plus Loughborough College. The Olympic Stadium, from August, 2016, is being shared by the British athletics authorities and West Ham United.
Newham has its own airport – London City – serving various British and European destinations. There is a daily flight to New York.
There are 34 bus routes, two school routes and six night bus routes. Fast non-stop buses also go to Stansted Airport and various East Anglian towns.
Train services are in abundance: Central, Jubilee, District and Hammersmith & City Underground lines, Docklands Light Railway, London Over ground, c2c, Abello Greater Anglia and TFL Rail, The Dutch flyer rail-sea service stops at Stratford Station.
The Thames Barrier is featured near Pontook Dock DLR station.
Local MPs are Lyn Brown (West Ham) and Stephen Timms (East Ham), both representing the Labour Party.