Powered by PrivacyPolicies.com

East London

TELCO (The East London Citizens Organisation) is the founding Chapter of Citizens UK. We are a powerful alliance of over 80 civil society institutions comprised of trade unions, faith groups, charities, schools and universities, all working together to make East London a better place to live.

We organise communities to act together for social justice and the common good, developing the leadership capacity of our members so they can hold our cities' decision-makers to account on the issues that matter to them. TELCO has a proud 20-year history. We pioneered the Living Wage campaign; Community Land Trust Housing; Ethical Olympics; and Good Jobs for young people. In addition to these successful campaigns, we are currently working on new campaigns on hate crime; mental health; and energy poverty. If your institution is not yet in membership, we'd love to have a conversation with you. Involvement in a Citizens UK alliance is one of the best ways for you and your organisation to make a tangible difference in your borough and London wide, whilst developing the leadership skills and capacity of your membership.

To arrange a sit down with one of our organisers, contact: emmanuel.gotora@citizensuk.org

Sign up for updates from this chapter here.

News

How churches can provide community support in lockdown

While new lockdown rules have been put in place, there are still many people anxious and concerned about leaving their homes. Father Angus Richie, the Director of the Centre of Theology and TELCO Citizens leader, writes a step-by-step guide on how churches can keep the spirit of community organising alive during lockdown by practising attentive listening and action in their communities. 

Community organising has had to adapt very quickly to the lockdown, and conversations in our churches indicate its continuing importance – particularly in:

  • Rooting action in attentive listening to the different situations people are in
  • Ensuring the inclusion of people who are not online – or who have less access too, and confidence with, the internet
  • Reaching beyond the confines of those already in our congregations to engage with their practical, social and spiritual needs and gifts
  • Rooting everything churches do in prayer and in their wider mission

The foundation for all organising is listening, and in this blog I want to explore how this can happen during lockdown - in churches and in other local institutions.

Add your reaction
Share

Please Mr Williamson, Don’t Freeze Iceland Out

A local community alliance in Shadwell, have released a video petition addressed to the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, the Secretary of State for Education, to ask the UK Government to include the supermarket chain Iceland in the Government’s Free School Meal voucher scheme, which supports low-income families during the pandemic whilst schools are closed.

Add your reaction
Share

Covid-19 Health Resources

TELCO leaders are working closely with Barts NHS Trust and CCGs colleagues covering several boroughs in east London. The following resources contain important information in regards to covid-19

 

Add your reaction
Share

TELCO Awards 2020

Over the last 12 months, TELCO members have built power and won some amazing campaigns. Thousands of leaders have been involved in action across East London, and our focus this year has been on Breadth, Depth and Impact. Below, we celebrate some of our members. For more highlights see our Annual Meeting Brochure.

Add your reaction
Share

My Community Organising Journey: Kulsuma Begum - Women 100

Kulsuma Begum, a Women 100 leader, was refused entry into her children's schools because she wore the niqab. This is a powerful reflection on her Community Organising journey and how the method she learned was accordant with her faith and helped her to make a change in her local community.

2 reactions Share

School pupils celebrate parents securing real Living Wage

Children from Newham Citizens member school, St Antony's RC Primary, have celebrated the fact that several of their parents are now getting a fair day's pay for a fair day's work by performing a song to the mayor of London at a Living Wage Week launch.

Add your reaction
Share

How local campaigns reweave bonds of trust between communities

TELCO Co-Chair Fr Angus Ritchie of St George in the East and the Centre for Theology and Community has written for the Guardian about his experiences organising in Tower Hamlets to secure safe, affordable homes for local residents of all backgrounds - and how the tools and principles of Community Organising can offer a powerful antidote to the politics of division which pit us against one another. 

Add your reaction
Share

Priced out of the Olympic Park

Yesterday, the housing element of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) Local Plan was subject to examination in public. Members of The East London Citizens Organisation (TELCO), who campaigned for genuinely affordable homes as part of the original Olympics Bid, say that the LLDC need to raise the bar in their aspirations for affordable housing on the Park in order to ensure that that original commitment of ‘regenerating the area for the entire benefit of everyone that lives there’ becomes a reality. 

Fr Sean Connolly, a local priest with a large congregation of people experiencing housing challenges, said: “It is devastating to see so many of my parishioners living in over-crowded conditions or being forced out of the borough while new houses are being built all around them. While I welcome new housing being built on the Olympic Park, it needs to be affordable and this is a real problem.” The housing crisis in the legacy boroughs is felt across the spectrum ranging from young children living in temporary and overcrowded accommodation, to nurses sharing bedrooms. Local Authority homelessness research from 2018 indicates that whilst the Legacy boroughs constitute only an eighth of London boroughs, they account for a quarter of all households, (5,414 households) placed out of borough. The London Borough of Newham has the highest figures for families placed out of borough, away from their social networks, with local authorities struggling to meet the costs of keeping these families in insecure and overpriced temporary accommodation.

Last year many TELCO Citizens members visited LLDC to hear about plans for the site, but so far the affordable housing commitments have not met the communities expectations.

In response, local community representatives from TELCO are asking the LLDC to introduce a requirement that 50% of all housing in the Legacy area is genuinely affordable by being linked to median household incomes - currently £27,000 across the Legacy boroughs. Community Land Trust housing was a key commitment in the 2005 Olympic Charter and needs to be recognised as part of the intermediate housing offer. Community Land Trust housing remains affordable in perpetuity and is mapped against average local incomes, thus also meeting the Legacy promise of benefitting local communities. Additionally, research has demonstrated that there is a huge gulf between policy and practice.

Dr Penny Bernstock, from the University of West London, and co-chair of the TELCO Olympic strategy team, found that between October 2012 and July 2017, only 19.6% of the housing approved by the LLDC was affordable, falling substantially short of the 35% requirement. Therefore, TELCO are calling on the LLDC to adhere to the requirements of their plan, she said “The evidence is clear, we need to do much more on the former Olympic site to meet London’s affordable housing challenge. Let’s get the legacy back on track and ensure that families are not priced out of the Olympic Park.”

ENDS

Add your reaction
Share

News: The Olympics housing legacy is at risk say Newham Citizens

Take the housing survey:  it will be presented to the GLA and LLDC 

 

Newham Citizens have written to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to register their disappointment at the GLA’s approval of the Stratford Waterfront development despite the provision of ‘affordable’ housing on the development being entirely shared ownership homes which are out of the reach of local incomes. On April 30th, members of Newham Citizens, part of TELCO (The East London Citizens Organisation), attended the Planning Committee meeting at the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), to register their objection to 35% of the 600 homes expected to be built as part of the £1bn development. While the scheme gained the approval of the LLDC planning committee, elected local authority representatives from Newham, Hackney and Waltham Forest voted against the scheme because of the lack of genuinely affordable housing.
Add your reaction
Share

Tower Hamlets school leads Air Pollution campaign

Pupils at St Paul’s School Whitechapel, a member of Tower Hamlets Citizens, have launched a video on air pollution. As part of a fantastic yearly project, run jointly by THAMES and Rich Mix Cinema, they have learnt and put into practice stop motion skills. 

 

The students are at the forefront of a Borough-wide campaign to raise awareness of the negative impact of air pollution and demand better air quality by learning about community organising, putting their learning in practice and striking collaborative relationships with Tower Hamlets Council.

Pupils and staff meet Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Rachel Blake.

Add your reaction
Share