The election of a Labour council in Redbridge in 2014 heralded a time of change for the borough.

Initially, much of the work undertaken involved dealing with a bad financial situation left behind by the previous Conservative administration, a state of affairs made steadily worse by more cuts imposed by central government.

Nearly 60 per cent of Redbridge's funding has been cut by the Government but the Labour council did well in balancing the budget and coming up with new, innovative ways of delivering services.

There were pluses as well, such as the new swimming pools and leisure service facilities coming on stream in Wanstead, Loxford and Mayfield.

The public liked what they saw, returning Labour to power with an increased majority at the elections in May.

Daniel Morgan Thomas, Jo Blackman and myself were the new councillors elected for Wanstead Village. We joined re-elected Wanstead Park councillors Sheila Bain and Paul Merry.

Moving forward, the administration wants to build on its embryonic vision of the first term. In Wanstead, the pool and school facilities sited at Wanstead High School is coming to fruition over the next couple of years.

Wanstead councillors are playing a lead role in promoting an environmental charter for Wanstead. This seeks to reduce carbon emissions, increase biodiversity and clean up our living environment – including reducing plastic and pollution. Cycling, walking and the use of public transport will be promoted. Wanstead it is hoped will become an even greener place.

The council is also intending to create a community hub in Wanstead, sited around the library and Woodbine place site. There are to be five hubs in the borough, the others being at Gants Hill, Seven Kings, Ashton Playing Fields and Hainault.

The idea is to group community services together, so there can be libraries, children’s centres, police services and council services, including cleansing and enforcement teams, all situated in the one place. There may be leisure facilities attached as well.

The plan is good, given that at present many of these services come from 50 different places situated all over the borough in often dilapidated and costly buildings.

The new hubs will bring all the services together in one place. It will also mean costs are reduced, so putting many of these services on a safer standing going forward.

At present the idea has been given the go ahead by cabinet, with officers now exploring the options for the five sites. Before anything happens on the ground there will be consultation with residents on design and content.

In the light of our environmental commitment, we'd expect any hub to be zero carbon in operation.

The hubs idea, as long as it is implemented in a sensitive and consensual way, ensuring no reduction in the services provided, offers a real way forward.

There has already been some disinformation being put about concerning the hub process, about what will happen to the library and other buildings around the Woodbine site.

However, it is for the local people to decide what happens, making sure over the coming years that we get a hub for community services that works best for Wanstead.

When taken alongside the new pool and the green transformation envisaged with the Environmental Charter, these are exciting times for Wanstead.

We want to make Wanstead a greener, healthier and better place for us all to live.