The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is beginning to understand what it is like to be a Tower Hamlets resident. Ignored, lied to and treated with contempt.
This report in the Evening Standard by Robin de Peyer reveals that the reason for the audit of Tower Hamlets Council beginning delayed is because Mayor Lutfur’s crew is still trying to postpone the inevitable. According to the news report in a statement to the House of Commons the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:
“…the council has considerably delayed the investigation by delaying the provision of key information or simply not providing it at all.”
Which is of surprise to nobody who lives in our great borough. Apart from the people in charge of it. Oops.
Anyone with an ounce of common sense would realise that the game was up and fall over themselves playing nice with the PwC team.
Common sense? What’s that?
But common sense is in short supply in the Town Hall along with common decency. So instead of putting their hands up Mayor’s Lutfur are trying to wriggle out of facing the truth and making matters much worse for themselves.
Simple question Mr Mayor – If you and your administration have nothing to hide why are you not cooperating fully with… Oh. Sorry, our Mayor doesn’t answer questions.
Thanks for paying the bill suckers!
To make matters worse the cost of the PwC audit will be met by you. The residents of Tower Hamlets. Mr Pickles again:
“The costs will be met by the council. Whether the council likes it or not this investigation will be thorough and comprehensive,”
You can listen to the Statement to the House by Mr Pickles on Audioboo here. [External link]
Paying for auditors like PwC is not cheap with costs likely to be at least £50,000 to £100,000 per day. Maybe more if PwC want really posh biscuits.*
The Town Hall was raided by DCLG on April 4th so to date the audit may have cost between £750,000 and £1,500,000.
Another month, another half a million pounds. But maybe it will take even longer.
So let’s say the investigation will cost two million pounds. A nice round number which will not be spent on education, feeding children or improving the borough’s infrastructure.
Investigations galore at Mulberry Place
There are numerous other investigations into Tower Hamlets Council at the moment, to be honest our Scandal Tracking Unit (Town Hall Branch) has lost track of them all. But at the very least there are:
- Greenbankgate! (Hurrah!)
- Elections stuff x we have lost count (Yay!)
- Car boot’s full of postal ballots (“Honest officer, I was looking after them for a friend….”)
- Electoral Commission (Yippee!) [External link]
- <Insert any organisation in authority here> investigation into <insert anything at random here>
- That attempt by Takki Sulaiman to stop Ted Jeory reporting on the workings of the council (see lack of common sense above)
Oh and the petition to get the May elections declared null and void [External link].
And the BBC Panorama programme which you can still watch on BBC iPlayer.
And the numerous articles by Andrew Gilligan including my personal favourite, ‘First fake voters, now police look into ‘bogus’ councillors’ [External link].
And the investigations we don’t know about but is probably the really interesting stuff.
Apart from that no problems at all.
Business as usual in Tower Hamlets then. Almost funny but in reality tragic.
* Sources inform Love Wapping that PwC do in fact provide their own biscuits, those nice M&S ones in the gold wrappers. Good choice.
Update July 01 2014
Just to muddy the waters even further Tower Hamlets Council has decided to launch a Judicial Review against the DCLG. [External link]
Tower Hamlets politics. You could not make it up.