The below is an extract from ‘Barnet council and the future of local-government funding’ (Guardian). It is written by Andy Erlam who is one of the petitioners in the challenge to the result of the 2014 Mayoral election in Tower Hamlets.
It is worthy of being reproduced as it is a very clear statement of the significance of what is happening our borough.
“Eric Pickles’ decision to send in commissioners to run key functions in Tower Hamlets is a welcome move (Eric Pickles sends emergency takeover squad to Tower Hamlets, 18 December). What is needed in Tower Hamlets is honest and open government – something which has been in short supply in the borough in recent times, culminating in the shambles of May’s mayoral election, with allegations of electoral fraud and mismanagement.
There are those who seek to present government intervention in Tower Hamlets as an attack on local democracy. They are wrong.
For those of us who believe that the result of the mayoral election should be re-run, the intervention is the beginning of attempts to restore faith in local democracy and council decision-making.
In February next year an election court will decide whether the current mayor and the council’s returning officer have a case to answer over misconduct in May’s mayoral contest.
The future of democracy in our borough and across London is at stake. We are pleased that Eric Pickles recognises that what has gone on in Tower Hamlets is unacceptable and that intervention is the only cure.
Tower Hamlets Election Petition”