Danny Hassell, the Labour Councillor for Bromley South, has written to Ann Lucas, Chair of the Tower Hamlets Homes (THH) board asking for an independent enquiry to be established to determine the facts of Love Wapping’s allegations that the personal data of THH residents had been obtained by Tower Hamlets First for political purposes.
Full text of letter is below.
Letter from Cllr. Danny Hassell to Ann Lucas, Chair of Tower Hamlets Homes
Re: Use of Tower Hamlets Homes’ data for political purposes
I am writing to you as Chair of the Tower Hamlets Homes board regarding the recent post on the ‘Love Wapping’ blog regarding Tower Hamlets Homes’ data allegedly being used by councillors of the former Tower Hamlets First Party for party political campaigning.
As you will no doubt agree if true, this is a serious breach of data protection and represents a gross misuse of residents’ personal data.
The documents obtained by ‘Love Wapping’ appear to show how Independent councillors. who were formerly members of Tower Hamlets First, obtained the names, addresses and telephone numbers of residents.
This information has clearly come from Tower Hamlets Homes sources as it refers to THH references for neighbourhoods and properties.
As you will be aware this is not the first time that serious questions have been raised about the links between Tower Hamlets Homes and the former Mayor’s political operation.
These have included in 2013 party political canvassing on behalf of former Mayor Lutfur Rahman by people claiming to be from THH and this year the distribution of party political literature on behalf of Mayoral Candidate Cllr Rabina Khan.
In light of this and the wider public interest around this issue, I am writing to ask that you establish an independent investigation into this matter.
I believe that for such an investigation to have full confidence it must be conducted independently of both Tower Hamlets Homes and Tower Hamlets Council.
I am also copying this letter to the Interim Chief Executive, Mayor John Biggs and councillor members of the THH Board.
Cllr Danny Hassell
This all sounds good – especially as there is no way LW is handing over evidence to anything but an independent enquiry.
Sources tell me that the format of the data sheets (below) indicates that these are run outs from the Tower Hamlets Homes computer system and that an examination of the audit trail should indicate who requested this data in this particular format.
Unpleasant but necessary
Although dealing with this issue is unpleasant for all involved, especially Tower Hamlets Homes, it is a good test of the reality behind the rhetoric of the new Labour administration’s claims to aspire to be a ‘beacon council’ in terms of transparency and openness.
Let’s see what happens shall we?
Superb THH staff
Having lived for several years on the Green Bank estate which is managed by Tower Hamlets Homes, every one of LW’s HQ team can personally vouch for the superb work THH staff do, often way beyond what they are paid for.
With 22,000 homes under management across the borough it is essential that the high standards of THH are maintained.