Local news for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets

Electoral event for Lutfur Rahman today at 27 Emmott Close E1 4QN

By on February 26, 2017 in Lutfur Rahman, Tower Hamlets Together

Two years after the judgement of the electoral petition that Lutfur Rahman and every single one of his Tower Hamlets First councillors had been corruptly elected he and his followers continue to ignore the law with impunity.

Reliable sources have told us that today Lutfur Rahman will be the star guest at a St Dunstan’s ‘ward meeting’ organised by Cllr. Mahbub Alam who states he is a member of the ‘Independent Group’ aka Tower Hamlets First aka Tower Hamlets Together.

27 Emmott Close 600

27 Emmott Close. Photograph courtesy of a concerned resident

As previously stated by LW 27 Emmott Close is Emmott Senior Citizen Lodge which is a property belonging to Tower Hamlets Council.

Ward meeting? Yeah, right.

You will note from the invite we published yesterday that this is billed as a ‘ward meeting’.

But by any description this is a political and partisan meeting and, if previous behaviour is anything to go by, if you are not a supporter of Lutfur Rahman / Tower Hamlets First / Tower Hamlets Together you will not be allowed entry.

The reason this is billed as a ward meeting is an attempt to get round the code of conduct for local councillors. We tried to find the code of conduct specific to Tower Hamlets but gave up after an hour.

The code of conduct does not vary between local authorities so we have quoted from other local councils below. [Note to whoever runs the Tower Hamlets Council and Electoral Commission websites – they are not fit for purpose.]

Code of Conduct? Wassat?

Relevant extracts from the code of conduct for elected councillors is as follows:

“Council resources must not be used for the promotion of any of the election candidates or political parties, or for campaigning for or against any of the candidates or parties (with the public meeting exception applying to election candidates).”

“Members may use Council facilities and resources for political purposes, in connection with the following business;
(a) holding ward surgeries *
(b) dealing with correspondence from constituents
(c) communication group activities
(d) meetings between group members”

“A Member’s use of Council facilities and resources must not extend to political parties more generally. Use of Council owned premises for party political purposes (where such meetings are used to further the political aims and objectives of the party concerned) must be restricted to premises available to the public generally and paid for at the full hire costs.”

Standard practise

We do not pretend to be experts on the law regarding the conduct of local councillors but it seems to us and other residents that it is wrong for Cllr. Mahbub Alam to use the Council premises at Emmott Senior Citizen Lodge for a party political meeting.

This is standard practice for Tower Hamlets First.  During the 2015 election campaign Calders Wharf Community Centre was used in this way by Cllr. Rabina Khan (when she and Lutfur Rahman were best buddies) and only Rahman’s supporters were allowed entry.

Here is an account from a resident that describes what went on during the 2015 re-run of the 2014 Mayoral election at Calders Wharf:

“I tried to attend an election meeting held at Calders Wharf community centre at Island Gardens on Thursday 21 May. I walked in and was immediately told by a man presumably acting as a bouncer to leave or the police would be called. I was told to stop recording on my phone (which I wasn’t) and I was then told to handover my phone, which I obviously ignored.

When I walked in I could see Lutfur Rahman was on his feet addressing the hall, in Bengali, which was 100% Asian. Mainly men. Rabina Khan was sat next to Rahman leading the applause.

At no point was I asked who I was or why I was there, it was get out now from the word go.

I decided to leave after a few minutes and was followed by this ‘bouncer’ all the way through the car park. The whole incident was very unpleasant. It was clear that as a white person I was not welcome and threatening me with the police was laughable but at the same time worryingly sinister.“

It remains to be seen if today’s meeting at 27 Emmott Close will go ahead as planned now that it has been publicised.

LW Comment

From our perspective little has changed in Tower Hamlets. The new (democratically elected) Mayor has made significant progress in repairing the Council administration crippled by Rahman’s corruption. In tandem with this the DCLG Commissioners have worked hard to change the culture of the council and restore basic democratic processes.

But the virus that has infected our borough remains.

The reason why the virus remains is because the Metropolitan Police Service failed to perform its duty and carry out a rigorous investigation into offences of corruption and perjury and instead made their own decision not to prosecute.

With pressure from the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, the DCLG Commissioners, members of the Greater London Authority, our MP Jim Fitzpatrick. local councillrs and many other politicians and residents a public enquiry into this issue may now happen.

The harsh reality is that Lutfur Rahman is attempting his political comeback and, despite his latest political vehicle Tower Hamlets Together being refused registration by the Electoral Commission, our money is on him finding another route to power.

When that happens Tower Hamlets will once again be submerged into the sewer of corruption from which it is still struggling to emerge.

Borough residents are still slogging away trying to reveal the truth and put things right. It would be good to think that these residents had some proactive high profile support from the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Sir Eric’s famed “armchair auditors” need something more than determination to do the job. Because no-one else is doing it.

Which might be the greatest shame of all.

LW wishes to express its thanks to the numerous borough residents who have contributed to this and recent news stories. 

 

 

 

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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Dilwara Begum says:

    You are such a biased hypocrite. You state as follows;

    “We do not pretend to be experts on the law regarding the conduct of local councillors but it seems to us and other residents that it is wrong for Cllr. Mahbub Alam to use the Council premises at Emmott Senior Citizen Lodge for a party political meeting.”

    Well let me ask you this question and dare you to answer or investigate, or even express your view?

    Would you agree it is wrong for Councillor Asma Begum (Labour Cabinet Member aka £25K allowances) to be regularly claiming childminding expenses from us residents for attending council meetings along with her extremely active Labour party officer husband Tariq (CLP Secretary)? Surely he is equally also responsible for looking after his children instead of chaperoning his councillor wife to council meetings, and billing us residents for childmibding costs?

    Other councillors also have children who attend council meetings. Their partners take childcare responsibilities but do not claim for chilcare. I guess an exception can be made for husband/wife duo, councillors Mark Francis and Rachael Blake!

    As a member of the public, such as Councillor Asma Begum’s politically active husband Tariq, I at times cannot attend council meetings due to childcare responsibilities. My wife works part-time and I have to look after my children. Will Tower Hamlets council pay for my childcare expenses aswell? Syrely this example is in the same context?

    But ifbthis was a IG councillor, no doubt Live Wapping would criticise but that’s not your style, whichbis why it is fact you are biased, a hypocrite.

    • Mark Baynes says:

      Hi Dilwara, thanks for your comment.

      As to your question it very much depends on what the law is regarding this issue. And I don’t think – although we are not of course experts on this issue either – it would be illegal for any councillor with children to claim for child care if her / his partner was also well, busy doing stuff. The judgement you seem to be making is a moral one with Respect (see what I did there?) to the choice of parents to either carry on with their careers or use child care provided it is within the stated guidelines etc etc. Ask George Galloway – I am sure he has a view!

      Hope that answers your question although your standard of writing is so low that it is quite difficult to understand what your are on about. With Respect.

      Yours from the tropical paradise that is Wapping,

      The Wapping Mole.

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