Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

Tories join with Khan and Lib Dems in call for DCLG return

By on December 14, 2017 in Corruption, Planning, Tower Hamlets council

Tower Hamlets Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and Rabina Khan’s People Alliance of Tower Hamlets (PATH) have joined forces to call for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to send Commissioners back to the borough.

An extraordinary event even by the standards of Tower Hamlets politics.

“Too many failures”

Cllr. Andrew Wood

This unusual but necessary alliance is as a direct response to allegations of corruption in the current Labour administration as published in the Sunday Times.

“The representatives of the three parties present did state publicly that we were not allied politically except in our joint concerns over the bribery case, the £119m affordable homes programme issue, school quality and OFSTED childrens failure,” said Cllr Andrew Wood (Conservative, Canary Wharf).

“There have been too many failures recently for us not to talk to each other about our shared concerns.”

Tower Hamlets Independent Group politicians were not invited to the meeting.

£2m bribery allegation

Artists impression of proposed Alpha Square development

The Sunday Times allegation is that a local businessman could arrange for approval of the planning application for the £500 million Alpha Square development on the Isle of Dogs  in return for a £2m bribe that would be split between four unidentified ’gatekeepers’ presumed to be Labour councillors.

Hey why the delay?

In addition to the bribery allegation itself there was a five month delay between the Labour council being informed of the allegation by the property developer in 2015 and the Council notifying the police.

Labour cover-up

To make matters worse the bribery allegations were covered up by Tower Hamlets Labour until the Sunday Times published its story last weekend, despite Labour’s stated desire to make the Council a model of open and transparent local government.

It also seems that the Labour administration neglected to mention the £2m bribe allegation while the DCLG Commissioners were resident in the town hall.

Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Letter to Sajid Javid MP

PATH group leader Rabina Khan (PATH, Shadwell) has written to Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, asking him to remove planning decisions from the Labour council until the police have done their work.

Call for DCLG to control planning

Tory group deputy leader Cllr. Andrew Wood and Elaine Bagshaw (Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Poplar & Limehouse), joined Khan’s call for DCLG Commissioners to return to Tower Hamlets and assume control of all planning decisions.

LW Comment

This alliance of strange bedfellows should make it clear to all the gravity of the corruption allegations published in the Sunday Times.

LW fully endorses the call by Tower Hamlets Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the People Alliance of Tower Hamlets for the DCLG Commissioners to return to Tower Hamlets and take direct control of all planning decisions.

Full DCLG control today please

We would go further and suggest to Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, that his Commissioners should impose full direct control of every aspect of the council for an indefinite period.

Some may argue that direct government control suspends democracy in Tower Hamlets. Realists will know that democracy has not existed in our borough for many years.

There is nothing to suspend in Tower Hamlets apart from dysfunctional local politics.

To save Tower Hamlets it should be destroyed

LW is on record as suggesting that the only way to fix the borough is to destroy it.

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets, an artificial construct defined by lines on a map, should be split up and parcelled out to other existing councils.

If anyone else has a better idea let’s hear it.





 

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