How busy has your ward councillor been? These numbers are part of the bigger picture

Labour councillors can thank their Chief Whip Cllr. Kevin Brady for turning a spotlight on the numbers of Members Enquiries (MEs) that each councillor generates. An ME is similar to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request but is raised by a councillor when they need to get some information from council officers (and is a lot quicker than a FoI).

Cllr. Rabina Khan (Shadwell, Liberal Democrat) raised an ME to find out how many MEs each councillor has requested and LW is delighted to bring you the results. LW was thinking of deducting one from her score but that would be pedantic.

The number of MEs each councillor raises does not give a full picture of how busy / idle a councillor has been of course, but it is a reasonable indicator of how energetic our elected representatives are.

The Busiest Councillors

While Cllr. Marc Francis (Labour, Bow East) has raised an amazing 611 MEs between 1 May 2018 to 31 May 2019 the data shows that Cllr. Rabina Khan has come a close second with 457 enquiries. Cllr. Sirajul Islam (Labour, Bethnal Green) comes third with a very respectable 416 ME requests.

Well done all! No prizes ‘cos we can’t afford them and its obvious your are councillors ‘cos you just love it.

Just for fun we calculated the average number of MEs per councillor for each political party. You can see the very interesting results below.

We should explain that our Statistics Branch has not included the MEs raised by either Mayor John Biggs (3,074) or Cllr. Harun Miah (Aspire, Shadwell) with one as these are numbers are ‘outliers’, data that is not representative and are so excluded so as not to skew the results.

The Mayor’s huge number of MEs is because, you guessed it, he is the Mayor and Cllr. Harun Miah was only elected in February this year. For some reason Cllr. Rajib Ahmed (Labour, Lansbury) does not appear in the data, we are checking why this may be.

Cllr. Andrew Wood (Conservative, Canary Wharf) and Cllr. Peter Golds (Conservative, Canary Wharf) are two of the busiest councillors we know and Andrew’s tally of 119 MEs and Cllr. Golds 91 shows that just numbers do not provide the full picture. Both these results are probably on the low side because the two Conservative councillors are usually busy going around the borough sorting stuff out, increasingly because some other councillors are just bone idle. We mention no names.

The Bone Idle Councillors

Cllr. Abdal Ullah (Labour, St. Katharine’s Dock and Wapping) scores a measly five MEs. But then he is very important and probably just knows everything.
At least Cllr. Ullah did not come last but it was close by a whole one ME request. This dubious honour is shared by two of his colleagues. Cllr. Sabina Akhtar (Labour, Stepney Green) and Cllr. Amina Ali (Labour, Bow East) who only managed to submit four ME’s each.
Say what? If either of these councillors would like to contact LW and explain exactly what they do for their councillor allowance we would love to know and share it with your residents.  In the meantime maybe you should consider your future career choices?Just a suggestion.

Interesting, isn’t it? As a representation of how busy each political party is we do think this is pretty good. Cllr. Rabina Khan, who is all by her own self in the councillor chamber as the only Liberal Democrat councillor is a runaway winner.

Members Enquiries by Councillor (Response to ME)

1 May 2018 to 31 May 2019 Data Source: Members Enquiry 16916897, Tower Hamlets Council
RankNameJob TitleWardPartyTotal Members Enquiries
1Francis, MarcCouncillorBow EastLabour611
2Khan, RabinaCouncillorShadwellLiberal Democrat457
3Islam, SirajulStatutory Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for HousingBethnal GreenLabour416
4Miah, PuruCouncillorMile EndLabour256
5Das, DipaCouncillorSt Dunstan'sLabour234
6Blake, RachelDeputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Planning, Air Quality and Tackling PovertyBow EastLabour233
7Whitehead, ValCouncillorBow WestLabour182
8King, JamesCouncillorLimehouseLabour171
9Edgar, DavidCabinet Member for EnvironmentMile EndLabour164
10McQuillan, EveMayoral Advisor for Tackling Poverty & InequalityBethnal GreenLabour162
11Ronald, CandidaCabinet Member for Resources and the Voluntary SectorBlackwall & Cubitt TownLabour134
12Miah , AyasCouncillorSt Dunstan'sLabour129
13Tomlinson, DanMayoral Advisor for Highways and Public RealmBromley NorthLabour120
14Khan, Tarik AhmedCouncillorSt Peter'sLabour119
15Wood, AndrewLeader of the Conservative GroupCanary WharfConservative119
16Chowdhury, KaharCouncillorLansburyLabour115
17Bustin, MufeedahMayoral Advisor for Tackling Poverty and InequalitiesIsland GardensLabour110
18Golds, PeterCouncillorIsland GardensConservative91
19Obaze, VictoriaSpeaker of the CouncilWhitechapelLabour89
20Chowdhury, Shad UddinCouncillorSpitalfields & BanglatownLabour84
21Hassell, DannyCabinet Member for Children, Schools and Young PeopleBromley SouthLabour83
22Pierce, JohnCouncillorWeaversLabour81
23Ameen, Shah SuhelCouncillorWhitechapelLabour79
24Begum, AsmaDeputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Community Safety and EqualitiesBow WestLabour76
25Islam, AsmaMayoral Advisor for the Community and Voluntary SectorMile EndLabour75
26Uz-Zaman, MotinCabinet Member for Work and Economic GrowthStepney GreenLabour75
27Haque, EhtashamCouncillorBlackwall & Cubitt TownLabour66
28Brady, KevinLabour WhipSt Peter'sLabour60
29White, BexCouncillorLansburyLabour45
30Salva Macallan, GabrielaCouncillorSt Peter'sLabour44
31Ahmed, Faroque MahfuzCouncillorWhitechapelLabour39
32Uddin, HelalCouncillorBromley SouthLabour35
33Alam, SufiaCouncillorPoplarLabour27
34Jones, DeniseOlder People's ChampionSt Katharine's & WappingLabour25
35Hossain, Mohammed AhbabCouncillorBethnal GreenLabour22
36Mukit, AbdulCouncillorWeaversLabour21
37Perry, Kyrsten DanielleMayor's cycling and pedestrian championCanary WharfLabour15
38Rahman, ZenithCouncillorBromley NorthLabour15
39Pappu, Mohammed IqbalCouncillorBlackwall & Cubitt TownLabour14
40Qureshi, Leema OmarCouncillorSpitalfields & BanglatownLabour9
41Ullah, AbdalCouncillorSt Katharine's & WappingLabour5
42Akhtar, SabinaCabinet Member for Culture, Arts and BrexitStepney GreenLabour4
43Ali, AminaCabinet Member for Adults, Health and WellbeingBow EastLabour4

Quite right Cllr. Brady – she is nailing it

We know Cllr. Kevin Brady (Labour, St. Peters’) hates to be ignored so thought it only fair to point out that he has only managed to generate 60 MEs, way below the overall average of 114 MEs.


We have some other fun ideas for examining this data which we will publish soon if we can be bothered.

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