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Archive for January, 2012

Tower Hamlets in The Economist

Tower Hamlets gets a mention in this week’s issue of the Economist magazine, an article about London boroughs bidding for city status as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Not quite sure about the caption under the photograph, but good to see our bid is getting some widespread coverage in addition to all the support we have locally.

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Remembering the Holocaust

 

On Sunday I participated in a very moving event in Nelson Street Synagogue to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. The theme of this year’s HMD was ‘Speak Up, Speak Out’. It called on us to never allow our hearts to be closed to those suffering oppression. There were many emotional and touching contributions from participants, some of whom had lost members of their family in the Holocaust, during a three hour ceremony which was interspersed with music and poetry.

The day finished off with the lighting of seven candles. Six to mark the six million killed during the Holocaust and the seventh to mark those who have lost their lives in genocides since the Holocaust. It was an emotional end to a ceremony that was both sad and beautiful. My sincere thanks to Leon Silver for giving me the opportunity to participate in it.

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Ken Livingstone has announced the date for his ‘Fare Deal’ fares cut. The Labour candidate for Mayor of London revealed today that the fares will be cut on the first Sunday in October – October 7th 2012. He also said he would resign if he did not do it on or before that date.

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Islamaphobia and the press

Islamaphobia Watch report on ENGAGE’s Inayat Bunglawala’s comments on media misreprenentation of the Muslim community: 

Ultimately, we need to try to get to the point where our press apply the same standards to Muslims as to any other faith group or any other minority group community. Currently, no other faith group is treated with this barrage of inaccurate and often downright malicious misrepresentation in the national press. It is, of course, understandable that in view of the al-Qaeda terror threat we have seen in recent years that newspapers will often touch on the issue of Muslims and Islam in their reporting. That is, however, absolutely no excuse for their lies and incitement.

 

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Read the full story in the East London Advertiser here

 

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At present, councils are run by executives or cabinets which are accountable only to local councillors and who are largely elected through the party system. As a result, the rigidities of the centralised political party structure are brought to bear on local government, where something much more dynamic and responsive is required. Because they are directly accountable to the electorate, and can be voted out after four years if they do not perform, mayors would significantly improve the level of scrutiny at a local level.

From today’s Independant.

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Tower Project Awards

 Earlier this week I had the privilege of visiting the Tower Project on Whitehorse Road. I was there to present awards to students with learning disabilities, who have recently achieved qualifications from the Open College Network that will enable them to obtain employment.

 The Tower Project provides a range of services to over 1600 children and adults with disabilities who are resident within Tower Hamlets, and have recently achieved OFSTED’s “Outstanding” award for its children’s services.

I presented the awards to eleven students. I found their enthusiasm and positive outlook uplifting and I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

Congratulations to the students and staff at Tower Project for all their good work.

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