Far Right English Defence League uses Tower Hamlets Labour Group’s Housing claims as propaganda
Mayor demands GLA member John Biggs ‘disown and immediately apologise for disgraceful Labour press statement’
The Far Right, English Defence League (EDL), have targeted Mayor Lutfur Rahman by citing extracts from a Tower Hamlets Labour Group press release, reproduced by the East London Advertiser.
EDL supporters have been tweeting a factually inaccurate and inflammatory press statement issued by the Tower Hamlets Labour Group. Mayor Lutfur Rahman is calling on GLA member, John Biggs to “disown the statement and issue an immediate apology to local residents”.
The EDL tweet follows here:
@Official_EDL Tower Hamlets Muslim Mayor Lutfur Rahman accused of prioritising supporters in housing works.http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/tower_hamlets_mayor_lutfur_rahman_accused_of_prioritising_supporters_in_housing_works_1_2204072?g_q=rahman%20tower%20hamlets%20mayor …
Cllr. Rabina Khan , Cabinet member for Housing said:
“The irresponsible and dangerous claims made by the Tower Hamlets Labour Group have found their audience and are now doing the rounds with the Far Right EDL to stoke up fear within the community that some residents and areas are more deserving than others. The Mayor has been elected to serve interests of all residents. There are strict guidelines governing housing allocation as the Labour Group is well aware. In a crucial election year, residents expect responsible leadership from John Biggs and the Labour Group, and that they wouldn’t resort to the ‘dog whistle’ politics of the Far Right”.
Cllr. Khan added, “The Decent Homes Programme schedule of works is based on improving properties with the greatest need. The DHP is a five-year programme aimed at transforming almost 5,000 properties across the borough and we are not even halfway through this. Residents in every ward will benefit from the improvement works. The Mayor is determined to deliver for the people of the borough and no amount of diversionary tactics from the Labour Group will deter the mayor from delivering on his pledges.”
To date some 3000 properties have had decent homes works completed, with 1560 made decent, and the remainder prevented from falling into disrepair. In May 2013, the Mayor and the Cabinet agreed a fully funded Decent Homes Programme running from 2013/14 to 2015/16 comprising internal and external works. A total of 4964 homes will be made decent during 2013 and 2015 thereby reducing non-decent homes in Council stock to 10%.
Tower Hamlets Labour Group Press Release
Press release – for immediate release
Mayor targets Decent Homes funding to his supporters
The independent Mayor of Tower Hamlets has come under fire today after Labour councillors revealed that over half of the borough’s Decent Homes work has been targeted at wards which are represented by supporters of the Mayor .
Figures released to Labour by the Council show over half the work has been done in just three of the borough’s 17 wards whilst other areas have received little or no work at all. In wards like Bow West, where the Mayor has no independent councillors, only 7 properties – out of 525 needing work have had Decent Homes work.
Yet the three wards of Shadwell, St Dunstans and Stepney Green and Whitechapel, which are mainly represented by Mayor ’s supporters, have seen 1,625 homes refurbished under the borough’s Decent Homes programme since the Mayor came to power.
Labour councillors have previously called on the Mayor to prioritise the most in need homes such as those in Brodick House in Bow which was completed in 1968 and with most flats still retaining the original kitchen and bathrooms.
The figures also revealed the scale of the challenge facing the Mayor with 8,490 homes still considered non-decent.
Labour’s Spokesperson for Housing, Cllr Abdal Ullah, said:
“It was Labour that introduced the Decent Homes scheme, not to allow politicians to reward their supporters but to ensure that everyone had a decent home to live in no matter what their circumstances.
“The Mayor should serve all residents of the borough equally not target support to his friends.
“The Mayor spends a lot of money promoting his housing policies but with over eight thousand homes considered below standard, residents will be concerned about his inability to deliver.”