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Archive for the ‘Lutfur’s Blog’ Category

A council in one of the poorest areas of London is offering grants of £1,500 to help young people go to university. Tower Hamlets is giving bursaries to 400 teenagers in what it claims is the biggest such scheme in England. The grants, from a £1.26m mayor’s fund, will help the least well-off students with books and travel. The east London borough’s mayor, Lutfur Rahman, said he wanted to ensure that local youngsters did not see university as an unobtainable “pipe dream”.

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 The London borough of Tower Hamlets was declared the highest achieving Local Authority, providing more sustainable homes than any other council in England. The award recognised the council’s achievements in delivering almost 3000, the highest number of homes meeting the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) from 2007 to 2013.

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Long suffering Tower Hamlets voters know that the local Labour Party is still sulking about losing the mayoral election in October 2010 – but it’s still depressing to see they are still behaving with the maturity of a toddler who’s had his ball taken away. The latest pot shot Labour’s fired at the Mayor is to claim that he has personally organised the deployment of Decent Homes work in the borough so that improvements have been made in wards which are represented by independent councillors who support the Mayor’s administration. Labour has thus revealed its ignorance of how Decent Homes money is allocated – this despite the fact that the allocation was agreed at Cabinet last month and is thus quite open…East London News  has long warned that Labour’s personal vendetta against Mayor Rahman can be used by those with a racist agenda: and indeed this is what has happened…

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Remembering Thomas Rainsborough

On Sunday 12th May at St John’s Churchyard, Wapping a commemorative plaque was unveiled to Thomas Rainsborough (1610 – 1648) a prominent figure in the English Civil War, a colonel in the New Model Army and the leading spokesman for the Levellers in the Putney Debates in which he spoke up for universal male suffrage.

Over a hundred people saw the plaque unveiled by Tony Benn who spoke of the inspiration he had gained from the work of the Levellers, he movingly spoke of the need for every generation to stand up for our rights lest we lose them.

Cllr Rania Khan, Cabinet Member for Culture was there for the occasion and also spoke along with Jeremy Corbyn MP (Islington North), John Rees and Brian Nicholson of the Stepney Historical Society.

The event was also attended by a small Leveller contingent of the Sealed Knot who paraded the churchyard and fired a musket volley in Rainsborough’s honour. The Sealed Knot is a British historical association and charity, dedicated to costumed re-enactment of battles and events surrounding the English Civil War.

I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he; and therefore truly. Sir, I think it’s clear that every man that is to live under a Government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that Government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not at all bound in a strict sense to that Government that he hath not had a voice to put himself under.” Thomas Rainsborough at the Putney Debates, 1647.

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Latest Guardian interview

What made you want to work in local governmentTower Hamlets has been part of my life for a long time; I went to secondary school here, and grew up here with kids from all backgrounds. I have received so much from the area: I am what I am because of Tower Hamlets and what public services contributed to me and my family. My father came here in the 50s and my mother in the late 60s. I am really grateful for the services I have received and I want to give back to a community that has given so much to me.

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Cable Street launch 3

A new community centre in Tower Hamlets – to help people in one of the most deprived areas of the UK with employment and welfare issues – was opened on Monday in a unique partnership bringing together the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Unite, the country’s largest union, and Barclay’s Bank.

The centre is based at the iconic St Georges Town Hall, Cable Street E1 OBL.

The centre, which will be open five days-a-week between 10.00 -18.00, will provide new training and job seeking skills, welfare advice, cultural activities and has a state of the art learning suite.

The centre will offer various educational courses, such as IT skills and offer assistance to find employment, from creating a CV to interview preparation. Centre staff will also advise on the growing number of welfare and benefit issues in London’s second most deprived borough.

Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman; Unite General Secretary, Len McCluskey; and Group Employment Director for Barclays, Dominic Johnson spoke at the opening ceremony.

Len McCluskey said: “We are near what were once the great London docks, which until the late sixties, employed tens of thousands of dockers.

“But times have changed. Tower Hamlets has changed. The dockers have been replaced by finance workers in Canary Wharf. But alongside the wealth of this global finance centre is great poverty.

“That is why this centre is needed and that is why our partnership with the mayor of Tower Hamlets and Barclays Bank will provide a vital resource to the local communities.”

Lutfur Rahman said: “I am delighted to be working closely with Len McCluskey, Unite and Barclays Bank in making this community centre a reality.

Job creation is one of my top priorities and this centre is going to play an important role in helping people find work.

I am particularly pleased to be working in partnership with Unite. As the recent terrible tragedies in the garment industry in Bangladesh have shown, and as the struggle of workers to be organised in the old sweatshops here in the East End have also demonstrated, trade unions play a critical role in ensuring people enjoy safety, security and fulfilment at work’.

Dominic Johnson said: “Barclays is pleased to be supporting the creation of this valuable new centre, which we hope will help people across the borough find pathways into work through new learning opportunities.

“It is important that Barclays plays a broader role in the communities in which we live and work, beyond what we deliver through our core business activities, such as supporting projects like this and our existing educational and employment support programmes such as LifeSkills and Barclays Spaces for Sports.”

ENDS

Photo (l-r) Liane Groves, chairperson of the community centre steering group; Dominic Johnson, group employment director from Barclays; Unite general secretary Len McCluskey and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman deliver speeches at the opening ceremony.
For further Information please contact Numan Hussain DL: 020 7364 7108 / Mob: 07508 352 023

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UKIP gains cannot be ignored

Although there were no local elections in London last week, there is no doubt that the political map in England has been changed by the surge in support for the UK Independence Party. It would be foolish to dismiss the anger many ordinary voters feel for the established political parties. All too many people feel powerless as their jobs disappear, and as bankers award themselves ever larger bonuses.

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Tower Hamlets has joined a select group of boroughs in the country whose secondary schools have all been rated as Good or Outstanding by Ofsted.

The education watchdog has this week announced that the performance of three schools – Bow School, George Green’s School and St Paul’s Way Trust School – has improved.

The announcement means that all 18 council-run secondary and special schools in the borough are classed as Good or Outstanding. Very few local authorities are in this position. The latest Ofsted figures, relating to August last year, showed just nine of the 150 local authority areas in England had a 100% record.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman hailed the fact that Tower Hamlets could now be counted as part of this prestigious group.

Mayor Rahman said:

“Education is one of my top priorities and we’ve invested a great deal in our schools in the past few years to make them among the best, so I’m delighted that our schools are now officially recognised among the very best in the country by Ofsted.”

Councillor Oliur Rahman, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Families, said:

“An awful lot of hard work and effort from a great many people has gone into transforming our schools. We can all be proud that Tower Hamlets is now a beacon of quality for educational excellence for our young people.”
Ends

Notes to Editors:
For information about this press release contact Numan Hussain, Political Advisor to the Mayor, on 07508 352 023 or email numan.hussain@towerhamlets.gov.uk

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93 per cent of children starting primary school in September have gained a place at one of their top three school choices in Tower Hamlets under the Pan-London Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme. From over 3300 applications received, 84 per cent of families secured a place at their first choice school. The percentage of successful first choices means that Tower Hamlets is well above the London average for the third year running.

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Press Release from Office of the Mayor of Tower Hamlets

It’s official: Tower Hamlets has NO CASE TO ANSWER on electoral fraud.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman and Tower Hamlets Council vindicated after Electoral Commission finds “insufficient evidence” to back opposition claims of widespread deception

Mayor Lutfur Rahman today praised Tower Hamlets’ electoral safeguards as “robust and highly effective” after an Electoral Commission report into allegations of widespread electoral fraud in by-elections in April and May 2012 were found to be groundless.

Opposition councillors made an astonishing 154 separate allegations of which 151 were dismissed entirely and only 3 offered grounds for concern. An investigation by the Metropolitan Police found that there was “insufficient evidence to prove an offence” had been committed on any of these.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “These allegations were nothing less than a systematic attempt to discredit our robust and highly effective electoral safeguards. The Electoral Commission report is a vindication for this administration and the excellent council officers who impartially administer the electoral process in Tower Hamlets.”

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