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It appears that our local media will just print any old rubbish from Labour Mayoral hopeful, John Biggs. He now claims that the council are planning to introduce a ‘12 O’clock curfew’ on restaurants in Brick Lane. This is simply untrue. I was pleased to reassure Brick Lane restaurant owners on this issue personally when I met with them yesterday. Contrary to what the Labour party claim, it’s business as usual for Brick Lane. The area is London’s curry capital and a vital hub for the local economy. My officers are working closely with the traders to see how we can provide additional support and boost businesses.

Tower Hamlets Lead Member for Housing, Cllr Rabina Khan today hit back at Labour Mayoral hopeful John Biggs who has criticised the council for placing 94 families in short-term Bed and Breakfast accommodation as an alternative to shipping them out of the borough. The move is an emergency response to the Tory benefit cap, a policy Labour have refused to distance themselves from.

Cllr Khan said:

In October last year, Labour attacked us with the false claim that the Mayor was planning to secretly ship families out of the borough. Now they’re attacking us for not shipping families out of the borough.  Am I happy that we’ve had to choose the lesser of twoevils? Absolutely not. But the benefit cap has left us a stark choice – use B&Bs or uproot people from their homes.”

Cllr Khan also hit back at claims that the move was unlawful:

“This is an emergency measure, and if John Biggs wants to take us to court to force us to eject families from their communities he’s very welcome.”

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PRESS RELEASE‬

‪FROM THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF TOWER HAMLETS‬
‪For immediate release – Tuesday 4th Feb. 2014

Mayor Rahman: ‘Vigilante patrols will feel the full force of the law’
‬‪
‪Following the attempt of Far Right activists to provoke civil disorder in Tower Hamlets at the weekend, Mayor Lutfur Rahman said:‬

‪”The appearance of fascist sympathisers on our streets, masquerading under the banner of ‘Christian Patrols’, was designed to provoke community division and disorder. The East End has a long and honourable tradition of opposing those who preach hatred. I fully endorse the statement of my friend, Rt. Rev. Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney, that there is no place for vigilante patrols on the streets of Tower Hamlets. I can reassure the community that the council and police are taking these incidents very seriously. Those involved in vigilante patrols will feel the full force of the law.”‬

‪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

Kind regards,
Numan

Numan Hussain
Political Advisor to the Mayor

Executive Mayor’s Office
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG

DL: 020 7364 7108
Mob: 07508 352 023

http://www.mayorlutfurrahman.wordpress.com
/ http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk

 It’s a pity The Wharf are repeating Labour and Tory claims about ‘unanswered questions’ over the sale of Poplar Town Hall. All the information concerning the sale has been in the public domain for some time. There is no truth to any allegation of wrongdoing. It is a shame the district auditor’s time is being wasted on an election stunt. For those interested in the facts, see the information below that was included in my press release on the matter.

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Press Release                                             
From the Office of the Mayor of Tower Hamlets 

For immediate release – 27 Jan. 2014

Mayor to scrap council car

Transparency a top priority during election period

Mayor Lutfur Rahman has announced that he will be giving up the official car in the lead up to the 2014 local elections.

Mayor Rahman said:

“Although I will continue to work hard and deliver for the people of Tower Hamlets up to 22nd May and beyond, I will naturally be attending more political meetings in the next few months. In order to ensure that the highest standards of probity and transparency are maintained, I will no longer be making use of the official car and I hope that the Labour Speaker of the Council will follow my example.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

Mayor Rahman is setting a precedent. Other local authorities provide transportation for Council Leaders and Mayors including:

  • Lewisham, where the Mayor has a chauffeur driven car.
  • Newham, where Robin Wales has use of a pool car.
  • Kensington and Chelsea which maintains a £125,000 Bentley Continental.
  • Redbridge which maintains £123,000 two stretch Jaguars.
  • The car is leased and will be returned to the leasing company and the driver redeployed within the Council.

 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

Press Release                                             
From the Office of the Mayor of Tower Hamlets 

For immediate release – 24 Jan. 2014

Tower Hamlets to recognise Nelson Mandela
 
Tower Hamlets politicians united in the Council Chamber this week to commemoration the life and legacy of recently departed Nobel Prize winner Nelson “Madiba” Mandela. 
 
Mayor Rahman said: “It is good to see that, even posthumously, Madiba can bring contending parties together. All political groups in the Council recognised that Mandela’s achievements were beyond trivial political sniping.”
 
The council called upon the Mayor to make resources available from the Community Events Fund for an educational project based on Nelson Mandela for the boroughs schools in Black History Month.
 
In preparation for the month, council officers are drawing up options for a permanent tribute in the borough to the South African leader.  As a gateway borough for the Olympics, Tower Hamlets Council also called upon Mayor Boris Johnson and London Legacy Development Corporation to name a street in the new Olympic Park after Mr Mandela in recognition of how sports can unite communities, just as Madiba, a keen athlete himself, did.
 
The Mayor also confirmed his plan to name a building in the new Blackwall Reach housing development after the South African Statesman.

The original Mandela legacy motion was tabled by the Mayor’s group of Councillors – proposed by Cllrs. Rabina Khan and Rania Khan.
 
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 

Press release

Tower Hamlets launches Local Protocol for the May combined elections

The May elections in Tower Hamlets will be the most complex to date but will have the strongest system to prevent fraud in London – and one of the most robust in the country.

A blueprint to ensure free and fair local elections and help to establish trust in the electoral system was launched by Tower Hamlets today by the main agencies involved in running the election.

Attending the launch today at Tower Hamlets Town Hall were: John Williams, Tower Hamlets Returning Officer; Tom Hawthorn, Head of Electoral Policy for the Electoral Commission; Tower Hamlets Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer; and Louise Stamp, Electoral Services Manager of Tower Hamlets Council.

Political parties and other organisations involved in the elections have already indicated they will sign up to the local protocol.

The protocol embodies a commitment to:

  • Work towards a free and fair election in May;
  • Ensure any allegations are correctly reported and investigated;
  • Campaign fairly within the law and abide by the Local Protocol.

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Tower Hamlets Council has unveiled new proposals to help up to 100 women over 25 into jobs in the health sector. The announcement was made as part of a package of budget proposals by Mayor Rahman ahead of discussion at full council in February 2014. Explaining the background to the proposal Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “Now that the government is following our lead by funding free school meals for infants, we’ve chosen to invest the cash freed up in a project that will deliver health services and improve the skills and employability of women over 25 in our community.”

More

I would like to thank all our volunteers for giving up their free time to assist me and my Tower Hamlets First colleagues in engaging with our residents. We’ve achieved a great deal since 2010 but there remains much to be done, which I why I am seeking a second term. Every hour spent by our volunteers canvassing and campaigning ahead of the 2014 election helps make our vision for this borough’s future a reality.

I would also like to thank all of you who have made donations both big and small to the events we have held in 2013.

2014 will see many more opportunities to support me and my fellow councillors. We look forward to continue working with you all.

Press Release

Tower Hamlets schools ‘an example to the world’

Independent report praises borough’s education transformation as an international model

Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets has hailed the findings of an academic study into urban education that praised the remarkable turnaround in the performance of schools in the borough.

In 1997 Tower Hamlets Schools were rated the worst in the country and the following year Ofsted declared the council’s education department, the best-funded in the country, to be failing. Now, Tower Hamlets is seen as an educational success story: one of the few councils whose secondary schools are all rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted; and its exam results continue to improve, bucking the national trend.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman said:

“As Lead Member for Education in 2003, as Leader of the Council in 2008-10 and now as Mayor, education has always been at the heart of my vision for a better borough. I’m very pleased that the hard work of teachers, pupils and council officers is paying huge dividends and I’m sure we’ll see even more improvement in the future.”

The report, “Transforming Education for All: the Tower Hamlets Story” was authored by Professor David Woods CBE, Professor Chris Husbands and Dr. Chris Brown concludes that: “It is not unreasonable to argue that what Tower Hamlets has created are some of the best urban schools in the world. This is a genuinely exceptional achievement, worth celebrating, worth understanding, but, above all, worth learning from.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

The report cited several reasons for Tower Hamlets’ success:

• Ambitious leadership at all levels
• Very effective school improvement
• High quality teaching and learning
• High levels of funding
• External integrated services
• Community development and partnerships
• A resilient approach to external government policies and pressure

It cites numerous examples of practice and policy for other local authorities to learn from. These include:

• The Council resisted the politically motivated pressure to build new high school academies since it already had high-trust relationships with its maintained schools that now perform very well
• Attracting and retaining high quality teachers
• A focus on improving literacy at primary school so standards would therefore later improve at secondary school
• A rigorous focus on results and monitoring progress through data
• Investment in education – but money needed to be spent wisely
• More teaching assistants and other staff from the local community were placed in schools to support teachers
• The Authority took decisive action if leadership was found wanting: of 48 schools causing concern or in Ofsted categories, 42 Heads were replaced
• Schools have also been encouraged to work together and will support neighbouring schools who may be struggling
• Business mentoring offers secondary students access to a regular meeting with an adviser from the business world.

The authors cite GCSE results as one clear indicator of the change over the past 15 years. In 1998, just 26% of students gained five or more higher-grade GCSEs, way below the national average of 43%.

In 2012, 61.8% of students achieved five GCSE grades A*- C including English and Maths, higher than the national average of 59.4%.

• The authors are available to be interviewed
• Filming or photographic opportunities can be set up at local schools
• Interviews can be arranged with headteachers, students and politicians
• The full report can be viewed at
http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/news__events/news/december_2013/borougs_schools_praised.aspx

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