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Last night, Tower Hamlets Council met to discuss and debate the budget for the next financial year. The Borough, with the highest child poverty in the UK and facing severe Tory government imposed cuts, faces key decisions on issues that should be prioritised. The National Labour party has pledged to extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents with three and four-year-olds paid for by an increase in the bank levy.

TH Labour Group’s proposals focussed on tackling child poverty, cleaning up our streets, making sure our streets are safe and fighting against Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s vanity spending.

Labour proposed scrapping the Mayoral car, cutting his advisors and cutting council communications – saving nearly £600,000. The Mayor’s advisors alone cost council taxpayers £350k.

Labour believes this money is better invested in:

* Investing £250k into childcare places for two-year-olds

* Reversing cuts to streetcare monitoring

* Investing in a 24 hour noise service

* Reversing cuts to the Leaving Care Service

Cllr Rachael Saunders, Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said:

“Tower Hamlets Council has the highest rate of child poverty in the UK and that is something the Council must be absolutely focussed on changing.

Lutfur Rahman promised to protect frontline services – he has failed in that. He tried to close our nurseries and his budget proposes severe cuts to the Leaving Care Service, a vital frontline service that encourages opportunities in education, training and employment for Looked After Young People and care leavers.

Labour will continue to fight against child poverty, both in Tower Hamlets and across the UK.”

Cllr Danny Hassell, Labour lead for Schools and Children's Services, said:

“Our proposals reflect the clear commitment that Labour has to protect vital front line services. Nationally Labour has pledged an increase of hours for three and four year old places and locally we have proposed further investment in two year old places. We believe that a good area of investment is funding to help schools, which have an attached nursery, to give them the support and funding to help develop this provision. We know that these settings will be able to provide the high quality provision that is necessary to give these poorest children the very best start in life.”

Cllr Ayas Miah, of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said:

“Cutting vital frontline services seem to be a theme of the Mayor’s budget proposals – and that’s why Labour is proposing we protect the Leaving Care Service from damaging cuts. The Labour Group firmly believes that paying for police officers to keep our streets safe is far more important than paying for the Mayor’s expensive lawyers and judicial reviews with public money.

The Labour Group argues that spending hundreds of thousands on communications for the Mayor, while Tower Hamlets has the highest rate of child poverty in the UK, is simply wrong and must not continue.”

Labour Fights Child Poverty

Last night, Tower Hamlets Council met to discuss and debate the budget for the next financial year. The Borough, with the highest child poverty in the UK and facing severe...

Police are investigating reports that three young girls from Tower Hamlets, Kadiza Sultana aged 16, Shamima Begum and Amira Abase aged 15, have disappeared from their homes and are believed to be travelling to the Turkish/Syrian border to join the self-styled Islamic State.

The girls boarded a Turkish Airlines flight at Gatwick on Tuesday 17 February. UK police officers have travelled to Turkey to assist.

Cllr Rachael Saunders, Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group and Shiria Khatun, Deputy Leader, said:

“The girls’ safety is our primary concern and we urge anyone with information on these vulnerable girls to come forward and share that information with the police.

“We are also deeply concerned how these young girls were able to leave the UK and travel to Turkey.

“We all have a role to play in supporting parents, families, schools and our wider community to increase resilience to the threat to our safety created by those who seek to spread hate. Safeguarding our young people is of the utmost priority. Anyone with teenagers in their family will have been holding them a little bit closer over the past few days. Our thoughts are with the families of the three girls."

Police are encouraging anyone who has any information on this to contact the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.

Statement on three missing girls feared to have travelled to Syria

Police are investigating reports that three young girls from Tower Hamlets, Kadiza Sultana aged 16, Shamima Begum and Amira Abase aged 15, have disappeared from their homes and are believed...

Poplar and Limehouse election candidate, Jim Fitzpatrick, is backing an appeal from Cancer Research UK to help save more lives in the constituency and across the UK.

The Labour candidate visited the Cancer Research UK exhibition at Canary Wharf last week on Friday 13th February 2015, where members of the public were being invited to find out how to join the charity’s General Election campaign - Cross Cancer Out.

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Cancer Research UK was highlighting how crucial it is for future MPs to listen to their constituents by putting cancer at the top of their political agenda.

Jim Fitzpatrick demonstrated his support by placing a cross on giant letters spelling out ‘CANCER’

With predictions showing that now one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, Cancer Research UK says determined political action is urgently needed to help more people survive.

In the run up to the General Election, the charity is calling on candidates to back measures to ensure cancer patients receive the best treatment and are diagnosed early enough for that treatment to make a difference.

It is an appeal Jim wholeheartedly supports. He said: “While more people in Poplar and Limehouse will be diagnosed with cancer in the future, there is good news - Cancer Research UK’s work is helping to ensure more men, women and children survive.

“But with more than three people diagnosed with cancer every hour in London* and this number set to rise, it’s vital that we detect cancer earlier across the UK and offer all patients the best possible chance of surviving.

“I’m backing the Cross Cancer Out campaign, because it’s clear that there’s still much that we can do to beat cancer sooner. The political drive to beat the disease must match the pace of progress in research.”

Layla Theiner, Head of Public Affairs at Cancer Research UK, said: “The increase in the lifetime risk of getting cancer is primarily because more people are surviving into old age, when the disease is more common.

“We can’t avoid growing older, but we can prevent a crisis in the future by acting now to make our NHS cancer services among the best in the world.

“Without increased political support we could see the death toll from cancer rising in the UK and so early diagnosis and better treatments must be key priorities for the next Government.

“That’s why we’re calling on MPs and parliamentary candidates from all political parties to commit to ‘Cross Cancer Out’ and help ensure no-one’s life is cut short by this devastating disease.”

For more information and ways to get involved in the campaign, visit cruk.org/crosscancerout or join the conversation on twitter #CrossCancerOut.

Jim Fitzpatrick helps to Cross out Cancer in London

Poplar and Limehouse election candidate, Jim Fitzpatrick, is backing an appeal from Cancer Research UK to help save more lives in the constituency and across the UK. The Labour candidate...

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