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Whilst Lutfur Rahman’s own figures demonstrate that Bromley by Bow, Mile End East and East India and Lansbury are the poorest parts of the borough, those areas received the least support from Lutfur Rahman’s grants schemes.   
 
  • East India and Lansbury has the highest child poverty in Tower Hamlets at 54%, but organisations there only received 4.6% of all grants.  
  • Bromley by Bow has 52% of its children living in poverty, 
  • Mile End East, and Bow East each have 51%.  Their percentage of grants was 2.3%, 3.74% and 1.17% respectively.  
  • This compares to the 14.43% of all grants that went to Spitalfields and Banglatown ward, the ward in which Lutfur Rahman himself was previously a councillor.

Cllr Rachael Saunders, Leader of the Labour Group, said:
“The Labour Group has repeatedly sought to hold Lutfur Rahman to account for his unfair grant making decisions.  He has never justified them in public, publishing the decisions online without debate and refusing to attend scrutiny meetings to discuss them.  

 
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What is clear is that it does not relate to need.  The poorest parts of the borough received the least support from Lutfur Rahman.  Indeed, the welfare advice funding for Bromley by Bow and Mile End East was cut by Lutfur Rahman in his mainstream grants decision.  It is this opaque decision making and lack of fairness and transparency that led us to call for the recruitment of a council chief executive - whilst Lutfur Rahman may still be the mayor, councillors and residents need someone they can go to for answers”.

New analysis demonstrates unfairness of the grants schemes run by Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman‏

Whilst Lutfur Rahman’s own figures demonstrate that Bromley by Bow, Mile End East and East India and Lansbury are the poorest parts of the borough, those areas received the least...

Government changes which would mean offices, light industrial, and warehousing could be converted into housing without any need for planning permission have come under fire from local London Assembly Member John Biggs who has warned that they threaten employment space and jobs in his East London constituency.

Biggs attacked the policy which is currently the subject of Government consideration and highlighted the Mayor of London’s failure to stand up for London after exemptions originally granted to parts of the capital look set to be removed.

The Government proposals would allow property owners to convert employment spaces – offices, light industrial facilities, and warehouses – into flats overnight without the need for planning permission. The policy was originally introduced for offices on a temporary basis last year but is now set to be made permanent, having already resulted in the loss of half a million square metres of office floorspace in London, most of which was occupied by businesses and organisations.

 

A national survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors found that permitted development contributed to the largest reduction of commercial space since records were kept. Now the Government proposes making the policy permanent, removing exemptions that were granted under the temporary measure, and extending permitted development rights to any light industrial and warehousing use.

 

John Biggs AM, Labour London Assembly Member for City & East London, said:

 

“The Government’s plans are a clear threat to jobs and businesses. Allowing property owners to convert offices, light industrial, and warehouses into flats without the need for planning permission is a reckless measure which sacrifices jobs. It results in the wrong types of and sub-standard housing in the wrong locations, and without any contribution to affordable housing or consideration of local infrastructure such as schools.

“There is a huge amount at stake, not just in my constituency but also in the rest of London. Permitted development drives up the land value of employment space – even where property owners don’t convert, they will use it as a reason to increase rents, forcing businesses to close or to leave London.

“The Government regularly boast about London’s economic recovery but unless they back down on this change that fragile progress will be under threat.”

Businesses in East London will face threat of eviction as a result of Government’s planning changes

Government changes which would mean offices, light industrial, and warehousing could be converted into housing without any need for planning permission have come under fire from local London Assembly Member...

Labour London Assembly Member John Biggs has called on Boris Johnson to explain why tickets for the London New Year’s Eve fireworks display were being resold by online ticket touts for up to £500 each; fifty-times their face value of £10. The Mayor recently took the decision to make this year’s event ticketed for the first time since it was established in 2003, and since tickets went on sale last Friday, touting websites have been cashing in, with tickets on sale over the weekend for £500 each.

When questioned about measures to stop touting prior to ticket launch, the Mayor was unable to say whether a strategy had been put in place. The Greater London Authority issued 100,000 tickets for the event to limit numbers around the River Thames during the display, with the Mayor arguing that the £10 cost of each ticket would “barely cover the cost of the ticketing”.

Last week, John Biggs’ colleague, Fiona Twycross AM, wrote to the Mayor to ask why no system appeared to be in place to prevent the public from being ripped off by touting, particularly given anti-touting procedures are now common for many events and were implemented successfully during the London Olympics.

Labour London Assembly Member for City & East London John Biggs said:

“Last year the New Year’s Eve fireworks attracted half a million people, yet the Mayor has only released 100,000 tickets for this year’s event. With 400,000 people set to be disappointed, it is clear there will be massive unfilled demand - making this event a ticket tout’s dream.

“This is a celebration funded entirely by the public through their taxes. It is bad enough that Boris Johnson wants to exclude many families from this event who will not be able to afford a £10 ticket; but it is absolutely shameful that no protection appears to have been put in place to prevent touting.

“Touting was successfully prevented during the London Olympics, so it would highlight an extraordinary level of carelessness if it emerges that these same policies weren’t automatically applied to this event as well. As a result of this failure we are seeing tickets gobbled up by touts set on cashing in on this fantastic event.”

Boris Johnson urged to explain New Year’s Eve fireworks ticket fiasco

Labour London Assembly Member John Biggs has called on Boris Johnson to explain why tickets for the London New Year’s Eve fireworks display were being resold by online ticket touts...

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