Tower Hamlets Council met for a second time 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.
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 the Labour Group is dedicated to tackling this.
Our budget proposal, to provide funding for childcare places, aims to put flexibility in the system so that the most deprived two-year-olds can receive the childcare they are entitled to. Lutfur Rahman argues that the fault lies with the parents not taking up childcare places. The Labour Group is in touch with parents every day and recognises the truth: that Mayor Lutfur Rahman is failing locally to provide adequate places for childcare.
Lutfur Rahman promised to protect frontline services and has instead done nothing but try to cut them. He tried to close our nurseries and his budget proposes severe cuts to the Leaving Care Service, a vital frontline service.
Labour will continue to fight against child poverty, both in Tower Hamlets and across the UK.”
Cllr Ayas Miah, of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said:
“The Labour Group believes that we should be spending money on tackling child poverty rather than paying for expensive advisers for the Mayor. We also believe that the Mayor should be focussed on keeping our streets clean, rather than funding his own legal challenges with public money.
Pressure from the Labour Group has led to positive change: we forced the Mayor to think again about his failure to provide a local waste depot. The Labour Group also supported the Save our Nurseries campaign, which forced the Mayor to U-turn on his decision to close four public-run nurseries.”