Labour councillors, backed by local MPs Jim Fitzpatrick and Rushanara Ali, have tabled an emergency motion for Tower Hamlets Council meeting, 21 January, calling on Mayor Lutfur Rahman to rethink his waste management procurement process to prevent a waste crisis in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
Mayor Rahman has already pulled a Cabinet paper detailing the process for commissioning the Council’s £416 million contract for keeping Tower Hamlets clean over the next 16 years, due to public concerns about the lack of council owned depots in the new tendering process.
The Labour Party Motion urges Mayor Lutfur Rahman to:
- protect local waste services including a local depot
- thoroughly investigate the option of bringing waste services in house, and
- instruct officers to explicitly identify how the new waste management proposals will improve street cleaning, flytipping collection and recycling rates, including more options for recycling for those living in blocks
There are already extensive problems with waste management in the borough, with local residents regularly raising concerns about dirty streets, missed rubbish collections and flytipping hotspots. This was exacerbated by the Mayor bringing in charges for bulk rubbish collection in June 2012.
Tower Hamlets Labour MPs and councillors are running a campaign to ‘Clean Up Tower Hamlets’. Residents are encouraged to tweet using #CleanUpTowerHamlets and to visit the website www.towerhamletslabour.org.uk
Labour believes that all options for waste management must be thoroughly considered and openly discussed in public. Councillors and MPs are speaking to residents about the condition of our streets and the importance of protecting local facilities – something Lutfur Rahman is failing to do.
Cllr John Pierce, of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said:
“There is a very serious risk that if Mayor Rahman fails to look at all of the possible options then he could add millions of pounds to our rubbish collection costs, which would then be passed on to residents. We could also be in a crisis in rubbish collections if the full service is placed outside the borough with any local depots.
Mayor Rahman's obsession with outsourcing public services means he is not looking at getting the best deal for residents. It is incomprehensible to think that he even want to outsource our local depot, adding a multi-million premium to rent or purchase land outside of Tower Hamlets.
Cllr Rachael Saunders, Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said:
“Mayor Rahman has failed to clean up Tower Hamlets politics, he could now cause a waste management crisis if he fails to listen to local people and their concerns about his plans"
Labour is out speaking to residents and campaigning to Clean Up Tower Hamlets, something which Lutfur Rahman is failing to do.
We’re encouraging residents to get involved in our campaign, both in person and online, so that we can all work together to Clean Up Tower Hamlets and to prevent Mayor Rahman’s waste management crisis.”
Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Limehouse and Poplar, said:
“Clean and tidy streets are an essential part of a decent neighbourhood. The Council should be at the forefront campaigning on this.”