On Residents’ Side, Working Together for One East End: John Biggs joined by Eddie Izzard to Launch Manifesto in Tower Hamlets

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Labour's mayoral candidate, John Biggs, today launched his manifesto for Tower Hamlets alongside Rushanara Ali MP (Bethnal Green and Bow), Jim Fitzpatrick MP (Poplar and Limehouse), Angela Eagle MP (Shadow Leader of the House of Commons), Heidi Alexander MP (Lewisham East), candidates for the local and European elections as well as comedian and campaigner Eddie Izzard.

The manifesto is the basis for accountable, transparent politics for Tower Hamlets to make the borough a safer, cleaner and more affordable place to live for all residents.

John’s five key pledges are:

Greater transparency and accountability – John Biggs will restore trust in Tower Hamlets by being accountable to residents in public meetings, answerable in the Council Chamber and showing respect for scrutiny. There will be an end to the Council spin machine – stopping the stream of pointless photo opportunities and the abuse of East End Life as a publicity channel.  He will scrap the current Mayor’s £42,000-a-year taxpayer-funded Mercedes and excessive unelected paid ‘advisors’. 

Free school meals for every child – Labour has drawn up a fully funded and sustainable plan to fund free school meals for all primary school pupils in the borough, to help hard pressed families and allow well-nourished kids to focus on learning. 

24hr ASB line to help tackle rising crime – Labour will introduce a 24hr noise and anti-social behaviour service at weekends, to ensure people’s complaints are addressed.

Build 1,000 council homes and ensure a fair deal for local renters by creating a council run lettings agency – Labour will radically increase council house building and establish a council-run lettings agency to help people in private rented homes to get the best deals, cut their costs and clamp down on rogue landlords.

Scrap bulk waste charges – Labour will abolish the Mayor’s current bulk waste charges which have led to the number of bulk waste collections plunging from 15,000 to just 9,000 – a drop of more than a third – meaning a combination of bigger stealth taxes for residents and more waste on our streets.

Wednesday’s event will begin in the garden of St Margaret’s House, where John will be joined by Eddie Izzard, and several members of the diverse and talented team of local people selected by Labour to stand in next month’s elections for the council and for the European Parliament.

The team includes local people from a range of backgrounds with experienced councillors standing alongside fresh talent from the fields of business, education and the charity sector.

Eddie Izzard said:

“Tower Hamlets needs a Labour Mayor with strong, honest and fair leadership to bring communities together and unite the borough as One East End. That’s why I'm backing John Biggs for Mayor of Tower Hamlets and I'm proud to be out campaigning alongside him here today”

John Biggs, Labour’s Candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: 

“Like everyone in Tower Hamlets, I hate seeing our borough in the headlines for the wrong reasons as it has been recently and I want to change the way the council is run so we can focus on what matters to residents: a safer, cleaner, greener borough. With this team of outstanding local candidates I am determined to become Mayor and bring the positive change to the Council residents need. 

"It's fantastic to be supported by Eddie Izzard, a comedian and campaigner I have long admired – who has strong ethics and puts the work in to back up those principles”

Labour Group Leader Cllr. Sirajul Islam Said:

"Whilst Lutfur Rahman has continuously put Tower Hamlets in the headlines for all the wrong reasons we have been focusing on the things that matter to local people. Policies which will make a real difference like free school meals for all primary school pupils, a 24h weekend noise service and a much needed commitment for 1,000 new council homes.

“Labour offer Tower Hamlets the chance to get our borough back on track. Combining popular new policies with a pledge to also get the basics right, unlike Lutfur Rahman.”

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