John Biggs, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, joined Labour councillors from Weavers and Spitalfields and Banglatown wards this week as public support builds for the “Not on My Doorstep” campaign.
The campaign calls on Lutfur Rahman and the council to take urgent action to improve sanitation and quality of life for residents in the Brick Lane area and Shoreditch fringe. As a first step it calls on the council to provide pop-up loos for visitors across the area something other councils such as Hackney and Westminster have been doing for years.
Since its launch last week residents have shared their horror stories as well as their disappointment that the current Mayor continues to remain silent on this issue, apparently unable to take any action to address the most basic of council concerns - street sanitation. This is despite Lutfur Rahman's claims that "the way the borough looks reflects on all of us."
The petition has so far gathered more than 60 signatures and was featured in Time Out. Residents have also shown support for Labour’s proposals to introduce a 24-hour weekend anti-social behaviour hotline.
Askar Miah of Princelet Street said:
“When I’m watching TV in the evening with my family I can see people urinating on the wall outside my home and it makes us uncomfortable.
“We love the area but people are coming here for the bars and showing no respect for the community or the people that live here. They put drinks in cups, stand outside drinking and being noisy and then leave rubbish and urine by the house.
“The noise keeps me up and disturbs us. We need the weekend 24 hour noise line so problems can be reported while they’re happening.”
John Biggs, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, today said:
“Labour has made concrete proposals to tackle problems residents have raised – like bringing in the 24 hour anti-social behaviour line at the weekends.
“At the budget meeting this week, Lutfur Rahman should agree to cut his vanity spending on personal advisors and his Mayoral Mercedes and instead put money into programmes like this that will actually help residents.
“Brick Lane is meant to be a jewel in Tower Hamlets’ local economy but is being let down by failures of leadership. Anti-Social Behaviour and the quality of the poor street environment need to be addressed.”
One resident who signed the petition said:
“My family have lived and worked in the Brick Lane area for 25 years. With the increase of bars, clubs and nightlife the area has deteriorated into a 24/7 destination. The sheer volume of visitors to the neighbourhood is not equalled to facilities required, safe, clean toilets would be welcomed - so would curbing the amount of late night license bars.”