Search

Chancellor challenged over police cuts ahead of budget by Tower Hamlets’ mayor

PUBLISHED: 19:01 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 19:02 20 November 2017

Warning shot fired by Tower Hamlets Mayor Biggs at Chancellor Hammond over budget police cuts. Picture: Mike Brooke

Warning shot fired by Tower Hamlets Mayor Biggs at Chancellor Hammond over budget police cuts. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

A warning shot has been fires at the Chancellor ahead of Wednesday’s Budget if it leads to the “devastating” cuts the Mayor of Tower Hamlets fears on police spending.

Limehouse police station closing to the puiblic. Picture: Google Limehouse police station closing to the puiblic. Picture: Google

John Biggs is using Wednesday’s full council meeting, the same day as chancellor Philip Hammond makes his budget address to Parliament, to slam government spending reductions unless there’s a dramatic last-minute U-turn.

All front-counter serves are closing in London’s East End except for Bethnal Green police station, remaining open 24-hours a day, with no more public access at Limehouse and the police office in Brick Lane—in the heart of the Spitalfields ‘night life’ quarter—being closed down altogether.

“It’s going to be catastrophic,” Mayor Biggs told the East London Advertiser tonight.

Chancellor Philip Hammond on BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Picture: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire Chancellor Philip Hammond on BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Picture: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

“Public confidence is suffering by cuts already made now reaching a point where people are at risk.

“People’s anxiety has risen about the recent spate in acid attacks, although numbers of incidents remain low.

“I hope the Chancellor comes back with ideas on Wednesday to address this public anxiety—he needs to find a way a way to relax cuts on police budgets.”

Mayor John Biggs... letter to Chancellor Hammond over police cuts. Picture: Mike Brooke Mayor John Biggs... letter to Chancellor Hammond over police cuts. Picture: Mike Brooke

The Met Police has made £600m cuts since 2013 and is being asked to make further £400 million savings by 2020-21.

“The reality is fewer police officers on our streets,” Mayor Biggs warned. “It’s important we stand up for local people—that’s what I was elected for.”

The mayor has sent a letter to the Chancellor ahead of Wednesday’s budget speech in which he warns of special concern in an area that includes key security sites like Canary Wharf.

Bethnal Green poolice station soon to be only 24-hour front-counter public service. Picture: Google Bethnal Green poolice station soon to be only 24-hour front-counter public service. Picture: Google

Tower Hamlets has already lost 197 officers and 98 support officers since 2010—yet the population has crashed through the 300,000 barrier and is predicted to rise by another 100,000 in the next decade.

The town hall is forking out cash to bring total number of council-funded officers up to 39.

But the mayor adds: “We cannot replace every police officer that is taken off our streets because of police funding cuts.” He calls on the chancellor to “give the police the funding they need”.

Cuts over the past five years have seen reduced hours and eventual closure of Chrisp Street police office and reduced neighbourhood police teams like Shadwell down from six officers and a sergeant to just one or two.

Police cuts are not new to the East End. The Isle of Dogs has long since lost its neighbourhood police office. Other long-vanished police stations over the years have included Arbour Square, Commercial Street and Leman Street. Even the River police at Wapping closed their front counter.

Latest East London News Stories

13:01

Mystery surrounds the identity of a man found dead on Hackney Marshes two years ago – with police no closer to knowing his name or what happened.

Yesterday, 23:31

A call has been made tonight for a return of government commissioners to take over all planning applications going through Tower Hamlets council in the light of fresh corruption allegations of a £2 million “bribery”.

Yesterday, 13:06

Weather warnings have been issued across London following heavy snowfall overnight and this morning.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A public meeting for renters to know their legal rights is being held in Whitechapel on Monday as part of a long-running campaign to protect private tenants from rogue landlords.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Joshua Ashley holds a fundraising event this-morning for the Apples and Pears cockney charity in London’s East End to launch his new personal fitness trainers app.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The families of two fire-fighters who died in a blaze in east London 13 years ago stood silently as a memorial was unveiled in their memory.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A penguin has been picked by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets for his official Christmas card from the town hall which has been drawn by a four-year-old.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A wheelchair dancer who thought she might never perform again after losing her leg is heading up a charity festive fundraiser.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now