Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 28°C

min temp: 17°C

Five-day forecast

OAPs blockade Tower Hamlets mayor over cuts to their ‘lifeline’ centre

Pensioners picketing Tower Hamlets mayor over cuts to their day centre Pensioners picketing Tower Hamlets mayor over cuts to their day centre

Thursday, November 8, 2012
4:10 PM

Angry pensioners in London’s East End picketed their Town Hall last night and tried to block the mayor’s car when he arrived for his cabinet meeting.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

They were protesting over funding cuts to their day centre which they say is their lifeline which could soon face closure.

But Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman slipped into the building through a side door.

Instead, his deputy mayor Ohid Ahmed ended up in a confrontation with the octogenarians over cuts to funding for Bow’s Appian Court day-centre.

“We came here in the cold to confront the Mayor and ask why he won’t listen to the people,” said a furious 85-year-old Rose Rawlins. “Only two of our members are being allowed into the cabinet meeting—we all want to say our piece.”

Rose’s daughter Joanne Green, 47, said: “I was in tears when we heard the centre is losing £37,000 from its grant.

“We’ve got old soldiers who fought for their country who are too old to cook their own meals. The mayor has no right to take away their dinner club.”

Ted Lewis, 83, was one of only three of the 40 protesting pensioners allowed in to address the cabinet meeting.

He told the Mayor: “Appian Court isn’t just a luncheon club—it’s a social lifeline for us.

“People talk about ‘the Big Society’—we are ‘the Big Society’ in Bow. We don’t know where we’ll go if you stop our funding.”

But in the event, the mayor had dropped the item from the agenda and will make a decision about funding at another time.

The pensioners still turned up to protest. They were supported by Labour’s Joshua Peck who told the Advertiser: “The Mayor has backed down on taking a decision in public because of the pensioners’ campaign.

“Our worry is that he’ll go ahead with the cuts behind closed doors, with the stroke of a pen—it’s a cowardly move.”

The centre runs on £50,000 a year, hosting the Geezers’ Club for pensioners to get involved in community volunteering like they did at the summer Olympics and the Bow Belles women’s group. The mayor is planning to cut £37,000 from its grant.

Share this article

0 comments

   Local advertisers

Other Politics Articles

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the The Docklands & East London Advertiser on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find East London businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the The Docklands & East London Advertiser, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

Drake has cancelled his Wireless London performance (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for ESPN)

Fans devastated after Drake cancels Wireless London festival

Rapper Drake has pulled out of his headline appearances at this weekend’s Wireless Festival in London, leaving fans devastated.

Read full story »