Search

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

16:10 08 November 2012

Pensioners picketing Tower Hamlets mayor over cuts to their day centre

Pensioners picketing Tower Hamlets mayor over cuts to their day centre

Archant

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.

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.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 16:56
Muslim mothers against Isis extremism making a stand in London's East End

Muslim women have come together to “make a stand” in London’s East End against Isis and fight radicalisation in the community, after four schoolgirls fled top Syria.

Yesterday, 16:09
Volunteers clearing litter by the railway arches at Bethnal Green's Fleet Street Hill

Volunteers were busy tidying up the back streets under the railway arches where rubbish is always being dumped.

Yesterday, 14:32
Waiting to be rehoused by the council... a firecrest snapped by birdspotter DavidDarrell-Lambert at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park on March 4

Council housing is now being created in London’s East End—for the birds.

Yesterday, 11:19
Richard Long's first show at Whitechapel in 1971 and [inset] today at 70, presented Gallery's Art Icon award

Artist Richard Long has been awarded the 2015 Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon at a gala dinner honouring his lifetime achievement in sculpture, performance and photography.

Most read news

Competitions

Munch on a tasy three course dinner at The Refinery!

“Where to go for a drink near Great Portland Street?” was previously met with blank expressions and shrugs for those local to the area, not anymore, thanks to the opening of The Refinery at Regent’s Place, the eighth bar and restaurant from hugely-successful group Drake & Morgan.

Funky adidias iPhone cases up for grabs!

We’ve teamed up with adidas Originals to give away four iPhone 5/5s cases.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Docklands and East London Advertiser e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder