Search

Tower Hamlets spent £47k on Brick Lane curry awards with Ainsley Harriott

12:41 01 May 2014

Mayor Lutfur Rahman judges curries at the launch of the Taste Brick Lane Awards

Mayor Lutfur Rahman judges curries at the launch of the Taste Brick Lane Awards

Archant

EXCLUSIVE: Tower Hamlets Council spent more than £47,000 of public money on a curry event in Brick Lane hosted by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott.

Ainsley Harriot speaks at the launch of the Taste Brick lane AwardsAinsley Harriot speaks at the launch of the Taste Brick lane Awards

The Taste Brick Lane Awards event on March 23 - commissioned by Mayor Lutfur Rahman, who also attended - saw the TV chef judge the street’s best curry houses, and featured entertainment from jugglers and dancers.

The council said in response to a Freedom of Information request by a resident that it spent £47,176 of taxpayers’ money on the one day event.

Conservative Cllr Peter Golds called the sum “extraordinary”.

He said: “Once again the Rahman administration has used taxpayers’ money, £47,000 in this case, for a publicity event enabling the administration to use a personality, rather than make improvements such as cracking down on touting and providing toilet facilities, both of which will last beyond pictures in East End Life.”

A spokesman for the Labour group said: “What Brick Lane needs is a coherent plan to deliver lasting change and restore the area to its former glory. Expensive one off events wont achieve that.”

The Taste Brick Lane Awards were run by events company Captive Minds, who the council chose after a procurement process.

Ainsley Harriott was selected using an agency and was paid to take part.

A council spokesman said: “As part of an ongoing programme of promoting the borough’s town centres and markets the council devised a marketing plan for Brick Lane.

“One of the objectives was to link up the two ends of Brick Lane and encourage market trade to visit the restaurants on a Sunday afternoon.

“The primary target audience were families and tourists. To create a point of focus, a celebrity chef, Ainsley Harriott, was used to compere and lead a curry tasting event.”

He added: “The event was a great success with significant crowds throughout the day.”

Related articles

Latest News Stories

07:00
Preparting fresh food for cookery class at Swanley's summer camp

A two-week ‘transition camp’ has been running to help primary children make the jump to secondary education when they join the new Year 7 at Whitechapel’s Swanlea School for the new term.

07:00
Arina

Demystifying the process of growing companies securing funding from investors and lenders is the aim of the first event of its kind in the UK.

Yesterday, 19:14
David Dutoit [inset] admits at Southwark crown court to historic sex charges

Detectives are appealing today for any more victims of paedophile David Dutoit to come forward and speak to police—now he has been jailed for six years.

Yesterday, 13:29
Tower Hamlets

Members of deposed mayor Lutfur Rahman’s former administration last night boycotted the vote to appoint a long-awaited chief executive at the troubled Tower Hamlets council in east London.

Most read news

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder