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

Joel Adesina was stabbed on December 5 in Padbury Court off Bethnal Green Road

A 20-year-old man will today appear in court charged with murdering Dagenham teenager Joel Adesina.

Yesterday, 07:00
Bangladeshi campaigners on hunger strike in Altab Ali Park

Activists held a hunger strike to remember those killed in Bangladesh’s independence war and call for the punishment of a man they consider one of the perpetrators.

Wed, 17:53
Mayor Lutfur Rahman (left) and local government secretary Eric Pickles

Government-backed council bosses arrived at the Town Hall today to seize grant-making powers, promising to “restore faith” in how Tower Hamlets operates.

Wed, 12:00
Catherine Santucci [inset] and mountain of gifts Queen Mary students distributed to rough sleepers on the streets

Students have answered a Christmas goodwill call to help feed and clothe the homeless who are sleeping rough on the streets of London.

Most read news

The mother of seven of the children suffered serious stab wounds. She remains in a stable condition in hospital.

According to the MoD, the answer is a resounded “yes”.

Lewis Hamilton’s metaphor for life is particularly deep, with many turns.

Prices are dropping like nobody’s business – and they’re set to fall further in January.

Digital Edition

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