Budget to be decided at Tower Hamlets Council meeting tonight

Tower Hamlets Town Hall, Mulberry Place.

Tower Hamlets Town Hall, Mulberry Place. - Credit: Archant

The future of the borough’s finances will be decided tonight as the council set its budget.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman and his cabinet announced a range of budget proposals on Saturday ahead of the full council meeting where they will have to be approved.

The proposals, unveiled by the mayor at a press conference in Brick Lane, include freezing council tax for the fourth year in a row, moving the town hall as part of the Whitechapel Vision redevelopment and 20 extra police officers at a cost of £210,000.

Mr Rahman also announced £1.3million to get older women into work in the health and social care sector and no cuts to frontline services such as children’s centres, libraries and leisure centres.

Cllr Alibor Choudhury, cabinet member for finance, said: “We’re determined to strike the balance between finding the savings imposed on us by the government and protecting the services our residents rely on most.”

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The proposals could meet opposition from the Labour party, which claims there is an £80million gap in the council’s 2014 budget.

Cllr Carlo Gibbs, Labour finance spokesman, said: “There are clearly big decisions to be made about how to deal with the government’s savage cuts.”

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“While Labour councils have shown this can be done through innovation and investing for the future, Lutfur Rahman’s weak leadership means Tower Hamlets is missing this opportunity.”

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