East End fears Cameron axe will hit vital public services

SWINGEING cuts to public services could hit London’s deprived East End with David Cameron as new Prime Minister at No 10, the new leader of Tower Hamlets Council fears. Helal Abbas told the East London Advertiser he expects a severe squeeze from the Government

By Mike Brooke

SWINGEING cuts to public services could hit London’s deprived East End with David Cameron as new Prime Minister at No 10, the new leader of Tower Hamlets Council fears.

Helal Abbas, who was elected unopposed at Monday night’s ruling Labour group meeting at the Town Hall, told the East London Advertiser today that he expects a severe squeeze from the fledgling Tory-Lib Dem coalition Government at Westminster.

“They will make large cuts to services which have been the bedrock in Tower Hamlets,” he said.

“Our services now face severe cuts which include training, getting young unemployed into work and housing for rent that we’re committed to. But it’s all now under threat.

“The Conservatives are no friends of public services. The East End benefited from the Labour government over the years. All our public services are now going to feel the squeeze.”

The father-of-three had the overwhelming backing of 26 Labour councillors at Monday’s meeting. Outgoing leader Lutfur Rahman, with just 15 supporters, decided not to run against the man he ousted two years ago.

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But the new administration will only have months before the ballot for a directly-elected mayor for Tower Hamlets who will assume many of the local authority’s powers.

Cllr Abbas may not want to be a caretaker’ council leader treading water until the new mayor takes over in October.

Insiders are tipping him to run for Labour candidate for mayor. He is considering the challenge, he told the Advertiser. Meanwhile, he has a clean slate as council leader to pick his cabinet, which he announces tomorrow (Thursday).

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