Protesters rally against plans to close a Tower Hamlets one stop service in Bethnal Green

Around 40 people turned out for a protest against the closure of one of Tower Hamlets’ busiest one stop service shops.

The demonstrators outside Bethnal Green’s Rushmead centre last Saturday called on the borough’s Mayor Lutfur Rahman to shelve his proposals to close the service at this week’s cabinet meeting.

MP for Bethnal Green and Bow Rushanara Ali, City and East London Assembly member John Biggs, and leader of the Labour opposition at Tower Hamlets, Joshua Peck, joined service users, residents, community activists and trade union members at the rally.

Cllr Peck said: “So many people turning up on one of the coldest days of the winter to protest against this closure shows how important it is that the service remains open.

Rushmead provides vital face-to-face contact, information and support to residents helping them to access all of the council’s services including housing, council tax, social services and parking, as well as providing pension and debt advice.

“We are calling on the Mayor to reconsider his decision to close it when he has the chance to at this weeks’s Cabinet meeting”

Around 800 people have also signed a petition against the closure.

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Rushmead has been earmarked for closure to save more than �283,000 over the next two years,

as part of the council’s yearly budget discussions due to be held at next Thursday’s cabinet meeting. Mayor Rahman is facing �45 million of government cuts.