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Now let's restore democratic input in town planning

PUBLISHED: 14:12 20 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:42 05 October 2010

THE leader of Tower Hamlets Council is to be congratulated on his clear statement that the Town Hall will retain Bancroft Archive and Local History Library. He declared: "It will not be sold." A courageous decision of the present council leadership would be to restore the democratic input into planning as it exists in almost all other local authorities

Dear Editor,

THE leader of Tower Hamlets Council is to be congratulated on his clear statement that the Town Hall will retain Bancroft Archive and Local History Library.

Cllr Lutfer Rahman declared: “It will not be sold.”

It is hoped that the council will now obtain an independent commercial valuation to illustrate to Queen Mary College its derisory offer of £1.2 million.

Perhaps that amount could be offered to the council for restoring the two very large magnificent public reading rooms on the first floor which will be of mutual advantage to college students and public alike.

Congratulations are in order, as I think Lutfer is the first Leader to acknowledge the strength of public opinion.

The last time there was a similar public campaign was over the building of luxury’ flats on the remaining bombed out land which was ideal for a Second World War civilians’ memorial at Wapping.

It was at the final agitated council planning meeting of activists that an appalling Chair ruled that from then on only one person would be allowed to speak on behalf of objectors.

Since then, the power has shifted to the developers—with some disastrous results.

A courageous decision of the present council leadership would be to restore the democratic input into planning as it exists in almost all other local authorities.

Belle Harris

(former Tower Hamlets Councillor)

Tredegar Square

Bow

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