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Resignation councillor sets record straight

PUBLISHED: 17:05 10 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:41 05 October 2010

I WOULD appreciate the chance to make a clarification to an otherwise fair and accurate article in the October 9 edition concerning my resignation as councillor for the Mile End East ward. The article states that I was forced to resign  as Lead member

I WOULD appreciate the chance to make a clarification to an otherwise fair and accurate article in the October 9 edition concerning my resignation as councillor for the Mile End East ward.

The article states that I was "forced to resign" as Lead member for Housing and Development after criticising the then Leader, Denise Jones.

This is not the case. I had undergone my first operation in August and was finding the burden of a full-time job and cabinet responsibilities more than I could handle; and before a run of particularly heavy and controversial public meetings I asked for Cllr Jones' support in rescheduling some of the meetings.

I was not asking for time off, merely to postpone what could wait a few weeks until I was feeling stronger.

I was very surprised when she refused to do this especially after I had supported her leadership very strongly.

I was feeling so unwell at the time that I simply felt unable to manage. It was an incredible disappointment although Cllr Jones and I part as friends. It happened in the week that Crossrail got the final go-ahead, so, despite everything, I quit on a high note.

I feel very privileged to have served as a Councillor and Cabinet member in both Lambeth and Tower Hamlets and to have participated on many projects which will benefit both boroughs for years to come-my faith in local democracy remains as strong as ever.

Rupert Bawden

Former Councillor, Mile End East

Tower Hamlets

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