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Town Hall has no respect for our East End heritage

PUBLISHED: 09:05 15 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 05 October 2010

Dear Ed, THERE is a statue in Limehouse of a man inextricably linked to London’s East End heritage, who shaped the nation we live in today. But you would have had a job finding it, Tower Hamlets council is allowing what illustrates the East End’s story to rot

Dear Ed,

JUST before you reach St Anne's Church at Limehouse, there is a statue of a man inextricably linked to London's East End heritage, who shaped the nation we live in today.

But you would have had a job finding the statue, now covered in ugly wooden sheets, standing like an upright corpse, our history shrouded and dead.

To compound his 'redundancy', he stands outside another discarded piece of East End history.

This man was Clement Attlee, post-War Prime Minister and MP for Limehouse. The building is Limehouse Library, a place of self-improvement and learning for generations.

But Labour Tower Hamlets council is allowing the architecture that illustrates the East End's story to rot before our eyes, mocking our forbears.

Ironically, much of our heritage is connected to the Labour Party (Clement Atlee was Labour Prime Minister 1945-51).

But Labour in Tower Hamlets does not care for history-theirs or any others. To understand this you only have to look at the baleful example of Bancroft Local History Library at Mile End which Labour threatened to close and Conservatives helped the (East London Advertiser) campaign to save.

The list of buildings which they are allowing to fall to ruin includes Bethnal Green Library, Limehouse Town Hall and Poplar Baths.

Even if you accept that preserving history is an expensive privilege, then what of the impact on our visual environment, the places we have to live? What a waste of great community buildings.

This failure to protect and utilise our architectural heritage is a testament to their misspent years in power. It marks their profligacy and, much worse-that they have no soul, no love for what makes the East End what it is and who we are.

Tony Glover

Bethnal Green (full address supplied)


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