Island Gardens Cllr Peter Golds says councillors need to recognise the interests of the electorate


- Credit: Archant

With the result of the Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward known, six weeks after the rest of the borough had voted, the long drawn out Tower Hamlets election has finally concluded. Those of us closely involved in this or any political campaign can often lose sight of the focus and interests of those we seek to represent. Some 31 per cent of voters in Blackwall and Cubitt Town ward cast votes for their three councillors. More probably watched the Tour de France, World Cup and Wimbledon final on the succeeding weekend.

Politicians and the media need to understand what engages the attention and interest of those we seek to represent. My group has ten pc of Tower Hamlets Councillors and holds the balance between those who support the Mayor and the remainder. Under the Mayoral system councillors have little power on decision making, apart from planning and licensing, indeed Lutfur Rahman refuses to delegate power and responsibility to his Cabinet. To misquote Kipling, “Payment without responsibility” is their lot.

Our job in the mainstream parties is to scrutinise the decisions that the Mayor alone makes. This will require attention to detail and hard work. The 27 non Tower Hamlets First councillors have a responsibility to do this, and do it well.

One new record set in the recent poll will be the Tower Hamlets First candidate who in six weeks contested two wards in a borough that he does not live in, using two different names and providing two different home addresses on his nomination papers. No wonder there is always attention on the political activities here.