�56m of cuts passed by Tower Hamlets Council

The �56 million of cuts for the coming year have finally been given the green light as Tower Hamlets braces itself for the most drastic downsizing of services it has ever faced.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman stood firm on his plans for policing, council freesheet East End Life and youth services as he got his budget passed in the town hall last night.

The Labour party failed in its bid to replace Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers (THEOs), who have limited powers, with 17 police officers.

They also failed to force East End Life to be shrunk down to a quarterly publication to save �200,000.

The Labour amendment, which needed two thirds of the vote to be passed, attracted only 22 votes, with 18 councillors backing Mr Rahman and eight abstaining.

Speaking after the budget was passed Mr Rahman said: “The people of Tower Hamlets will be pleased.”

In stark contrast to the loud and impassioned scenes of previous meetings, the public gallery barely piped up.

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Accusations of threatening behaviour and homophobic remarks in the last meeting resulted in council chiefs allowing just 50 East Enders into the chamber.

Several councillors said they were saddened that the meeting was not open to more people.

In reference to past scenes, Mr Rahman said: “Such behaviour has no place in the chamber or any other place in a civilised society.”