Public votes on Tower Hamlets Council purse-strings for projects

The public is being asked to vote on what neighbourhood projects to spend Town Hall cash on across London’s East End.

Open forums are being held to help Tower Hamlets Council decide what to do with £170,000 for community improvements.

The council has earmarked up to £10,000 for each of its 17 wards and is holding neighbourhood forums next month when residents decide how the money is allocated.

“Nobody is more knowledgeable about a community than the people living there,” said Mayor Lutfur Rahman. “So it makes sense to put them in charge of deciding how to improve it.”

Each ward is getting at least £10,000 set aside for local improvements. Projects could include more play equipment, a community event, more litter bins or a community garden.

The local authority has been recruiting volunteers from each area to set up the forums, with 86 having signed up so far. The volunteers are arranging 17 introductory meetings during December, one in each ward, followed by two more in the New Year.

Residents are being asked at the first meetings what their three priorities are for improving their neighbourhood.

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The forums follow the success of Tower Hamlets Olympic Community Champions during the 2012 Games when an army of volunteers helped welcome visitors.