Tower Hamlets Council elects new speaker

Councillor Lesley Pavitt (centre) after being elected as the new speaker of Tower Hamlets Council

Councillor Lesley Pavitt (centre) after being elected as the new speaker of Tower Hamlets Council - Credit: Archant

The new speaker of Tower Hamlets Council was elected at its annual meeting last night.

Labour’s Cllr Lesley Pavitt was elected to the role with cross-party support, having served as deputy to outgoing speaker Cllr Rajib Ahmed during the past year.

Accepting the role, which involves chairing full council meetings, the councillor for Bethnal Green South said: “This is a real honour.

“My first role is controlling what happens in this chamber – and sometimes it’s not a pretty site. Let’s try to have a bit more discipline this year.”

During the year she will hold the role – which is equivalent to a ceremonial mayor – she will raise money for two charities.

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The first is Magic Me, which is based in Bethnal Green and which aims to bring people from different generations together to pursue “creative activity”

She will also be raising money for homelessness charity Cardboard Citizens, which aims to help people without a roof over their heads using theatre and performing arts.

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Outgoing speaker Cllr Rajib Ahmed, also form the council’s Labour group, said he had raised around £22,500 for his chosen charities – including Spitalfields poverty relief charity Toynbee Hall - during his year in the chair.

“I have had a very busy but rewarding year – one that I will always remember”, he said.

“I wish Cllr Pavitt the very best of luck for the year ahead”.

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