Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission’s �2,500 logo and banner

Almost �2,500 of tax-payers’ money was spent on a banner and logo for Tower Hamlets’ new Fairness Commission, which aims to tackle inequality.

The council spent �900 on the logo’s design, which was completed by its own team, as well as almost �1,600 on the design and printing of a plastic banner for the Commission.

A panel of 13 independent Commissioners was unveiled in November, with the aim of coming up with ways to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in Tower Hamlets.

The outlay was revealed by Labour councillor Bill Turner, who insisted that he supported the aims of the Commission but described the spending as “outrageous”.

“It is a good scheme which builds on the model set up by Labour boroughs like Islington”, he said.

“What we do not support is wasteful council spending on logo and banner design. Spending �2,500 on a logo is outrageous and could have been much better spent engaging with residents about their hopes for the Commission.”

The Commission, which is due to publish its report in early summer, is politically neutral but relies on public money - at a time when Tower Hamlets council is aiming to make �100m in savings over four years.

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A council spokesman justified the cost, insisting it was necessary to raise public awareness of the project.

“Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission is designed to help reduce inequality across the borough, and we are doing all we can to encourage residents’ participation in it”, he said.

“Raising awareness of the commission to residents so they can help shape the final report will invariably incur some costs, but costs will be kept to a minimum.”