Tower Hamlets mayor breaks pledge made 10 years ago to sell stables for �1
The Mayor of Tower Hamlets could face legal action and also be reported to the Local Government Ombudsman over breaking a promise made 10 years ago to sell a run-down property for �1 to housing co-operative in London’s East End.
Lutfur Rahman has been accused of reneging on the pledge made in 2001 to offload dilapidated stables near Victoria Park to Grand Union housing.
His switch was challenged when the council’s scrutiny committee called in his u-turn and asked him to rethink.
But he told last night’s cabinet meeting that the sale would go ahead anyway—despite the promise made a decade ago.
A furious councillor Stephanie Eaton told the East London Advertiser: “The Mayor could be in breach of contract because the co-operative had an understanding it would have the property.
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“It has spent �16,000 over the years maintaining the stables after they were occupied by squatters.
“I am taking this to the Ombudsman as I believe the mayor is in breach of natural justice.”
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The Grand Union housing co-operative, which is understood to be taking legal advice, is prepared to pay the market tag estimated at �100,000, despite originally being offered it for just �1, a delegation told Tuesday’s scrutiny committee.
But it fears losing out if the mayor sells to the highest bidder rather than the organisation being chosen as ‘preferred buyer.’
The Victorian stables are part of a terrace it owns in Bethnal Green which it wants to use as offices.
The co-operative is currently in a cramped basement in one of the houses which could be used for a single tenant now occupying the family-size home above that could be freed for a family on the waiting list.