Tower Hamlets mayor faces questions over East End Life

THE MAYOR is set to be quizzed about his role with the council news sheet East End Life.

A Freedom of Information request for details of the mayor’s diary revealed that Lutfur Rahman met with the head of communications Takki Sulaiman to “look at the proposed news list for East End Life.”

Council free sheets are under fire nationally and Local Government Minister Eric Pickles wants to tighten up the rules to “stop propaganda on the rates”.

The Conservative group on Tower Hamlets council has tirelessly campaigned to close the paper down and its calls are becoming more insistent in the current economic climate.

The revelation that Mayor Rahman had a meeting to look at the proposed news list and mayor’s column with the head of PR on November 23 and 30 and December 7, 14 and 21 has added fuel to the fire.

At the council meeting on Wednesday February 2 councillor David Snowdon (Millwall) plans to ask the mayor to “intimate whether he has directed the Head of Communications or any other officer to include or exclude a story for this publication, or specified which stories he wishes his picture attached to.”

At the same meeting councillor Maium Miah (Millwall) aims to quiz that mayor on whether he will abolish the weekly East End Life in the next financial year or “hang onto” it until forced by central government to ditch it.

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The council paper costs �1.5 million a year to produce.

Already some council publications have fallen by the wayside, with Hammersmith and Fulham’s version shutting down last autumn.