Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman pens strongly-worded challenge to Boundary Commission

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman has published a letter slamming planned changes to the borough’s electoral wards following the conclusion of a public consultation.

In the strongly-worded letter, Mr Rahman called on the Local Government Boundary Commission to scrap its plans to re-name wards after the tumultuous consultation period came to an end on Monday.

Mr Rahman’s detailed his response to the plans, writing that he objected in the “strongest possible terms” to the proposals to scrap ‘Banglatown’, the removal of ‘St Dunstan’s’ from the Stepney Wards, and the re-naming of East India and Lansbury as Poplar North.

Referring to the move to drop the name ‘Banglatown’ from the Spitalfields and Banglatown ward, he wrote: “I struggle to comprehend why any individual or political entity would regard dispensing with this name as desirable, aside from as a very cynical blast on the proverbial dog whistle, aimed at attracting support from people who resent the Bangladeshi community’s presence in t he area.

“Accordingly, renaming the ward as merely ‘Spitalfields’ would be a hugely reactionary, retrograde and provocative step”.

The Commission is due to publish its final recommendations in Spring this year.

Its draft proposals had also attracted criticism for removing the names of former Labour Party leader George Lansbury and former Bishop of London St Dunstan from ward names in the borough.

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Mr Rahman concluded: “I hope that you will consider my submission, as well as the views of hundreds of local residents expressed in related petitions, extremely carefully when arriving at a final decision.”