We must keep check on new mayor

THE Opposition Tory Group on Tower Hamlets Council has sent an open letter to the Labour majority inviting them to join forces to keep the new mayor in check, following last Thursday’s election victory by Lutfur Rahman:

WITH the election of an independent as Tower Hamlets’ first directly-elected executive mayor, the composition of the council and the balance of power has changed. You now find yourselves in opposition and a man who does not so much have skeletons in the cupboard, but rather allegedly a whole walk-in wardrobe full of them, is now in charge of the �1 billion-a-year budget.

We as councillors should look to what we do next to protect and enhance the East End—rather than dwell on how we got here.

We have all been elected to serve the best interests of the people, something we know many of you take as seriously—as we do.

So it is our duty to provide effective and robust scrutiny of the directly-elected mayor and his cabinet, to provide healthy, critical and constructive opposition and to ensure that the disinfectant of daylight shines into every corner of the Town Hall under his leadership.

That’s what we as Conservative councillors have done ever since we became the official Opposition and what we will continue to do.

To this end, we call on the Labour councillors to work with us where appropriate, in opposition, to provide the checks and balances that is the hallmark of British democracy.

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We would expect your support to move key planning and licensing meetings to venues around the borough close to areas affected by the decisions, giving residents more opportunity to see our work as councillors and to generate greater participation in these decisions. We also want support for a resolution to move Cabinet meetings around the borough.

This situation is an opportunity for the responsible majority to demonstrate that the democratic and mainstream political parties will organise for the benefit of Tower Hamlets, while still maintaining our individual political integrity.

Councillor Peter Golds

Councillor Tim Archer

Councillor Craig Aston

Councillor Zara Davis

Councillor Dr Emma Jones

Councillor Maium Miah

Councillor David Snowdon

Councillor Gloria Thienel