Blackwall & Cubitt Town Cllr Peter Golds questions the mayor's use of funds and the regeneration of the borough
PUBLISHED: 14:31 07 August 2013 | UPDATED: 14:31 07 August 2013
In the centre of what was once East Berlin is a museum describing the unlamented former East German regime. This includes photographs, copies of newspapers and TV broadcasts. One feature of this is the unrelenting focus on the achievements of the regime, seen in street photographs and banners most of which had photographs of the leader accompanied by slogans. This relentless propaganda, far from encouraging support for the regime, was one of many factors which helped undermine it and lead to its eventual collapse.
Here in Tower Hamlets we have a Mayor/council leader who refuses to answer questions and only appears in public in carefully controlled situations. Yet at the same time he complains about government cuts whilst being chauffeur driven in streets festooned with banners and posters with his picture with slogans about his good deeds. In my ward he claims responsibility for the improvements both to George Green’s School and the massive Blackwall Reach development, neither of which would happen but for massive sums of money from central government, which, of course, includes the £320 million schools building programme.
Over 80% of all money spent in Tower Hamlets comes from the exchequer, money raised from taxpayers all over the country, and used in Tower Hamlets because there is a genuine need for regeneration in our borough.
When the Mayor talks about cuts, he should be start with his propaganda, his limousine and his ever growing army of personal advisors. Then east enders might accept some of his spin.
Many residents have complained to me about the continuous unsolicited mailings from the Mayor’s office, paid for by the council. In one case a letter was addressed to a resident with the word deceased after it. Neither the relatives of the recipient or their neighbours were impressed with this particular piece of propaganda. On this occasion the Mayor’s office used the council tax register, for the letter which cost us £30,000 to deliver.
Rather than having personal laundry delivered by a driver, The Mayor should use an Oyster card to travel round the borough, and see how residents live and work. Who knows, if he did this and was recognised, he might even have to answer questions from those he claims to represent rather than, as he does at council meetings, use human rights to avoid questions.