Petition to close Tower Hamlets propaganda freesheet falls on deaf ears

Dear Ed... Daryl Stafford and I presented a petition to Tower Hamlets Council on February 23 asking them to scrap East End Life immediately.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman appears to be in denial that recent Government guidance has made clear the weekly paper (subsidised out of council tax) cannot exist in its present form as a weekly newspaper from May.

It costs �1.5m a year to us, the taxpayer. The legal requirement to publish public notices if placed in two of the local newspapers would cost up to �250,000. That is all the council is required to do—the rest is a pure propaganda machine for the Mayor and previously the Labour leadership.

Despite the clear savings that could be made and the inevitability of the end of this so-called ‘free’-sheet, Mayor Rahman is still persisting with a review into its future. Leading this review is the present Head of Communications, who also runs East End Life!

The determination of the Town Hall to keep this propaganda free-sheet running demonstrates how important the mayor considers the publicity value that it can provide.


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Unfortunately, he is asking us to pay for his publicity—and for the review.

This appears to be a common thread as in the same breath he is complaining about cuts being imposed (by the Government).

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He has also recruited three new positions to his office—an acting community liaison officer, a political advisor and a policy advisor. He is also spending more than �1m on external consultants!

I seriously question the priorities of his administration, as it seems it is more concerned about making sure the expansion of its own publicity machine, which we are paying for, rather than providing excellent and cost-effective services for residents.

Dinah Glover

Bethnal Green

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