'Investors in People' award for Tower Hamlets Council after ridding itself of corruption
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 January 2019
A prestigious “people” award has been scooped by the once-tainted Tower Hamlets Council recognising an improved commitment to public services and its 4,000 workforce after emerging from the years of a previous corrupt administration.
The silver-rated ‘Investors in People’ it has been given is an international standard for managing staff, awarded at the end of a year when the town hall has come out of a government direction order.
“This is a tribute to our staff,” the council’s chief executive Will Tuckley said. “It’s gratifying to see the council’s journey of improvement recognised in this way.”
The award marks the council’s reorganisation following a previous corrupt administration which sparked government intervention.
Commissioners were sent into the town hall in 2014 to sort out the scandal of grants from the public coffers being dished out to dubious groups and dodgy property deals done behind closed doors. The government removed powers including grant making, contract procurement and selling off public property when the commissioners found malpractice and lack of value.
The move was followed by the High Court banning Lutfur Rahman from office in 2015 and overturning his 2014 re-election as mayor.
Will Tuckley was brought in shortly after to reorganise the authority and oversaw the council’s “transformation” into public accountability and transparency, with new rules for procurement, awarding grants, whistleblowing, selling off council property and running elections.
The commissioners were finally removed in 2017, when the government decided “a solid foundation had been created”.
This week’s Investors in People award citation proclaims: “The council continues to undergo significant self-review in order to create a sustainable organisation that is actively responding to a changing environment and financial challenges.”
The council, which is among just 13 per cent of all organisations achieving Silver standard, has also been recognised for achievements in the community since 2015.
It has approved £3 million for an extra 39 police officers and £1.4m to set up an anti-social behaviour team which has been creating major disruption to serious drug crimes.
The council is further noted for building more low-cost housing than anywhere in the country to help tackle the housing crisis.