Tax-payers shell out for Tower Hamlets councillor's £600 RADA coaching
PUBLISHED: 15:54 19 December 2012 | UPDATED: 17:16 19 December 2012
Cash-strapped Tower Hamlets council shelled out for 'public speaking' lessons for a councillor costing £300 per hour, it has emerged.
Labour councillor Mizan Chaudhury had two hours of lessons with coaches from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in September 2011 after being made speaker of Tower Hamlets council, at a cost of £600 to the tax-payer.
The revelation comes at a time when the council is trying to make £100m savings over four years.
Labour insists such training is offered “as a matter of course” to all speakers when they are first elected to the post, and that Cllr Chaudhury was unaware of its cost.
He said: “After being elected speaker I was offered public speaking and chairing training by the council in order to help me fulfil my role to the best of my ability.
“While I am shocked to learn the cost of the training this was not something I knew at the time, had I known I would have asked the council to find alternative arrangements.”
Cllr Chaudhury was made ceremonial mayor of Tower Hamlets in May 2011, before the post was renamed speaker of the council in November last year.
In an earlier edition it was incorrectly reported that Conservative group leader Cllr Peter Golds had called for an investigation. We apologise for any mistake.