Tower Hamlets launches 'Our East End' quarterly after mayor kills off propaganda weekly
PUBLISHED: 14:10 10 June 2016
A new magazine is being launched today in London's East End replacing Tower Hamlets council's once-controversial East End Life newspaper.
The new quarterly glossy, Our East End, now complies with government regulations on local authority publicity that is paid for out of council taxes.
Mayor John Biggs, who has been battling to get council spending back on track after allegations of malpractice under the previous Lutfur Rahman administration, is banking on getting the government auditors out of the Town Hall after 19 months.
The auditors were sent in by the Communities Secretary to go through the books following widespread complaints and allegations of mis-spending and handing out public funds to often-unknown organisations favoured by the previous executive mayor.
The old administration—barred from office by the High Court last year—came under fire in Parliament for spending £1.5 million a year to run a weekly newspaper competing unfairly with the local press and using it for partisan propaganda.
Labour’s John Biggs pledged in his election campaign last year to stop its publication. The final edition appeared four weeks ago.
“We hope new quarterly magazine will become a trusted source of information,” he said. “it is one of many ways of keeping people informed about their neighbourhood and council services.”
The 32-page quarterly that replaces East End Life has none of the old partisan politics which gave it its dubious ‘Pravda’ tag in Parliament.
Instead, it carries interviews about council services, walks, and history, information about events and council meetings, with 120,000 copies delivered to households, community centres, schools and libraries. The first edition looks at parks, open spaces and summer activities.