They do listen (sometimes)

PUBLISHED: 17:36 17 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:42 05 October 2010

Ted Jeory puts East End politicians in the dock SADLY, the more you mix with politicians and council types, the more you think like them. So no sooner had the exhilaration sunk in of being by Town Hall leader Lutfur Rahm

Ted Jeory puts East End politicians in the dock

SADLY, the more you mix with politicians and council types, the more you think like them. So no sooner had the exhilaration sunk in of being by Town Hall leader Lutfur Rahman he was axing plans to sell Bancroft Library, you start to ask why, what's he up to.

But while, yes, he does say in his article in this week's East London Advertiser that Tower Hamlets council does not "at present" have any other building capable of housing the archives and history library, I think it's important to look at the bigger picture.

What Cllr Rahman and his close advisers on this issue, Marc Francis and Rofique Ahmed, have done here is fantastic and they deserve much credit.

Not only have they proved that politicians do sometimes listen (I suspect Labour was starting to seriously worry how Bancroft would bite its electoral bum in two years' time), but they've also shown they can also learn.

At cabinet last week, Labour agreed to spend £50,000 on 10 new "Welcome to Tower Hamlets" signs at the borough boundaries.

Politicians said this would help engender a sense of civic pride and without the decision on Bancroft, they would have been ridiculed.

Campaigners must now push the council to earmark some of the mind-boggling cash windfalls it gets from planning applications to upgrade Bancroft and genuinely put our money where its mouth is.



ONLY on strange Planet Politics would a bride-to-be have to choose between Parliament and wedding plans.

But that was the dilemma facing Stephanie Eaton before her big day last month when she was called to come to Cowley Street to be interviewed as Lib-Dem candidate for South Hackney & Shoreditch.

With the interview on the eve of her wedding to Labour bigwig David Edgar and with her family over from Australia, multi-tasking Dr Eaton, who normally manages many different roles at once, selflessly ditched the career option.

An alternative theory, of course, is that hubby Dave was already calling the shots.



LAST week, I jokingly nicknamed Tory group leader Peter Golds 'Buttons' after the pantomime character in Cinderella.

But I seem to have done the Dame a disservice. For Cllr Golds, he proudly tells me, was in fact the inspiration for one of Britain's best-loved TV characters-Dot Cotton.

Peter, you see, was a friend of the creator of EastEnders, the late Tony Holland, who died last year.

Holland, who researched many of the characters' names by walking around Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, used to tell Peter that one of the show's main stars was based on his mannerisms.

Given that Peter isn't a chain-smoking Bible-bashing nutcase, I can't think what he meant-can you?



After three incredibly rewarding years at the East London Advertiser, I've decided to accept an offer to work on a much smaller stage with a national newspaper and annoy people there instead.

For a couple of weeks now, I've been trying to devise a way of telling everybody without missing someone or causing anyone to moan they weren't told first.

So I thought I'd let the column do the talking-there's the news. It's been a ball.

My leaving 'do' is pencilled in for the Approach Tavern in Approach Road, Bethnal Green, next Friday evening (Oct 24). I'd love to see you there.



Final reflections on Tower Hamlets politics in next week's column (which might not be the last-I might ask the Ed if I can carry on heckling from the sidelines).


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