Tower Hamlets council passes Labour's budget
by Gemma Collins LABOUR chiefs last night approved the council budget for the next financial year amidst a political slanging match between the Tower Hamlets parties. Membe
LABOUR chiefs last night approved the council budget for the next financial year amidst a political slanging match between the Tower Hamlets parties.
Members of the ruling party praised their own party's proposed budget as "progressive" and "financially responsible" as they spoke of council tax being frozen and nearly �10m being spent on `front line' services.
They dismissed accusations from the Tory Opposition that they were ignoring a �54m 'black hole' and branded Tory councillor, Tim Archer as "trying to please everyone" with his "embarrassing" alternative budget.
Speaking at the full council meeting, leader Lutfur Rahman said: "Council tax being frozen is not coming at the cost of front line services.
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"I'm not going to promote the future as rosy but what we want is to find money from our savings and invest in young people and in pensions.
"This package we have put forward meets the needs of all residents in Tower Hamlets."
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The Tories were proposing that East End Life be scrapped, councillors take a 10 per cent pay-cut, the council chops its advertising budget by half and shrinks its communications team.
The Liberal Democrats' suggestions of funding all free school meals for primary school kids and Respect's proposals to pedestrianise Brick Lane were also dismissed.
The Labour budget was passed by a majority with both Respect and the Lib Dems voting in favour and the Tories abstaining.