‘We have found Mayor Rahman to be fair, accessible and accountable’ –Tower Hamlets Citizens statement

Letter to the office of Mayor Lutfur Rahman – 30th April 2014

Tower Hamlets Citizens Statement in response to Panorama programme on Tower Hamlets 31st March, and the decision by the Metropolitan Police on 17th April that there was ‘no case to answer’.

Statement made by Tower Hamlets Citizens well before electoral process for May 22nd; absolutely not intended as an endorsement of any candidate for Mayor.

30th April 2014

We are all leaders in long term member communities of TELCO in Tower Hamlets. We are aware that the person and office of the Mayor have attracted negative publicity recently.

We are proud to be residents of Tower Hamlets and enjoy the diversity and challenges of both working and living here. Whilst we would much prefer this negative publicity not to have happened, we would like to put the record straight on our shared experience of working with Mayor Rahman and his administration since his election in 2010.

Tower Hamlets Citizens, like all the membership of Citizens UK, TELCO and London Citizens is a non-partisan alliance of local institutions that agree to work together for the common good. We exist to influence and strengthen the governance of our Borough, City and nation – and to ensure our own members participate fully in public life. To do this we seek permanent working relations with the power brokers of our communities and enjoy working with both the business community and the State on issues and interests we share.

We raise our own funding to employ two Organisers and would neither seek nor accept money from the State – local or national. TELCO was founded in 1996 and has enjoyed a positive relationship with each Council Leader in Tower Hamlets since then, (and this would include Cllr Biggs when he was Chair of Planning) – and this has continued seamlessly since the election of Mayor Rahman.

In April 2010, before the first election for Mayor in Tower Hamlets, Cllr Lutfur Rahman attended our ‘Mayoral Accountability Assembly’ in SS Mary and Michael RC Church in Shadwell along with five other candidates seeking election. We presented all of them with the same proposals and invited them to commit to work with us over the next four years. Mr Rahman agreed to all of our proposals and, once elected, has been absolutely true to his word. This applies especially to leading on building Living Wage into the Borough’s procurement strategy; supporting the St Clements Community Land Trust and our CitySafe campaign; attending our 15th Anniversary Assembly in 2011 and the Olympic Iftar we organised in July 2012 and, most importantly, making himself, his Cabinet and his senior officers available to meet with us on a regular basis.

To summarise, we have found Mayor Rahman to be fair, accessible and accountable regarding the Citizens proposals worked on together; he has treated Citizens leaders and members with respect and given due and generous recognition to our efforts to make Tower Hamlets the vibrant and successful Borough it is. We wish all the Mayoral candidates well and thank them for standing for office. Tower Hamlets Citizenswill continue to work together for the common good and seek to hold the Mayor and their administration to account into the future – in the same way we do each other.

Tower Hamlets Citizens

Dilowar Khan. Whitechapel.
Rev Adam Atkinson. Bethnal Green.
Captain Nick Coke. Stepney.
Nurul Ullah. Shadwell.
Fr Tom O’Brien. Bethnal Green.