Tower Hamlets Council has agreed to hold a referendum on whether the borough should keep the mayoral system or move to the ‘leader and cabinet’ system. The referendum will be held on the same day as the London assembly and mayoral elections in May 2021.

Last week the Labour Group voted in favour of the referendum proposal put forward by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs, which triggered the plans being brought to the full council meeting. Members of the council voting overwhelmingly to give the people of Tower Hamlets their say.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “It’s been over ten years since Tower Hamlets voted to adopt the mayoral system in a referendum. This has been a decade overshadowed by the former mayor’s removal from office and government commissioners taking over our powers.

“Since then we have worked tirelessly to turn Tower Hamlets Council around and bring our council back into the mainstream.

“I’m glad that members of the council have agreed to give the people of Tower Hamlets their say on how they think their council should be run. There are many different views on what system works best, and it’s only right that we get on and ask local people to decide for themselves what they think works best for the borough.

“The debate that follows must be focussed on securing good governance, accountability and ensuring that whatever system we use delivers for Tower Hamlets during these really difficult times.”

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