At a meeting of the Full Council last week, Tower Hamlets Council agreed a motion highlighting the progress made by the Labour administration over the past four years.
Councillors heard the key achievements of the Council including its below work in tackling poverty and inequalities in the borough:
- the Council’s multi-million Tackling Poverty Fund which has invested £6.6 million since 2017 in innovative programmes to support residents.
- providing Universal Free School Meals for all primary school children in the borough, one of only a few councils in the UK to do this.
- funding a 100% Council Tax discount for the poorest people in the borough.
The motion also highlights the progress the Mayor has made on tackling the housing crisis, with the Council on track to hit its target of 2,000 new council homes, with 2,046 homes delivered or in delivery.
The motion urged the council to continue its work in tackling poverty and addressing inequalities in the borough, and to continue to work with residents, partners and the Mayor of London to ensure Tower Hamlets residents are supported in these uncertain times as the borough emerges from the pandemic and as the cost of living crisis continues to worsen.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said:
“The last four years have been a very uncertain time for residents in Tower Hamlets with the fallout of a decade of Tory austerity further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Cost of Living Crisis which we now face.
“I’m proud of our record of delivering for Tower Hamlets residents in the face of these challenges. We have done great work in tackling poverty in the borough at its root cause, building more affordable homes for our residents and protecting vital services for those who need it.”
Cllr Asma Begum, Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth Services and Equality said:
“I am proud to second this motion and acknowledge the great work the Council has done over these past four years in what has to be the most challenging time for local authorities in recent memory.
“We have transformed our Children’s’ Services for the better, redesigned our youth services to make sure it delivers for our young people, and our pioneering Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission has done vital work in order to make our community fairer and more equal.”
Motion approved by Tower Hamlets Council
Administration Motion on the Council’s record
Proposed by: Mayor John Biggs
Seconded by: Cllr Asma Begum
This Council Notes:
- In 2018, the Mayor pledged 2,000 new council homes by 2022, and the Council is on track to hit this target, with 2,046 homes delivered or in delivery. There have also been 6,876 new affordable homes completed across the borough since 2015.
- That this Council provides Universal Free School Meals for all primary school children in the borough, one of only a few councils in the country that does this. This costs the council £3m per year, and means that 19,000 children get a meal, equating to an estimated saving for families of £450 per child.
- Although tackling crime and ASB is a police responsibility, the Council are investing in tackling crime and ASB by funding additional police officers and a council-operated ASB service. It has also set up a borough-wide Public Spaces Protection order to tackle the misuse of laughing gas and the associated ASB.
- The Council is also investing over £3m in an upgrade to the entire public space CCTV network.
- The Council has supported over 7,000 people into jobs or training since 2016, including supporting 1,052 young people, and created more than 1,000 apprenticeships.
- The Council’s multi-million pound Tackling Poverty Fund has invested £6.6 million since 2017 in innovative programmes to support residents affected by welfare reforms. Last year it also provided over £750,000 in Crisis Grants through our Resident Support Scheme.
- The current administration’s work in turning the council around after the failures of the previous mayor. Tower Hamlets Council has transformed from being directly run by Government Commissioners in the wake of the former mayor’s removal from office into an award-winning council.
- The Council’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission has set out recommendations for how we make our community fairer and more equal. It is currently delivering on these, and backing this up with over £1.5m of council funding to meet the ambitious targets set forth by the Commission.
- The Council declared a climate emergency in March 2019 and the council has committed to become a net zero carbon council by 2025 and a net zero carbon borough by 2045 or sooner. In 2021, Tower Hamlets Council was named the greenest local authority in the country.
- The Council funds a 100% council tax discount for the poorest in our community, one of the few places in the UK to offer this, meaning the poorest in Tower Hamlets don’t have to pay a single penny of council tax. For the financial year 2021/22 the Council has so far awarded £33m in Council Tax Support to nearly 34,000 council taxpayers.
This Council believes:
- Despite Council successes in the past four years, there is still more to be done to tackle the future challenges faced by Tower Hamlets residents.
This Council resolves:
- To continue its good work in tackling poverty and addressing inequalities in the borough, and delivering on residents’ priorities.
- To work diligently with residents, partner agencies and the Mayor of London to ensure Tower Hamlets residents are supported in these uncertain times, and to listen to the concerns put forward by Tower Hamlets residents.
- To work with other London boroughs to ensure good ideas and strategy can be shared and implemented for the benefit of all Londoners.