Lutfur Rahman: I want to tackle worklessness

By Jon Massey on June 29, 2012 11:13 AM |

By Lutfur Rahman

lutfurrahman.jpgThis week, Jackie Sadek, chief executive of UK Regeneration, a developers' lobbying group, launched a deeply unpleasant attack on our borough.

She wrote: "There is that very special vortex of madness, that place which sensible people would do well to avoid - Tower Hamlets.

"I don't suppose that anyone who works in Canary Wharf has the faintest idea of what goes on in the host borough (that is if they even consider Canary Wharf to be in 'that borough' at all)."

Clearly Ms Sadek is ignorant of Tower Hamlets Council's excellent relations with Canary Wharf, and the fact many residents work there.

She then claims that a recent planning decision about the Fruit and Wool Exchange will result in lost jobs.

She does not pause to consider the effect on employment of the eviction of existing businesses in the Exchange.

Unlike Ms Sadek, the borough has to consider the wellbeing of all its people, not just developers.

Tackling worklessness is one of my top priorities. Through my agreement with Locog, residents have been offered more than 1,700 Olympic jobs.

Over the past three years, 1,000 young people have started an apprenticeship in the borough.

None of this is of remote interest to Jackie Sadek.

■ Lutfur Rahman is executive mayor of Tower Hamlets Council


Hereward said:

What is not of remote interest to Mayor Rahman is anyone who is not from his immediate support and interest groups.

I would like it if he could tell readers of this site what proportion of apprenticeships went to people outside the Mayor's own cultural group (people of Bengali heritage). They only constitute 40% of the population of the borough yet they currently make up the Mayor, the Speaker, the Deputy Mayor, the Deputy Speaker, all the "cabinet members" etc etc etc.

This is a rotten borough utterly opposed to the interests of the majority of its citizens.

We need Eric Pickles to come in and close it down.

Yes, 'UK Regeneration' lobbies for developers and greedy corporate interests. These interests want a historic building in Tower Hamlets emptied of its tenants: small businesses, Spitalfields Market traders etc - so they can demolish it. Plus two other buildings and destroy and build over a 17th century street for "regeneration." And they sneer at everything and everybody in the East End who gets in their way. They also neglect to inform people why and who they want to demolish our heritage for - ICAP plc, from the City.
The local councillors stopped these demolitions of the borough's heritage, by refusing the application to demolish - so that is hardly a "rotten borough." It was also the councillors who found out that ICAP is part of this demolition plan, from developers Exemplar Properties and the Corporation of the City of London. English Heritage objected to the demolitions along with hundreds of local people. Private Eye has been following the story. And now John Biggs is opposing the London Mayor's intervention, brought about by the developers who want to overturn the refusal. The "people of Bengali heritage" and "rotten borough" argument that @ Hereward puts forward is unpleasant and untrue in this, where there could be demolition of an historic area of Spitalfields. The 'majority of citizens' in Tower Hamlets do not want the 1929 London Fruit Exchange of Spitalfields Market - full of offices - knocked for offices. Regeneration should mean retention and refurbishment - not just demolition to make these developers more money.