Why it's imperative Tower Hamlets residents vote

By Rob Virtue on May 21, 2014 3:54 PM |

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On Thursday east Londoners will have a chance to choose their future.

And nowhere in the capital will the fight be closer fought than in Tower Hamlets, where four years ago just one in four people eligible to vote took to the ballot box. The turnout at Tower Hamlets is easily the biggest factor in the outcome.

So mayoral candidates are urging the public to use their right to vote and decide who will hold the keys to £1billion plus worth of budget in the borough.

And the two favourites in what's expected to be a closely fought battle are desperate to get those last few votes which could make a huge difference.

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Labour's candidate John Biggs said: "This is our opportunity to change the direction of Tower Hamlets and prioritise the issues that matter the most: cleaner and safer streets; building affordable housing; and creating jobs. I want to restore transparency to the Town Hall, cut the cost of politics in the borough and bring the community together."

Meanwhile, Mr Biggs' main rival, current mayor Lutfur Rahman made an impassioned speech for re-election.

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"If you examine what I have delivered since becoming mayor I hope you will agree we are making real progress in improving our borough," he said.

"I have exciting plans to build on the progress over the next four years. When you vote, all I ask is that you judge me on my past record and vision for the future."

Others are also calling on the electorate not to waste their opportunity to vote in what will be a hugely important day for the borough.

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Conservative candidate Chris Wilford said: "The right to vote is something people have fought long and hard for over time. Make sure you vote for a fresh start and a long term plan for a better borough."

Green Party candidate Chris Smith said: "Around the world people are losing their lives in the fight for a democratic society. The only thing political parties notice is how many people voted for them. It's the only action that really counts in politics.

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"If people want a better world then a green vote is the most compassionate and caring one they can make."

Ukip candidate Nicholas McQueen said: "We have a once in a generation opportunity to change the way that we are governed in the East End, by choosing to reject the old parties.

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"A vote for me is not wasted: if you vote Ukip you will get Ukip."

Voters will also have a key second vote in the election.

Local and European elections will also be held.

Elections are also taking place at Greenwich and Newham. The mayoral election in Newham sees Labour's Sir Robin Wales as the favourite.

Stefan Mrozinski is the Conservative mayoral candidate.

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