Labour has secured the future of the Tower Hamlets Educational Maintenance Allowance after lobbying the Commissioners who were imposed on the Town Hall to bring the council’s finances into order.
The Commissioners, who are scrutinising former mayor Lutfur Rahman’s grants process, agreed the EMA could continue. It offers eligible students £400 a year and was introduced after the national scheme was scrapped.
Despite the former mayor’s reputational collapse following a High Court case that revealed electoral irregularities and, separately, concerns over his distribution of grants, the EMA initiative was one of the few that garnered popular support.
The Commissioners put a hold on the scheme in May, before the election which saw the return of John Biggs to the mayoral office, but now has been cleared to continue.
Cllr Rachael Saunders, deputy mayor and cabinet member for education and children’s services, said: “Given the severe concerns over grant awards under the previous administration, the process we have gone through to review and clean up the council’s grants has been a really important one. There is still work to be done but there is no doubt the council is moving forward.
“I am glad that we have been able to secure the Educational Maintenance Allowance. The grant supports young people to complete their education, and gives them the resources they need to do well. We wanted to get it right, and it is right that the grant continues for the coming year.”