Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

All of the seats in Tower Hamlets were up for election this year. Find out more about these elections.

Election 2018 Results

LAB GAIN FROM NOC
Party Elected in 2018 Total councillors Change

PartyLabour

Elected in 2018 42 Total councillors 42 Change+20

PartyConservative

Elected in 2018 2 Total councillors 2 Change-3

PartyIndependent

Elected in 2018 1 Total councillors 1 Change-17
Councillors change compared with 2014

Most Recent

Referendum call to abolish mayor system in Tower Hamlets

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Campaigners in an east London borough rocked by a corruption scandal today launched a petition to change the way their council is run.

Democracy Tower Hamlets, a group made up of councillors and residents, want to force a referendum on abolishing the directly elected mayor system in the borough.

Elected mayors hold more power than traditional council leaders because they can approve major plans alone, have almost complete control over finances and cannot be sacked by councillors.

Lutfur Rahman became the borough’s first elected mayor in 2010 as leader of the Tower Hamlets First party.

He was removed from office in 2015 and banned from standing for election for five years for “corrupt and illegal” practices.

He was replaced by Labour’s John Biggs, who is now a year into his second term as mayor.

Mr Biggs said: “I welcome a genuine debate on how the borough is run. The priority is we have a well-run borough, whatever system we have in place.

“A genuine debate is one that involves the wider community and not a bunch of political apparatchiks. Let us see how this develops.”

Conservative councillor Peter Golds, is supporting referendum.

He said: “All of us have been damaged by what happened in this borough between 2010 and 2015.

“As we saw, the system can easily fail resulting in a serious democratic deficit.

“I welcome a local debate, as long as it involves residents from across the borough to establish whether there is the wish to return to the usual system of local government.”

Democracy Tower Hamlets has started collecting signatures and must get at least 5% of the electorate in favour of a referendum to force a vote.

Plans to build 20 street gyms made from melted down knives

Steel Warriors
Steel Warriors

New community gyms - made from melted down knives - will be built in areas impacted by knife crime.

The new community spaces will be made using steel from knives that have been taken off the street, melted down and recycled.

The Co-op project, named "Steel Warriors" will aim to build 20 open air free-to-use gyms across the UK with two new gyms built this year.

Steve Murrells, CEO, Co-op, said: “Knives will be taken off the streets and melted down to create new community spaces for people to come together to learn and build new skills through street workouts which enhance their physical and mental wellbeing."

Steel Warriors has already built one gym in Tower Hamlets.

London council elects first black woman speaker

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Victoria Obaze
LDRS

Tower Hamlets council last night unanimously elected its first black woman speaker.

Whitechapel councillor Victoria Obaze said she was "extremely honoured" to take up the position as she chaired the borough annual general meeting for the first time.

Ms Obaze, who is originally from Nigeria and has lived in the borough for 30 years, added: "To be the first black female speaker is a great honour and it is also a great responsibility.

"I will continue to do what is best for the people of Tower Hamlets. It is truly an honour and a privilege."

Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs described Ms Obaze as an “active member of the community” who will do “phenomenal job”.

Councillor Mohammed Ahbab Hossain was elected the new deputy speaker.

The speaker is responsible for the ceremonial duties of the council.

A new speaker and deputy speaker are elected every year from among the serving councillors in the borough.

New Prevent terror training in Tower Hamlets

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Simon Smith
Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tower Hamlets Prevent programme manager Simon Smith

Doctor receptionists and housing officers are among hundreds of workers being trained to spot signs of radicalisation as an east London council embarks on a major roll-out of anti-terror training.

Tower Hamlets has tutored its first round of “Prevent Champions” in how to identify potential threats. The first 37 who embarked on the course last month also included council staff and social workers.

The scheme aims to teach those in ordinary jobs about Prevent — the government’s anti-terror programme.

They will then be able to go on and train others in their workplaces about how to spot signs of radicalisation.

It is expected to be the widest-reaching local authority training of its kind in the UK and aims to dispel a perception of secrecy about it.

Tower Hamlets Prevent staff are also training police and local authorities across Europe in their anti-radicalisation methods.

Delegations from Italy and Germany are expected in the coming months and officers have already travelled to ­Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Serbia.

Tower Hamlets Prevent programme manager Simon Smith said: “The reason there is mystery surrounding Prevent is because people don’t talk about it.

“We don’t have that communication. We don’t engage with the public and we need to. This is a step in achieving that to a far greater degree.”

The Prevent programme aims to stop people being drawn into terrorism.

Of the 7,318 ­people across the UK who were referred to the initiative in 2017-18, almost a quarter were from London.

About 44 per cent of referrals to ­Prevent are in relation to Islamic radicalisation, while almost a quarter are over concerns about Right-wing extremism, according to government figures.

A recent Home Office review of Tower Hamlets’ Prevent strategy found “management was strong” but there were “challenges in public perception” which was reflected in the “attitudes of a significant proportion of council staff”.

Security Minister, Ben Wallace, said: “Front line professionals have a role to play in safeguarding people who may be vulnerable to exploitation by terrorist recruiters, and we welcome any efforts to increase awareness of the signs of radicalisation.”

Clamp down on Tower Bridge illegal traders

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Tower Bridge
Local Democracy Reporting Service

Two central London authorities have announced they will now put an end to illegal street traders operating on Tower Bridge.

Traders including peanut sellers have been hawking their goods on the grade I-listed crossing for months while officers from the City of London Corporation and Tower Hamlets council were often powerless to stop them.

The City of London’s Bridge House Estate owns the 800ft-long bridge, but a legal quirk meant City officers had no jurisdiction over the bridge’s northern side, which is controlled by Tower Hamlets council.

But a legal agreement between the two has now been thrashed out, and the City looks set to enforce a clampdown on the 125-year-old bridge.

City bosses were “mortified” that traders continued for “several months” to burden the bridge, which Tower Hamlets has been reluctant to send staff to patrol due to a lack of resources .

And they raised fears that hawkers would cause a nuisance as thousands more tourists flocked to its walkways for the Easter holidays.

A City of London Corporation spokesman said: “Illegal trading on our bridges is not acceptable and creates health and security concerns for members of the public.

“It is only right that we continue to keep our City clean and safe for our workers, visitors and residents.”

A Tower Hamlets spokesman: “We have been involved in discussions with the City about sharing enforcement powers in this area so as to maximise the coverage in place. The formal agreement on this was finalised this week.”

One trader – who asked not to be named – told the BBC Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I have been on this bridge for over a year. I have never seen anyone tell me to stop.”

The trader, who sells pots of peanuts and almonds for £2, added: “I’m not worried, if they come, they come.”