A reminder that from Tuesday 1 September to Monday 12 October anyone – even voters! – can inspect Tower Hamlets council’s accounts.

Thanks to the eagle eyes of borough resident ‘David’ (codename, natch) here’s a reminder that from Tuesday 1 September to Monday 12 October anyone – even voters! – can inspect Tower Hamlets council’s accounts.

Yes, it appears the council does have some.

You can find the formal notice of the Public inspection of the Accounts here [Word document].

Between 9am and 5pm you can inspect the accounts of the council for the year ended 31 March 2020.

On reasonable notice you may request access to related documents comprising books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts at the address given below. You may also make copies of the accounts and documents.

London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Town Hall
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG

You might want to read the National Audit Office guide to your rights [PDF] before you go and do your inspecting.

Council accounts online for inspection too

As ‘David’ recounts a few years ago he obtained all the addresses and purchase cost of all that years houses and flats that the council had bought from residents and landlords, i.e. council buybacks. “I obtained the cost of the buyback and the original sale price from the council. You cannot do these type of requests through FOI,” said agent ‘David’.

The council’s advice (which Moley fully endorses) is for people to first have a look at the accounts online [PDF] then if they can’t find what they want to make a list of all the additional info and then contact the council team who deals with this stuff via Final.accountsteam@towerhamlets.gov.uk  outlining the docs you want.

They will then confirm a time for those docs to be viewed at the Town Hall.

No fishing please

It might take some time to get the documents you require so if you just rock up to Mulberry Place demanding to see stuff you will probably be looking at a long wait. Serves you right really.

Also please don’t indulge in a ‘fishing expedition’ – if you have no idea of what you want then you are not going to find it by looking at documents at random (we speak from experience).

Remember that council officers are there to help you. Our experience is that council officers are only too willing to advise and point you in the right direction, they are the experts in this stuff.

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