Borough residents finally have the power for change in their hands. Ten years of being subject to the whims of two Directly-Elected Mayors, first Rahman, now Biggs, residents have a choice.
They can decide to make the cost of corruption so expensive that it will die out or they can continue to allow our borough to be run into the ground.
Hey, we never said we were unbiased. East End Enquirer, like Love Wapping before it, is on the side of honest, hard-working people who just want to get on with their lives. It has grown from a teeny weeny little blog about squirrels and events in one ward to exposing corruption and wrong-doing across Tower Hamlets.
Don’t like it? Don’t read it.
There are currently two e-petitions that you can sign.
This one which had 304 signatories at time of going to press. Petition to hold a referendum to replace the ‘Directly Elected Mayor’ in Tower Hamlets This is backed by some Labour councillors and the three Opposition councillors.
Or this one which had 368 signatories at time of going to press.Tower Hamlets Council – ePetition – Hold a referendum on 6th May 2021 to replace the ‘Directly Elected Mayor and a cabinet’ system by a ‘Leader and cabinet’ system This is backed by Mayor Biggs.
It is our belief that we will all be better off if you sign this petition to hold a referendum to replace the ‘Directly Elected Mayor’ in Tower Hamlets
The reason is that that it says voters be given a choice including the Committee system as more likely to solve the problem caused by having a single person holding all of the power, which is what the other petition’s backers wants as that backs the ‘Leader and Cabinet’ form of governance.
No prizes for guessing who the Leader will be. Just more of the same but presented slightly differently to sell it.
In England, local authorities are required to adopt one of three types of executive arrangements, the Directly-Elected Mayor system, Leader and Cabinet and the Committee System.
Wikipedia has a good explanation of these different types of governance.
Leader and Cabinet definition
“It consists of the leader and the cabinet itself, which is usually formed by the majority party in the local authority, where there is one, or by a coalition which comes together to elect a leader. The council elects the leader, and the leader appoints the other members of the cabinet. ”
Under this model, a Council elects a leader but power is exercised, alongside full Council, by a number of committees, made up of Councillors in proportion to their parties’ representation on the Council.
It is only the Committee System which will make the cost of corrupt behaviour too expensive to prosper. Those who would subvert the democratic process for their own gain would have to bribe every member of every committee looking at the issue at hand. Not only would this be very expensive it would be impossible to do this in secrecy and because the committees would include councillors who are honest and would never take a bribe it is a non-starter.
The Committee System is effectively a coalition of the different parties and so would return balanced decisions. At the moment the situation is that while the Opposition Group (Cllr. Andrew Wood, Cllr. Rabina Khan and Cllr. Peter Golds) consists of the best councillors we have there are just not enough of them and as a result they do not have power to hold the Directly-Elected Mayor to account.
We all need to get educated about this decision and there are some links to get you started below, but we will be providing more information as time goes on.
The choice is yours, please exercise it wisely.
Related Internet Links
- Executive arrangements – Wikipedia
- Musical chairs – Centre for Public Scrutiny
- How are councils structured? – London Councils
- Return to the committee system – Centre for Governance and Scrutiny
- Is a Committee system right for your council? – LGA
- Unitary council to adopt committee system of governance – LocalGov
- Local government: decision-making requires all hands on deck – Guardian
- The Local Authorities (Committee System) (England) Regulations 2012 – Gov.uk