Council elections Tower Hamlets

Here is a results page from Tower Hamlets council. Here is the BBC one.  The Notice of Poll is very useful for those wanting details of candidates standing. Results expected at around 3pm today.
The local results will of course be interesting on the point of a shift between parties.

Bethnal Green South3 seats for Labour
Bethnal Green North. 1 seat for Liberal and 2 seats forLabour
Bow East. 3 seats for Labour
Bow West Ward.
3 seats for Labour
Blackwall & Cubitt Town. 3 seats for Conservative
Bromley By Bow Ward. 3 seats for Labour
East India & Lansbury Ward. 3 seats for Labour

Limehouse Ward. 1 seat for Conservative, 2 seats for Labour
Mile End East Ward. 3 seats for Labour
Mile End & Globetown Ward. 3 seats for Labour
Millwall Ward. 3 seats for Conservative
Shadwell Ward. 1 seat for Respect, 2 seats for Labour
Spitalfields & Banglatown Ward. 3 seats for Labour
St Katharine’s & Wapping. 1 seat for Conservatives and 2 seats for Labour
St Dunstan’s & Stepney Green Ward. 3 seats for Labour
Weavers. 3 seats for Labour
Whitechapel. 3 seats for Labour

Click here for an overview

the biggest losers? Definitely the Respect Party (-7), the Liberal Democrats (-3) and as it looks also the Conservatives have lost  1 seat in Mile End East where Councillor Ahmed lost the seat and also Councillor Dr Ali, recently changed from Labour to Conservative lost her seat, that she won as Labour.

In the past Tower Hamlets was mostly Labour with exception of 1986 (all) and 1990 (Lib Dems).

Yet even when councillors are voted  in for one party, because of the volatile situation  here, one can expect that people change allegiances to suit political momentous power struggles. That is normal for Tower Hamlets. Looking aat the results though there is little chance of that happening now, Respect lost 7 seats and the Liberals lost 3, the Conservatives lost 1 and Labour gained 11. It is quite possible that people felt betrayed from the constant party jumping of elected councillors that went on especially between Respect and Labour.  Yet the voters chosen the Labour option. Though I have seen a lot of discontent with local Labour Party policies, that were aimed to fulfil a duty of public consultation exercise and to involve the community. Tower Hamlets being the only council in the whole of the UK that has a LAP structure fails on it because more and more persons sitting or having sat on those LAPs are disillusioned because the lack of actually having input becomes apparent to those that  have tried over a prolonged period to suggest changes. Whilst the idea of a Have your say budget is a good one, in the end the amount of budget and what its for has been set at government level and because a yearly budget that has been set by a chance vote is very hard to fulfill, because the sudden contracts are hard to comply with on sudden initiatives, they have been failed in several ways. People voted on have your say budgets and simply didn’t get the service or goods they voted for. The Have your Say budgets are about as reliable as the policing pledge, where the government sets the rule that all contacting the Safer Neighbourhood Teams have to be responded to within 48 hours. How is that realistic, when Safer Neighbourhood Teams aren’t always on shift and if they are are short staffed and have plenty to do. Labour came up with the Crime Fighters agenda but failed to deliver a budget for Neighbourhood Watches and Tower Hamlets council stopped funding them about 6 years ago.

the funding for youth services was reduced by 20% and we started to see the first youth on youth stabbings in the borough. Funding for after school play centres has been severely reduced, bringing a 150% rise in fees for low income families. Yet the funding for young persons that have committed crimes has stayed stable. There is nothing for the youngsters that don’t break the law but plenty for those who do. The reward for bad behaviours strategy doesn’t help at all and it is frustrating to sit on panels to watch the decision making process going in the wrong direction.

Even local care-taking staff has been cut to below the actual minimum needed and are hard-pressed to deliver even basic services. The unions won’t help them because the unions are the ones that pay the Labour Party to run this council the way they do.

A similar accountability problem exists with the School governor model that was set by the Labour Party, whereby schools have problems to recruit volunteers that are suitably qualified to carry out the immense task of responsibility for the running of a school without any pay.  Tower Hamlets council relies on volunteers to run all types of consultation groups, from housing to cleaning and cycling routes.

Sometimes the council offers pay to people to even turn up at high profile public consultation events. That is a sought after activity.

The council has become an overspun expensive organisation that keeps itself afloat with the help of its own newspaper that is very expensive to run but only helps to keep the locals happy to vote Labour when they see themselves in the paper as part of the community.

To achieve anything effective in Tower Hamlets we need a majority Conservative Council to make our lives easier, to help those families trapped in severely overcrowded conditions and achieve better education and play spaces provision. We also desperately need a better model to run local community facilities.

A directly elected Mayor won’t be able to help because the whole service model needs an overhaul to become better and effective. A directly elected Mayor will remove power from local councillors rather than increase the directly accountable local democracy.  I think it will also make it harder for the London Mayor to run the city effectively when they have directly elected mayors in local councils to deal with  councillors and city hall representatives that are part of the traditional local democratic mesh. We’ll get more and more centralised decision-making instead of local democratic processes.

I sincerely do hope that this election brings the positive turnaround we need here in Tower Hamlets to help introduce changes to stop the rot.

So far throughout England Conservatives lost overall control in 8 Councils. whilst Labour gained 6. Of course Labour has good practise in  how to deal with the Labour governments support mechanism for Councils. Whilst we had Conservative governments that supported local councils,they gotten plenty of money to run the local area councils but since Labour introduced new draconian measures and uses monies from rich councils and ploughs it into poorer ones, all Labour councils gain from that type of co-operative support system.

Ii am puzzled why both, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats lost between them 11 councils (overall control) so far. Lets see how this develops. I certainly would like to get more information on why there is such a problem.

Labour even won control of Oxford, so that contradicts all theories that Oxford is a town of toffs and traditional Conservative supporters.

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