Archive for September 13th, 2010

End of East End Life?

A little birdie has whispered to me that, should he be elected, Lutfur Rahman is considering scrapping East End Life – Tower Hamlets council’s hated £1m-a-year propaganda paper.

I’d imagine that there would be a cheaper and less frequent replacement, perhaps a fortnightly or monthly paper.

It would be a clever, sure-fire vote winner and it would undoubtedly please my former employers at the East London Advertiser.

Watch this space…

UPDATE – 9.40pm

I’m hearing that East End Life is highly likely to be pared back considerably. It is considered by those likely to be in power come October that is “outrageous” that East End Life has such a heavy pagination and that it carries restaurant reviews and TV listings. All the elements of the paper which effectively means it competes with the East London Advertiser and other local papers are likely to go. It will be a much thinner paper, but it is likely to remain weekly for the time being.

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Just a quick update to this post on Lutfur Rahman’s campaign manager, Ohid Ahmed.

According to the switchboard at Camden Council, Ohid’s job title is Interim Camden Working Contracts and Performance Manager in the Culture and Environment department. His responsibilities are likely to include assessing and recommending any bids for contract work within that directorate, which covers highways, environmental health, planning and regeneration.

Posts classified as “interim” are temporary and can command higher salaries. Recruitment is often done through agencies and not through public advertisements.

According to this biography of him (you need to search his name), Ohid holds an MBA, but he is only a junior part-qualified Certified Accountant (the ACCA body). I’d imagine that he has experience to do the job, but did he have more than anybody else who went for it?

UPDATE  – 4.30pm

I’ve just spoken to Ohid, who tells me that when he left the council cabinet in May 2010, he lost the annual allowance of £14,000 that he’d been used to for a few years as a lead councillor. “I needed to find some work, so I signed on with Badenoch and Clark recruitment consultancy. They suggested the job with the council and I went for the interview. I didn’t even tell Nasim [Ali, the leader of Camden Council] about it. He didn’t even know that I got the job.”

As for the Eurostar ticket, he said it was former Tower Hamlets Assistant Chief Executive Sara Williams who approached him with the tickets because some had become available to the council. He said a few others also took them.

I’m happy to set the record straight.

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