Archive for April 3rd, 2012

Tory group leader Peter Golds sent the following letter today to Aman Dalvi, the Tower Hamlets chief executive who is also the Returning Officer in the Spitalfields and Banglatown by-election on April 19.

Dear Mr Dalvi

Please find a copy of a leaflet being circulated in Spitalfields on behalf of the Independent candidate.Please note the second page the candidate is photographed standing in front of display material used by the council in its official activities.

I also draw to your attention the leaflet does not contain the name and details of the printer of the document. It merely states “promoted by Alibor Choudhury on behalf of Gulum Robbani, 57 Cottage Street, E14 0AA”.

I am sure that with six adults registered to vote and therefore presumably living at this address (which is a private home and not a business), and it being the operational centre of G Social, which has received council funding, a mainframe printing press with facilities for colour printing would be somewhat intrusive.

Therefore it is a matter of legal and public interest as to where the leaflet was printed and who by, particularly if this printer or printers is also in receipt now or in the future of council contracts (public funding).

Another matter of interest regarding Mr Robbani, who was election agent to the Mayor in October 2010 and subsequently became a paid adviser to the Mayor, is his position as Secretary of the Poplar Mosque and Community Centre, Robin Hood Gardens, E14.

The Mosque is an integral part of the Blackwall Reach Development and featured in recent discussions at Committee and previously Overview and Scrutiny. It was noticeable that there was a large and vocal contingent from the East London Mosque and associated organisations who attended both meetings.

As a matter of public interest in view of the size and scale of this application; did Mr Robbani attend any briefing meetings with officers and the developers and the Mayor? If so, did he declare an interest as a very interested party as well as being a paid adviser and were such declarations written in the record of the meeting?

There has been concern expressed that the Community Centre, agreed as part of the outline planning consent, should be that and not part of the Mosque. In view of Mr Robbani’s position and influence in the administration and the Mosque, will this situation be retained?Has he been briefed on this applications by officers in his capacity as an adviser?

There has been considerable concern expressed by residents with the Mayor and “officers” attending meetings in the Mosque as part of the consultation exercise, which were conducted in Bangla and thereby excluded other non Bangla speaking residents. Was Mr Robbani the “officer” mentioned by residents as attending?

Many thanks

(Cllr) Peter Golds.

 Both are relevant questions. I have a funny feeling that the council’s decision to award Mayoral adviser contracts to companies and not specific individuals will become problematic.

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Just a quick update on Tower Hamlets’ Weavers ward by-election which will be held on May 3 and which comes following the resignation, for personal reasons, of Labour’s Anna Lynch.

The candidates so far are:

John Pierce – Labour

Abjol Miah – Respect

Caroline Kerswell – Conservative

Azizur Rahman Khan – Liberal Democrat

Everyone expects this to be a straight fight between Labour and Respect, but the Lib Dems could be the dark horses. Until 2010, it was a strong Lib Dem ward in which Abdul Matin (or Motin Miah, as he was also known) exercised some powerful Bangladeshi village voting networks. The party’s candidate this time around is Khan, who was formerly a councillor in Bethnal Green North. If Matin, who is currently in Bangladesh, can get his former supporters out then Khan may stand a chance of slipping through the middle.

Interestingly, Lutfur’s camp were keen for the Lib Dems not to stand: they argued that everyone wants Labour to lose. They also know that if John Pierce fails to win, then Labour will lose their overall majority in the council chamber and that will affect the make-up of various committees.

The turnout was 62 per cent in 2010 and the results from that election are below:

Name of Candidate Description (if any) Votes
AHMED, Akhtar Imran The Conservative Party 667
AHMED, Gias Uddin The Conservative Party 640
AHMED, Kabir The Labour Party 2,082 elected
BAKER, Philip Liberal Democrat 1,383
GUTTMANN, Catherine Elizabeth Green Party 628
HANCOCKS, Ben Green Party 496
HAQUE, Fazlul Respect 892
HASSAN, Abdi Omar The Conservative Party 477
HOVEMAN, Rob Respect 728
JACKSON, Daniel Green Party 516
KHAN, Yousuf Respect 1,009
LYNCH, Anna Siobhan The Labour Party 1,895 elected
MIAH, Sajjad Liberal Democrat 1,179
MUKIT, Abdul Chunu The Labour Party 1,532 elected
O`FLAHERTY, Tim Liberal Democrat 1,099

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