23 February 2017
Last night (22 Feb) Tower Hamlets councillors voted 24 to 18 to in favour of the Council’s proposed budget. The new budget makes significant cuts for children's and youth services and to the careers service, as well as proposals to effectively privatise nurseries.
The meeting heard passionate testimony from a range of campaigners opposed to the cuts, but after 4 hours or debate, the vote was along purely party lines, with one abstention from the Lib Dem.
Tower Hamlets Green Party Co-Chair Dan Lee said "Tower Hamlets councillors have today voted for a budget which will have a profoundly negative effect on young people in our Borough. The concerns of campaigners were dismissed by Labour councillors as from 'political activists masquerading as members of the public' which is a shameful and bizarre accusation.
The Council is understandably under pressure from central government, but they had choices to make. We welcome some parts, such as the token efforts to tackle air pollution and waste, but more needs to be done for the youngest, disenfranchised and most vulnerable. As their own budget document said, some of these proposals will be met with 'significant public resistance'. We will stand by campaigners to ensure this happens and the impact of these cuts is limited"
Tower Hamlets councillors voted 24-18-1 in favour of the proposed budget, set annually each year.
Details of the Council’s budget from 2017 – 2020 can be found here.