Thursday, 6 November 2014

DCLG appoint chief executive and commissioners to run Tower Hamlets

The Department for Communities & Local Government have intervened in Tower Hamlets after a report by PriceWaterhouseCooper found evidence of fraud, corruption, nepotism and a strong bias toward the borough's Bangladeshi population.

Bangladeshi mayor, Lutfur Rahman, was re-elected as mayor in what was widely accepted as a rigged election. PWC found that he had personally intervened in grant applications and the award of contracts, overturning officers' recommendations and giving taxpayers' money to organisations that didn't meet the basic criteria to receive grants. They found that in 81% of grants, officers' recommendations were ignored and more than £400k of taxpayers' money was given to ineligible organisations.

Announcing the decision to appoint a chief executive and three commissioners to run the council, Eric Pickles told parliament that Rahman is running Tower Hamlets Council like a "medieval monarch" and accused him of abusing taxpayers' money and sowing division.