Saturday 5 May 2018

Tower Hamlets Local Election results and MEOTRA

Local Tower Hamlets government officers at the election count
John Biggs keeping an eye on the Bow West counts

So the Tower Hamlets local elections have been in the news for all the wrong reasons again. We didn't keep Europe waiting this time, but as counting entered its third day the BBC and others such as the Guardian gave up waiting.

In fairness one of the things that contributed to making us the last of the 150 UK councils to declare was that we aren't just voting on councillors, but also a directly elected Mayor. Whilst other boroughs also have directly elected Mayors, they were decided on first preference votes (Hackney, Lewisham and Newham) or had fewer candidates (Watford only had three candidates so going to second preferences only meant counting one pile of mayoral papers). Tower Hamlets had seven candidates. Tower Hamlets "the anti-Sunderland" is a title we must lose. When yours truly wants to count his millions he uses the kitchen scales - it is much quicker!

In Bow West, Asma Begum has been re-elected and she is joined by Val Whitehead. The detailed breakdown for our ward can be found here on the council's website.

Screenshot of the local Tower Hamlets election results

As I am sure you all will have heard by now, John Biggs has been re-elected Mayor with 65% of the vote (including 2nd preferences). Rabina Khan came second (34% of the vote including 2nd preferences). Rabina has been reelected as a councillor, together with Peter Golds and Andrew Wood; but other than that the Tower Hamlets' council pie is looking very red. The council chamber is going to be a much quieter place and one must hope more productive.

Having dealt with all three of the opposition councillors (Benjy'sTowers and about air pollution in particular), I am sure they will punch above their weight to hold the Mayor and Labour councillors to account.

Pie chart showing the huge proportion of Labour councillors in the chamber

MEOTRA look forward to working with both the Mayor and Asma and Val to help improve our area. We have already approached them about issues such as air pollution, rat runs, heavy traffic and have been promised meetings. We have vigorously engaged with the Mayor regarding the new North-South cycle superhighway that will run from Hackney to Island Gardens via Victoria Park and Mile End. We must learn from our CS2 experience. And yes they are actively looking into the Mile End Junction malarkey. 

Finally, MEOTRA must thank Josh Peck for all the hard work he has done for Bow West over the years and we are sure he will enjoy spending his new-found time with his young family rather than at the Town Hall. Thanks Josh.

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