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Tower Hamlets: The alternative budget

Archer Cllr Tim Archer, a Conservative councillor on Tower Hamlets, outlines his Group's alternative budget to that of the Labour-run Council.

Labour have maxed-out the credit card and now face a £54m black hole in the finances, whilst the Conservatives would deliver more Police, more Homes and free school meals.

Conservatives will provide safer and cleaner streets, with 17 extra police officers (one per ward) and an additional six wardens dealing with litter, dangerous dogs and parks, and double the amount spent on repairing pot-holes in our roads.

Conservatives will cut Labours waste, by closing the loss making Eastend Life, cutting the advertising budget by half and shrinking the Council’s ‘Communications team’. In addition the amount spent on an army of over 80 consultancy firms will be reduced by £250,000.

The Conservatives will also make the boroughs councillors take a 10% pay cut and scrap some £152,000 of additional payments to Town Hall councillors, and an additional £250,000 spent on Executive assistants to Councillors.

To deal with the impending financial black hole the Conservatives would hand back the keys to Anchorage House, saving £8m per year and look to sell HR, Legal and Finance services to other boroughs and RSLs
(of which there are 68 operating in the borough all with their own HR, Legal and Finance teams).

With Childhood Obesity being the 2nd highest in Tower Hamlets of anywhere in the UK, the Conservatives would from September 2010 give each and every child in the borough a free school meal, ensuring that all our children get at least one healthy meal a day.

With 23,000 people on the housing waiting list, the Conservatives will double the budget for offering cash incentives to those under occupying council homes, delivering an additional 170 bedrooms per year and will build an additional 200 more homes than the Labour budget, delivering an further 1,000 extra bedrooms.

The Labour government has cut the ESOL budget for Tower Hamlets College by £1.2m.  The Conservatives will spend an additional £330,000 on delivering a further 368 ESOL class places for those that cannot speak English.  Nothing entraps people in poverty more than not being able to speak English in our borough.

Whilst delivering all the above, the Conservatives will also be able to give something back to local residents by cutting the council tax by 1%.

Cllr Archer is photographed in front of the borough's Henry Moore sculpture, currently located in Wakefield, Yorkshire, a 400 mile round trip.  A similar sculpture sold two years ago for £4.3m.  They have proposed that it should either be brought back to the borough where all residents can enjoy it, or sold in order to pay for additional and much needed social housing.


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