Mayor at University Bursary Launch
New figures showing how the council is delivering across key areas have been published on the anniversary of the new administration coming into power.
Lutfur Rahman was elected as Executive Mayor in May last year. Since then, he has appointed his cabinet, and in August Tower Hamlets Council published its Strategic Plan which sets out its vision for the next four years.
This includes the priority themes of tackling the cost-of-living crisis; housing, education, investing in public services, tackling crime, listening to residents, creating a clean and green future for the borough, and supporting culture, businesses, jobs and leisure.
While the council has overseen the delivery of day-to-day services which residents and businesses depend on, it has also agreed and progressed the insourcing of Tower Hamlets Homes, Youth Services and Leisure Centres.
It has also brought back grants for Educational Maintenance Allowance and University Bursaries for young people and is expanding free school meals to all secondary schools – the only local authority in the country to do this.
Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:
“We are delivering one of the most ambitious agendas in local government. We have made a good start but there is much more to do.
“While we must concentrate on service delivery now, we are also building for the future by bringing services such as Tower Hamlets Homes, youth services and our leisure centres into our direct control.
“By doing this we will be able to deliver better outcomes for our residents. There will be more job and training opportunities for our residents; better support for our young people from universal free school meals through to youth clubs and financial support for college and university, and a more rounded approach to helping people improving their health.
“I must thank our staff and partners for their hard work to get us here, and we look forward to greater achievements in our second year together.”
The figures from the council show that £13.7m has been invested in youth services, more than 7,700 hours of extra uniformed police patrol hours funded by the council, and 1,203 young people received a grant for college or university.
Warm hubs set up by the council to provide people with somewhere safe and warm to go over the winter months had more than 22,000 visits, while the council has allocated and distributed £6m in payments to our most vulnerable residents from council and government funds. In addition, the council also gave out 2.2million free meals and 19,772 payments of £100 to help vulnerable families.
Almost 22,000 properties will be brought back in-house after 86% support by tenants and leaseholders. The council rehoused 31 families into wheelchair accessible homes via our flagship Project 120 scheme, and 227 homeless people were supported into sustainable accommodation.
The figures show the council has provided rates relief for 834 businesses, invested £40m in £40m invested in leisure facilities including bringing leisure centres under council management supported 919 enterprises through the council’s business programme and helped deliver 3866 jobs, training and apprenticeship opportunities.
Millions of pounds have been invested into improving the public services, including £2.5m to support free homecare for vulnerable adults, and £3.5m for local voluntary and community sector groups through the Mayor's Community Grants.
Almost 300 CCTV cameras have been upgraded to help capture evidence of crime and anti-social behaviour, and a huge recruitment campaign will see 41 additional Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers hired to protect the public. The council continues to work closely with the police on a variety of operations, including targeting drug dealers and illegal trading in Brick Lane market.
The council has planted almost 1,000 trees, including 100 new trees planted in Victoria Park, 50 in Weavers Fields and 12 in Bethnal Green Gardens. This has helped Tower Hamlets be awarded ‘Tree Cities of the World’ status for the second year in a row for our greening work.
Over 11,000 people have had their say on services through 80 consultations, around 500 people a month are attending the Mayor’s surgeries and the council has taken direct action to deliver infrastructure people have asked for such as lifesaving equipment for residents to use around the borough.
Statistics related to each theme:
Tackling the cost-of-living crisis
- We have allocated and distributed £6m in payments to our most vulnerable residents from council and government funds.
- 2.2 million free meals created from 940 tonnes of food supplied to organisations.
- £31.5m in Council Tax reduction was paid to 35,172 resident accounts.
- 22,343 visits to the council’s warm hubs.
- Frozen council tax for all residents (outside of Adult Social Care precept)
Homes for the future
- Almost 22,000 properties brought back in-house after 86% support by tenants and leaseholders.
- 227 homeless people supported into sustainable accommodation.
- Rehoused 31 families into wheelchair accessible homes via our flagship Project 120 scheme.
- Targeting the delivery of 4,000 genuinely affordable homes by 2026.
- All primary school children eligible for a daily free school meal, with roll out underway for secondary schools.
- 400 young people to receive a Mayor’s University Bursary (£600k).
- 803 young people to receive a Mayor’s Education Maintenance Allowance (£321k).
- 17,783 children were supported by the Early Help Children and Family Service
- Increasing provision for SEND children by £730k
Boost culture, business, jobs and leisure
- £800k investment in community language provision
- Rates relief for 834 businesses (£2m)
- £40m invested in leisure facilities including bringing leisure centres under council management.
- 3866 jobs, training and apprenticeship opportunities delivered.
- 919 enterprises supported by the council’s business programme.
Invest in public services
- £13.7m invested in youth services including one in every ward.
- £4.5m for local voluntary and community sector through Mayor’s Community Grants.
- £2.5m to support free homecare for vulnerable adults.
- £1.1m investment in Residents Hubs
Empower communities to fight crime
- 289 CCTV cameras have been upgraded to help capture evidence of crime and ASB.
- 7,779 additional uniformed police patrol hours funded by the council.
- Recruited 41 enforcement officers to protect the public (£2.9m)
- £1.6m approved to fund additional police and bring back a community constabulary
A clean and green future
- £185k to support local businesses to be more energy efficient.
- £5m for electric waste vehicles and EV charging points and £180k for low carbon fuel supply.
- £2.1m to improve recycling on housing estates.
- 972 trees planted.
A council that works and listens for everyone
- £487k invested to reopen Watney Market Idea Store.
- Around 500 people seen a month at twice weekly Mayor’s Surgeries.
- You said, we did: Life Saving Equipment installed around the borough.
- Over 11k participants took part in 80 consultations.
Posted on Thursday 25th May 2023