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Over 1,000 residents sign open letter against their councillors

Over 1,000 residents sign an open letter against three Whitechapel councillors for failing to support them in their complaints of discrimination against Tower Hamlets Council in it’s controversial Liveable Streets consultation.

An open letter started less than a week ago has gathered more than a thousand signatories, accusing three Whitechapel councillors, Faroque Ahmed, Shah Ameen and Victoria Obaze, of agreeing “with their case of discrimination, only to discover at the Council meeting they voted to dismiss the complaint”.

At the moment of writing this article the letter has reached over 1,000 signatories.

The letter demands that the three Councillors resign the Labour whip on Liveable Streets and goes on to say:

“To conclude, we expect our elected representatives to uphold the law, and live up to the claim of the Labour Party as an anti-racist party. Residents with protected characteristics are the same as any other residents, we have the same aspirations and concerns as our neighbours. What we will never accept is to be discriminated against, treated as second class citizens and for any complaints to be covered up.

We demand, they resign the whip on Liveable Streets publicly, and join the residents in a public call:

1. For the Liveable Streets consultation and PCL consult to be suspended. For an independent investigation to conducted in regard to the complaint.

2. The consultation to be run again, this time lead by Tower Hamlets Council Officers who have experience working with diverse and disadvantaged communities. Our experience has left an irrevocable mistrust of PCL and any future consultation should be carried out by Council Officers with experience of our communities and who are not seconded from third party organizations, avoiding the current conflict of interest with the PCL group of companies.

3. To publicly call out the racist narrative, that BAME people don’t care about climate change, or are bad parents who don’t care about their children’s health.

4. Before any new consultation, an Equality Impact Assessment to be carried out with a particular focus on data on car ownership and usage by residents with protective characteristics.

We expect our elected representatives to stand with us, not against us.If they don’t, then we will organise and replace them with representatives who will.”

Speaking to a Whitechapel local businessman, “People are fed up with these useless councillors, they say one thing and do another. I was struggling to get government grant during the lockdown, then I discover all three of them were abroad on holiday. Can you believe it, people were dying in the area, and they are on holiday getting VIP treatment”.

Another resident, a mother in Whitechapel said, “these councillors need to stop acting like zamindars (absentee landlords), either they stand with us or we will get rid of them.”

Link to, ‘Open Letter to the Councillors of Whitechapel, London Borough of Tower Hamlets’: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe4UqMGFS8Ofv-7WmSeXAux8FBu5OcXWRm81qAwXsgjmGcrwA/viewform

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Written by Jack London

Jack London is a guest author and resident of Tower Hamlets.

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