Day-to-day running of Tower Hamlets to return to the council

In control: John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets. Photograph: twitter

made in the last six months to address the entrenched problems at the council.

But Mr Clark said it was right that the government’s commissioners remain in post, to oversee the continued improvement at Tower Hamlets, and to carry out important functions – including the issuing of grants in the borough and continue to strengthen governance.

Mr Clark said: “I’m pleased with the progress that has been made in Tower Hamlets over the last 6 months, which will help restore the community’s confidence in how their area is being run.

“It means I am confident that, from this weekend, John Biggs can now be left to take on the day-to-day running of the borough as the mayor.

Mayor John Biggs said: “I welcome this vote of confidence. With a new management team in place we are putting the past behind us.

“The day-to-day work of the council is not particularly about politics but about providing excellent services and that’s what we will do. Our community needs it and our staff want to deliver it too. We need to work hard to support a stronger and more united community.

“Tower Hamlets is and remains the most exciting place in London.”

A spokesperson said the council was working hard to resolve its entrenched problems and is hoping to become a “beacon of transparency”.

“Our Transparency Protocol aims to increase transparency in decision making, the Mayor’s activities and priorities, procurement, contracts, grants, budgets and expenditure.”

The Mayor said his other priorities for the borough include a review of council communications and of the grants process, and delivering affordable housing through a new build programme and a landlord registration scheme.

Mr Clark warned that his department would remain vigilant – and be quick to respond should the council’s management lapse.

“I will not hesitate to take action if progress stalls and the governance of Tower Hamlets falls short.”

The four commissioners who will remain in place at Tower Hamlets borough council are: Sir Ken Knight CBE QFSM, Max Caller CBE, Chris Allison CBE and Alan Wood CBE.

Current directions from the Secretary of State mean the commissioners can require the authority to take any steps they consider are needed for the good governance and sound financial management of Tower Hamlets borough council.

These directions, which took effect on the 6 May expire on Saturday 31 October 2015.

The commissioners will continue their original remit, which is: to oversee an improvement plan covering communications, procurement, property disposals, organisational cultural change; to strengthen the authority’s core governance arrangements; to take over the authority’s grant making function; to exercise the authority’s functions of appointing an electoral registration officer and a returning officer for local elections.