Investigation into corruption at Tower Hamlets Council youth service launched

Deputty Mayor of Tower Hamlets Rachael Suanders. Photograph: Tower Hamlets Council
Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets Rachael Saunders. Photograph: Tower Hamlets Council

An investigation is being carried out into alleged corruption and other “very serious accusations” concerning youth services, the borough’s Deputy Mayor has said.

Councillor Rachael Saunders made the bombshell revelation at a heated meeting as she faced down verbal attacks from political opponents aligned with Tower Hamlets Independent Group (THIG).

The Labour politician accused those barracking her, who had previously run the council under its then mayor Lutfur Rahman, of “defending a status quo, which is utterly unacceptable”.

Cllr Saunders told THIG members that the borough’s youth service now had “reduced capacity” and that there would be a “reduction in the number of venues we are going to be able to run”.

She said this stemmed in part from “very, very serious investigations ongoing into very, very serious accusations of a service that was run when you lot were in charge of it”.

THIG is a rebranded version of Tower Hamlets First, which controlled the council under Rahman from 2010 until his ousting last year, when an election judge found him guilty of election fraud.

Labour’s John Biggs was subsequently elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

Cllr Saunders told the gathering of councillors at the Town Hall’s annual general meeting that an internal investigation was underway.

She said allegations included fraud, corruption, nepotism, failure to declare personal interests and criminal convictions. She also listed breaches of recruitment and procurement processes, council financial regulations and health and safety and data protection legislation as examples of alleged wrongdoing.

Tower Hamlets Council has declined to elaborate further or to release details of an email Cllr Saunders read from during the meeting.

  1. Ray Gipson on Friday 3 June 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Another reason why the Commissioners must stay.



  2. Muhammad Haque on Sunday 5 June 2016 at 8:41 pm

    “She said allegations included fraud, corruption, nepotism, failure to declare personal interests and criminal convictions. She also listed breaches of recruitment and procurement processes, council financial regulations and health and safety and data protection legislation as examples of alleged wrongdoing.”

    That is a very serious list of “allegations”!
    Fraud
    Corruption
    Nepotism
    Failure to declare personal interests and
    Criminal convictions!

    My Questions to “Cllr Rachael Saunders” are:
    What had SHE been doing while the “alleged” goings on were going on?
    Had “Cllr Rachael Saunders” been told anything by any member of the local Community who was neither a Councillor nor involved in any of the alleged fraud, corruption etc?
    If so, what had stopped “Cllr Rachael Saunders” from working with the local Community in actually, vocally, sustainably OPPOSING those at the time?

    Was there any “tactical” or “policy” reason why “Cllr Rachael Saunders” stayed silent as she did for years, as contrasted with the
    kind of “active awareness” that you report her to have shown.

    The evidence on the ground is that Councillors on Tower Hamlets Council – of whatever “group or tag” – are most “engaged” and “enraged” for their particular group or alliance, rather than for serving the local Community with the highest possible dedication, transparency, accountability and duty.

    They are NOT so engaged let alone enraged on behalf of the people
    who are most let down by this very corrupt Council.

    It is the Council that has been CORRUPT. Not just one side or another.

    The CORRUPT CULTURE has allowed the perpetrations.
    I told the “full Council” on 22 July 2015 that the Council Clique
    was out of control and the Council must stop the Clique.

    John Biggs “replied” to my Statement by adding his own version
    of DENIAL. Cllr Saunders did not comment on any of my ASSERTIONS.

    Why hadn’t she?

    That was almost a year before the AGM that you source for your item.



  3. Muhammad Haque on Sunday 5 June 2016 at 10:35 pm

    2222 GMT London Sunday 05 June 2016.

    This item, accessible via Tower Hamlets Council’s web site from where I retrieved it at 2208 GMT, is an example of how TOWER HAMLETS Council is STILL LYING and doing so brazenly.

    http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/housing/housing_statements_and_strateg/homelessness_strategy.aspx

    It is a brazen example of the CORRUPT CONTROLLING CLIQUE openly defying basic rationality and intelligence of ordinary people.

    It says “approach” to “homelessness”.
    It doesn’t say “duty” to end the Council’s role in causing homelessness and in actively
    opposing all other causes of homelessness.

    The item is dated “in July 2013”, and is “sourced” at the Cabinet.

    That was NOT John Biggs’ Cabinet.

    That was Lutfur Rahman’s Cabinet.

    I am the one who had ADDRESSED that sitting of that “Cabinet” on 03 July 2013 when I asked a single question – 222 words long – containing four key parts AS DIVIDED by whoever had to analyse my Question for Rabina Khan (Lutfur Rahman’s “Cabinet Member on Housing”) who RESPONDED at that Meeting to my Question on behalf of “the Cabinet”.

    Lutfur Rahman directed Rabina Khan to speak after I had presented the Question.

    Then Lutfur Rahman asked/instructed/directed/ordered a Council employee named
    Jackie Odunoye to meet me to work out the Council’s full response to my Question.
    That was followed, later in July 2013, by Lutfur Rahman asking/instructing/directing Aman Dalvi IN FRONT OF ME and after I had UPDATED Lutfur Rahman, to meet with me and to complete what Jackie Odunoye had been asked to do but had not done.
    I met Aman Dalvi on 19 August 2013.
    Aman Dalvi pleaded with me at that meeting for TWO WEEKS.
    He assured me that he had (as the “Corporate Director”) several hundred personnel working to him and he would get them to assemble all the necessary facts and then he would deliver the overdue service.

    The Council IS IN DEEP DYSFUNCTION NOW as the false statement giving the
    “approach” on Homelessness is being run without any change whatsoever from the
    misleading version originally scripted by the Council CLIQUe in 2013.

    I am NOT referring to any “elected” holder of any post in the Council by that word CLIQUE.

    My 222 word Question had been advisedly drafted with clear Constitutional law focus that was aimed to extract the Truth from the Tower Hamlets Council Clique about the Clique’s answer to the charge that for years beforehand (up to and including 03 July 2013, the date I presented the Question) severe Housing problems had been beinG CAUSED by and through and via the Tower Hamlets Council.

    Where had Cllr Rachael Saunders been in July 2013 when I created that Question?

    Why hadn’t Cllr Rachael Saunders stated ANYTHING about that monumental
    series of ISSUES that my Question contained, included and represented about the very serious crisis that had already rendered Tower Hamlets Council a dysfunctional local Council?

    What stopped her?

    That 222 word Question contains in it all the QUERIES that I had based on the UNDENIABLE EVIDENCE that the Council was plagued by the Corrupt Clique.

    Why didn’t Rachael Saunders even COMMENT on my Question?



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