“The £200k would have been better spent regenerating Roman Road” – Chris Smith
Green Party candidates for Tower Hamlets Farid Bakht and Chris Smith are calling for urgent action to stem council financial waste after receiving startling results from two Freedom of Information Act requests showing that the council spent £200,000 of tax payers money on advertising on buses, bus stops and street signs while money was desperately needed to regenerate the heart of the East End.
The Greens say local people are furious that money was spent on banners along Roman Road announcing: ‘Roman Road - the heart of the East End’, when council neglect has led this once flourishing destination to ruin. Shop owners in Roman Road complained that rents and rates are overpriced at 17k per annum, new parking charges are reducing visits to the street by 50%, and a lack of proper planning when building new housing and retail developments has left many properties empty.
Councillor Candidate for Bow West Chris Smith said:
“This (Tower Hamlets Together) marketing campaign is nothing more than a promotion for how (supposedly) great the council is. The £200k would have been better spent on proper targeted campaigns promoting local services for young people or spent on appropriate development of Roman Road. What’s more, the council recently hired a new PR boss with a salary of £80-100K - presumably to think up more pointless marketing schemes.”
“It’s interesting that after years of indifference to Roman Road market that in the run up to an election the council have suddenly announced plans for regeneration. The fact that there are 400 empty business premises in Tower Hamlets, with 39 of these in Roman Road East Town Centre speaks for itself. If I am elected as a councillor I will push for 50% social housing to be included in all new developments.”
Green Party parliamentary candidate for Bethnal Green & Bow Farid Bakht added;
“The Council allowed these developers to rush through their plans with no thinking at all over and above a nominal requirement for retail space at ground level. No thought was given to what would be appropriate or what kind of retail space there an actual need or demand was for. Everyone, including the Council, was just chasing the flat market, and now there are arguably too many of these types of properties which are not ‘affordable’ and which people can not get mortgages for, and which certainly don’t supply a local need.”
To contact Chris Smith: 07881 823071
Candidate Campaign Page
Notes to Editors
Chris Smith is running as Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Poplar & Limehouse and as a councillor in Bow West
Farid Bakht is running as Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Bethnal Green & Bow
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