Socialist Worker

Housing crisis in Tower Hamlets

by Oliur Rahman
Issue No. 1943

Last July I was elected as a Respect councillor in Tower Hamlets, east London. The biggest crisis here is in housing. I visit homes every other day — people are living in overcrowded situations, and their health and children’s education are being affected as a result.

I recently went with tenants to the Defend Council Housing evidence gathering session at the Houses of Parliament. There were no Labour MPs or councillors there from Tower Hamlets.

New Labour says it cares about the local community, but they failed to send a single representative to that meeting. It just goes to show how little they really care.

The money is there to invest in council housing, through what we pay in council tax. If these funds were given to councils to invest in housing, we wouldn’t have to worry about any crisis.

Respect wants to see more council housing being built and an end to privatisation. We don’t want youth and community centres to be closed and demolished so that they can be sold off to private developers.

We want to provide better facilities for young people, with qualified social workers and drugs workers. We want to provide more facilities for our pensioners.

I have put motions to Tower Hamlets council on improving housing and pensions, and opposing cuts in the fire service. Labour councillors rejected all these motions.

But I am there to do a job for the people of the ward I represent, and I will keep on doing that. New Labour will be out on the streets now that a general election is coming up. But once the election is over, I can guarantee you that you won’t see them again on the streets of Tower Hamlets.

Respect candidates, whether we get elected or not, will always be out on the streets. If we get elected we will do everything in our power to represent the people of Tower Hamlets.

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