Tower Hamlets and Croydon have both lost out in their bids to be awarded city status in a competition held to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it was announced yesterday.
Tower Hamlets Council announced it would bid for the award in May 2011. Speaking then, Mayor Luftur Rahman said he thought it would be a “fantastic boost” to the borough.
Local residents and businesses had been involved in the campaign, and in January this year Olympic athlete Perri Shakes-Drayton also pledged her support.
But it was Chelmsford in Essex, Perth in central Scotland and St Asaph in North Wales who were finally given the honour, while Armagh in Northern Ireland was granted a Lord Mayoralty.
The award is a ceremonial one, made by the Queen on the advice of the office of the Deputy Prime Minster.
Aman Dalvi, Interim Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Council, congratulated the winners.
He said: “Whilst Tower Hamlets may not have won this time round the council is very proud of the city status bid, which resulted in the whole community uniting to celebrate what makes us unique, and make residents proud of our borough’s historic past and our exciting future.
The council has a lot to look forward to this year as a host borough for the Olympics, the unveiling of Victoria Park and festivities to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”
The Canary Wharf group, which had matched the council’s £10,000 contribution towards the bid, said it was proud to have supported the bid.
Howard Dawber, Strategic Advisor at Canary Wharf Group PLC, told EastLondonLines: “We certainly think our bid was worthwhile.
“While we didn’t win this time, our bid helped to demonstrate the tremendous positive changes that have happened in the East End in the past few years, which now makes the area at least as good as anywhere in the country and the world in terms of business, culture, heritage and philanthropy.”
25 other towns across the UK had also made bids, including Croydon.
Croydon’s bid had been backed by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who said the area had “fantastic potential.”
“Croydon should be a city,” said Johnson. “I am totally behind that and I think Croydon has an incredible future.”
John Rouse, Chief Executive of Croydon Council, also said: “We’d like to congratulate the people of Perth, Chelmsford and St Asaph.
“However we still hold our own heads high in Croydon,” he said. “We continue to believe that we are a unique and special place with huge potential for economic growth.”