Mayor Lutfur Rahman has come under intense scrutiny after an investigation into Tower Hamlets Council ordered by the local government minister, Eric Pickles, which found fault with its financial management.
As the Government sends in commissioners to oversee grant-giving, property deals and electoral administration, Eastlondonlines took to the streets to see what people who live and work in Tower Hamlets had to say.
Foyaz Ahmed from Bromley-By-Bow said: “The council is OK, I am satisfied… Lutfur Rahman is a most caring person, he is the right person to look after the community. I heard about the allegations but I didn’t look deeply into it.”
Masar Ahmed, 30, a student from Tower Hamlets said: “I don’t know much about Lutfur Rahman but he is very popular, perhaps because there are lots of Bangladeshis who live in this area and he is from Bangladesh.”
“I watched the Panorama programme about the allegations of corruption. I think it is exaggerated. I don’t think he is as bad as the programme said.”
Paul Hussein, 42, a UN employee from Epping said: “I don’t know why the Government don’t monitor councils centrally rather than let these situations build up and have to take over. The councils need to be more transparent.”
“People should be living in a multicultural way, with different people living and working together; I’m not sure if Rahman is allowing that to happen.”
Eva Scott, 23, an actor living in Tower Hamlets said: “I think the council could be doing more to tackle the drug problems in the area.”
“Lutfur Rahman isn’t really on my radar as a voter. I’ve heard a lot more from the Tower Hamlets Labour party who came to our door to ask us about any issues we had.”
Others took to Twitter to express their views. Rupert Burley tweeted: “Good that #LutfurRahman #TowerHamlets is supposedly being dealt with, but hopefully other London Boroughs will now be scrutinised too.”
Greg Clark tweeted: “Finally – @MayorLutfur’s… spending & politics under strict controls. Now get him out.”
Olivia Blair and Joel Watson