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Questions for Tower Hamlets Council

October 8, 2009

Last week we published the motions that Respect councillors have submitted to the meeting of Tower Hamlets Council next Wednesday, 14 October.

Now, we reproduce below the full set of questions that we have also submitted to ask the Labour administration. If you have any thoughts on these, feel free to comment: as ever we welcome your feedback.

Sex encounter venues

From Councillor Abjol Miah to the leader of the council

Does the leader of the council share with me my dismay that the Lapdancing Association has spent at least £30,000 lobbying to try to water down legislation that will enable councils to clamp down on the proliferation of sex encounter venues, that Liberal Democrat and Tory peers have moved amendments in the unselected House of Lords to try to water down this legislation and that the Tory Front Bench in the House of Lords intends to try again when parliament returns from the summer recess and does he not also agree that this shows that the Tory Party, which proclaims to be the party of “family values” appears to be prefer supporting the profits of these sex encounter venues than the fight against the degradation and exploitation of women.

Tower Hamlets College

From Councillor Dulal Uddin to the lead member for Children’s Services

Is the lead member for Children’s Services aware of the recent Ofsted report on the teaching and learning of ESOL at Tower Hamlets College as good and would he confirm that ESOL teaching at the college has provided “value for money” in the past and would continue to do so in the future if properly funded and would he take urgent steps to meet with the college authorities and representatives fo the lecturers’ union with a view to ensuring that government money made available to the council for ESOL teaching is provided to the college to restore ESOL courses which are currently going to be cut.

Islamophobia and the far right

From Councillor Fozol Miah to the relevant lead member

Does the lead member agree that the far right British National Party and its fellow travellers have been doing all in their power to foster hatred against the Muslim Community, that all mainstream politicians should be wary of encouraging prejudice against the Muslim community which will further encourage support for the far right’s agenda and that it is regrettable that one of our local MPs has proposed to outlaw the right of members of our community to hold wedding ceremonies in line with their religious traditions and also that the Tory Party has entered into an alliance in the European Parliament with elements of the far right who have celebrated the Waffen SS and expressed anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic sentiments and does he agree that all legitimate political parties in Tower Hamlets should do all in their power to ensure community harmony rather than community division and hatred.

Boycott of Israel

From Councillor Harun Miah to the relevant lead member

Is the lead member aware of the recent decision of the Trades Union Congress to support a boycott of goods produced in illegal settlements built by Israel in occupied land and by companies involved in the occupation and the building of the wall, and that the Israeli government is now intending to go ahead with the building of a huge settlement near Bethlehem with some 40,000 homes and in the light of these events would he be able to specify what actions his council has taken in the light of the motion passed at full council earlier this year with regard to Israel and Palestine and would he not agree that it is about time this council took stronger action to oppose Israeli aggression and support the beleaguered Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank and would he note that a further aid convoy to Gaza is due to leave London on December 6th.

Anti-social behaviour

From Councillor Abdul Munim to the lead member for Cleaner, Safer, Greener

Is the lead member aware of the tragic suicide of Fiona Pilkington and the death of her daughter following a long period of anti-social behaviour directed against them and is he willing to undertake an urgent review of procedures in this borough to ensure that problems of acute anti-social behaviour as in this case are properly picked up and dealt with by the authorities and would he in particular be prepared to review with the police the operation of Safer Neighbourhood Teams and in particular address the complaints councillors frequently receive that phone numbers for SNTs are never answered and phone messages are not returned

Health Service provision

From Councillor Mamun Rashid to the relevant lead member

Is the lead member aware of the recent case where an out of hours doctor employed by private contractors wrongly prescribed treatment which then killed the patient and that there is now widespread concern that under-qualified and/or exhausted doctors are being used either directly or indirectly by the NHS who may put patients at risk and would she agree to hold urgent discussions with the chief executive of Tower Hamlets PCT and of Barts and the Royal London Trust to review the systems in place in Tower Hamlets to ensure no similar episodes should take place here.

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