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12.04.16

Tower Hamlets commissioners to remain in place as Clark criticises ‘lack of progress’

The troubled borough of Tower Hamlets will still not receive full control of its local authority powers, the communities secretary has said in a letter to the new mayor.

Government commissioners were given financial control of the council in late 2014 following a report that found governance problems and failure to comply with ‘best value duty’ in relation to property transactions.

In the letter to the borough’s new mayor John Biggs, Greg Clark says he agrees with the commissioners, who still hold power in areas such as  issuing grants and overseeing Biggs’ reform, that there has been “lost time and lack of progress in certain areas of the intervention”.

He adds: “While I understand your impatience for the intervention to end, I will need to be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence that change has been embedded and key outcomes have been delivered before I will consider any variation to the current directions.”

However, he says that Biggs has made progress in tackling the causes of the problems, improving transparency and developing an action plan for further changes.

(Image c. Oyebola Opaneye from Creative Commons)

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