A Tower Hamlets Residents’ Manifesto: 10 Ideas from locals on how to shape the future of Tower Hamlets

A Tower Hamlets Residents’ Manifesto: 10 Ideas from locals on how to shape the future of Tower Hamlets

Residents Manifesto Drone image for Tower Hamlets

Ahead of the mayoral and council elections this May, Tower Hamlets residents, in conjunction with Toynbee Hall, have produced a Residents’ Manifesto which highlights 10 ideas for the next Mayor of Tower Hamlets to improve life in the borough. Tower Hamlets is the home to extreme wealth, but in spite of this, 56% of children live in poverty[1], the highest rate in London. Residents are calling for more opportunities for local people and to be included in decision making processes so they can live in a brighter future, where wealth created in the borough benefits everyone. 

The manifesto also draws attention to ideas on how to improve safety for residents, with a focus on supporting young people and women. Residents support more investment in youth clubs and programmes in Tower Hamlets and for them to be youth-led and co-designed. They recommend the Mayor develops a strategy where residents, particularly women, work with the police, council and housing associations to ensure people feel safe travelling through the borough at night. Both of these measures attracted support levels of over 90% from residents responding to our survey.

Housing continues to be a key issue, with 80% of survey respondents supporting the idea of the council committing to building more genuinely affordable four and five bed properties to deal with the high levels of overcrowding in the borough and 85% supporting rent controls. 39% favoured this as a top recommendation to make sure everyone can have a good home.

A recurring theme amongst residents was a desire to feel more included in the decision-making processes in the area. Too many residents feel they have not had a say in the decisions that affect them. In the next term, the Mayor should host a series of inclusive forums reaching a wider range of residents, and co-designing priorities and success measures for the council’s work.

The manifesto has been produced in light of the upcoming Mayoral election, with the purpose being to provide the Mayor with a set of well-researched policy ideas in the best interests of the local people. The process of building the manifesto has been a long-term and rigorous one, with policy ideas developed with residents over the last five years, based on community-led research. These proposals have also been tested out with 180 residents over a two-week period. The end result is a set of 10 ideas that hundreds of residents consider would make their lives better.

Here are residents’ 10 ideas for the next Mayor of Tower Hamlets

A Tower Hamlets where wealth is shared

o  Make sure large employers in Tower Hamlets hire and offer training opportunities to local people, especially those low incomes

o  Introduce a programme where all state school children in the borough are given vouchers for activities clubs or classes

A place where we feel connected

o  Make sure every area has a community centre where residents can socialise, get help from services and speak to decision-makers.

o  Make sure every resident has access to a free or cheap local space to run community activities

A place where we feel safe 

o  Invest in youth clubs and youth programmes in Tower Hamlets, ensuring that they are youth-led and designed with young people

o  Work with residents, particularly women, on a strategy to ensure people feel safe travelling through the borough at night

A place where everyone can have a good home

o  Commit to building more genuinely affordable four and five bed properties to deal with overcrowding in the borough

o  Call for London to be given the power to tackle the affordability crisis, for example, through introducing rent controls

A council that communicates and makes decisions with residents

o  Agree with residents what success looks like and how to measure it in areas such as tackling poverty, housing and community safety, to improve accountability

o  Create a range of inclusive ways for residents to be ‘heard’ in council decision-making

You can read full manifesto here

Residents of Tower Hamlets are invited to sign the petition to show their support here: https://www.change.org/p/support-the-tower-hamlets-residents-manifesto


[1] Trust for London (2021) Tower Hamlets Poverty Profile. Available on https://www.trustforlondon.org.uk/data/boroughs/. Accessed 12 April 2021.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.