Tower Hamlets to receive full control of powers

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has said that full powers could be returned to Tower Hamlets council following a two-year intervention by central government.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced the council has made ‘steady progress’, but that it would continue to be monitored over the next 18 months.

Since 2014, government-appointed commissioners have been overseeing key functions at Tower Hamlets, following an independent inspection by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which identified a breakdown in democratic accountability and a significant misuse of public funds.

Javid confirmed that he is prepared to return functions to the council, ending the role of the commissioners. New directions would require the council to report progress to him every quarter for the next 18 months.

Javid commented: “Two years ago, Tower Hamlets council had completely lost the trust of its residents. It was mired in corruption and financial mismanagement that only direct intervention could resolve.

“Now, thanks to Sir Ken Knight and his team of commissioners working closely with the new mayor, I am confident that Tower Hamlets council is on the right track to provide the services their residents deserve and rightly expect.

“I will want to hear from Tower Hamlets every three months on the progress they’re making. This will help ensure that taxpayers’ money is put to the best use, in an open and transparent way.”

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