Borough budgets: Newham’s spending branded ‘reckless’ while Tower Hamlets’ finances called a ‘shambles’

Newham’s spending plans were slammed by members of Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman’s cabinet at their budget meeting.

Cabinet member for resources Cllr Alibor Choudhury said the Labour-controlled council was spending £6m more than it could afford this year.

He went on to describe the budget put forward by Newham’s Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, as “reckless”, accusing him of having “no clear plan” for the borough’s finances.

Cllr Lester Hudson, Newham Council lead member for finance, said: “Understandably, residents of Tower Hamlets are questioning the budget proposals of their so-called ‘Independent’ councillors.

“Newham Council has agreed a balanced and responsible budget that freezes Council Tax for the fifth year running while meeting resident priorities.

“We will get a further 5,000 residents into jobs this year, we’ve protected free school meals for every child in a Newham primary - not just the earliest years - and we won’t introduce sneaky charges such as charging to collect bulky waste from residents as the Tower Hamlets Mayor has done.

“‘Independent’ Tower Hamlets councillors could learn much from Newham’s sensible approach which plans for the future, instead they seem intent on turning their financial failings into a wider shambles.”