Letter: Election Tactics

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The Independent Online
Sir: Jonathan Stern [of the Tower Hamlets Labour Party] was, unsurprisingly, being economical with the truth (letter, 14 December). He failed to mention that Labour's tactics in the Millwall by-election were also investigated, but the findings wer e never made public. Labour's tactics in that by-election were extremely questionable.

He also fails to mention that under the neighbourhood system 41 of the 50 councillors in the borough were involved in the decision-making process. Now, there are a handful of Labour councillors who make all the decisions, leaving opposition and Labour backbenchers with little power.

The people of Tower Hamlets are still waiting for Labour to consult them. Since May, elected tenants representatives have been abolished, public question times have been ended and there will be no referendum on the budget. Estates have lost their budgets.

Tower Hamlets council will be facing cuts of up to £19 million this year, due to Labour's recentralisation. Far from this recentralisation saving money, the council has had to invest over £200,000 in a new photocopier to meet the added demand for copyingin committee administration - up from 7 million copies to 17 million copies a year.

Tower Hamlets council is long way from the new look, efficient, Blairite model that Mr Sterne is trying to promote. It is old style, centralist, inefficient and ridden with internal conflict. Maybe Mr Sterne hasn't noticed this because, unlike most of his colleagues, the Liberal Democrats actually beat him in May.

Yours sincerely, JANET LUDLOW Leader Liberal Democrat Group Tower Hamlets London, E14

14 December

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