In today’s issue of the East London Advertiser the lead-article about secret divisions within the borough tells volumes about those constant success stories we get to read in the freesheet East End Life.
Whilst we are told that Tower Hamlets Council is one of the 10 best performing councils via East End Life, an independent study, carried out by the Communities and Local Government (CLG) alleges that in respect of communcal reality Tower Hamlets is one of the worst performing in the capital. Yet the council quickly carried out their own survey to show that people saw no significant problems with community cohesion.
Not even Tower Hamlets council should be mistaking administrative efficiency with social cohesion and what really counts is how the community gets on and not just how often the dustbins are emptied or how well the council performs in the rent-collection department.
Here in our area I am working very hard to get the Muslim and Christian community to unite and hope to help a breakthrough by helping a cross-religious use of the Glasshouse Community centre that I am fighting so hard to keep open. See my letter in today’s East London Advertiser also, titled Community Centre deserves more cash.
What we need is community cohesion and actually all get on with each other and not just live in the same streets.
The local MP George Gallowayalso bemoans the freesheet newspaper East End Life as he asks for legislation to stop Town Halls to print excessive politically tainted newspapers paid for by council tax.
As a community group we have to be politically neutral but I would say George Galloway has got a point when he says that regional newspapers : “play a vital role in ensuring democracy at local level” and congratulates the East London Advertiser for winning ‘Regional Newspaper of the Year’ for the second year running.
I always think that either party can always doctor survey results by asking a number of people with known affiliations. However in respect of my other posting on drugs being a big problem in London here in Tower Hamlets 61% of residents are fearful of this compared to 36% London-wide. Sentencing for drug offences has increased by 13.2 % but custodial sentencing for drugs offences has actually decreased. Also 2/3 of violent offenders do not get more than a slap on the wrist.
I do not agree with the council that a face to face survey is more reliable than a postal, phone or electronic one as people tend to speak more freely when they are not face to face with someone questioning them.
Whichever way one looks at it, the discrepancy in the results of 2 different surveys is of concern and questions need to be asked and answered.