Tower Hamlets invests in its image and shells out up to £100,000 for a new head of marketing

 
Edith Hancock
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Rahman was ordered to pay £250,000 to London 's High Court (Source: Getty)

Tower Hamlets' new marketing boss will have a lot of work to do.

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets, a self-described "high performing authority, with numerous awards and national achievements in housing, diversity and innovation", is on the hunt for a new head of marketing and communications, with an annual salary of up to £100,557. The new comms boss is expected to continue to maintain and build on the borough's "outstanding standards".

Tower Hamlets is of course best-known for the corruption scandal surrounding the election of disgraced former mayor Lutfur Rahman.

The ex mayor of the diverse borough, stretching across the Thames from Shoreditch to Canary Wharf, was stripped of his title last April after the election commissioner found he had committed multiple electoral fraud and corruption offences.

A key tool in Rahman’s electoral armoury was “bribery by grant”, according to the election court, where he and a small number of aides went against Tower Hamlets officials' advice and took control of funding for community groups. In one case, grants totaling £100,000 were given to 10 Bangladeshi or other Muslim groups for lunch clubs when none had even applied for funding, the commissioner found.

Prior to that, in November 2014 Eric Pickles, communities secretary at the time, ordered a three-man team of commissioners to take over the handling of grants and property sales, as well as senior appointments or suspensions within the council, branding it a "rotten borough".

Control was handed back to council officials last October, but the government warned there could be further action if they notice another lapse in management.

Perhaps a £100,000 investment in the PR team is a smart move.

A Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson said: "We are in the process of recruiting a permanent head of communications and marketing as the post became vacant in January 2015. It is currently being filled on an interim basis.

"Mayor Biggs has set out his commitment to increase transparency and accountability at the council. The new head of communications and marketing will have a key role to play in ensuring that we use the most effective ways to engage with and inform residents about the council's work and the democratic processes that underpin them."

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