Protect Tower Hamlets Community Organisations

by Save Our Communities and Save Our Services

Protect Tower Hamlets Community Organisations

by Save Our Communities and Save Our Services
on 06th February 2020
pledged of £20,000 stretch target from 97 pledges

Appeal for your support in our fight for Justice, Fairness and Equality.

We are an Umbrella Group of Community Organisations based in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. For years, our members have provided vital and essential services to disadvantaged people in Tower Hamlets such as the elderly, children, disabled people, people with cancer and other serious illnesses, those who want training to access work and many more. Our services for these groups include English and computer classes, homework clubs, health promotion work, mentoring truants, fitness sessions, luncheon clubs, welfare rights support, debt advice, housing, parenting and skills and employment training. 

But now the crucial services that we provide are under threat and the organisations which provide them are on the verge of closure.

The Tower Hamlets Executive Mayor has treated these organisations and their service users with absolute contempt, when he chose to move from a model of funding that included small community groups like ours, to a new model that discriminated against small charities but favours big and national charities which have large premises, high turnover and assets.

As a result of this, we have had our funding lifeline cut off by the Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets. The organisations that make our group will be forced to close and the critical services that we provide to thousands of people; the disabled people, children and young people, elderly people, women, playgroups, people with physical and mental health problems and the vulnerable people, across the borough every day will stop.

This is unjust and unfair. To stop this discrimination, we are bringing legal action to hold the Executive Mayor to account for this callous and anti-community decision taken without public consultation and after ignoring warnings from the council’s own Overview and Scrutiny Committee. 

If you believe small and medium sized organisations are the backbone of local services and are the vehicle for participation, progress and community development, please join our fight for survival. Please contribute generously and share this page with your friends, family and on social media.

Case background

Under the MGF Scheme, grassroots, local organisations were highly valued and were awarded funding to deliver essential services. But with the new scheme, the criteria have changed in favour of large and national charities with high turnover and million pounds of assets. Most of the small and grassroots organisations were denied funding.

The national charities, centralised in large offices, have very little understanding of our social needs. In a tight-knit community, it is the grassroots organisations which many people know and trust explicitly for welfare and education. With this much-needed local support removed, we will see reductions in services to thousands of beneficiaries, hundreds of job losses and a lack of volunteering opportunities for young people. Hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people will become housebound and lonely, being denied services and unable to come out of their homes.

The Mayor took the decision, despite the fact that the Council’s own Equality Impact Assessment found that this change would have negative Equality Impact with respect to race, age (children and older people), disabled people, pregnancies and maternity care. 

Five Councillors of Mayor’s own party “called-in” the decision in the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on the 14th August 2019 and six Councillors who attended the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting unanimously cautioned the Mayor of the following Equality issues:

    •    That the outcome of the LCF was contrary to the Community Strategy of the Borough in that it excluded small and local grassroots organisations.

    •    A far lower number of Charities were to be funded under LCF then under MGF.

    •    That the adverse Equality outcomes identified by the assessment had not been addressed.

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee also recommended that the Council should revise the selection criteria which would put the small organisations on an equal footing and thus, the councils Equality Opportunities Policy will be upheld. Some Councillors commented, “We know this decision will have an adverse impact to grassroots organisations, leading to some of them being closed, but the Mayor would not listen to us.”

Despite all these precautions and checks, the Mayor confirmed his decision of the 31st July 2019, on the 16th August, 2019.

How much we would like to raise and why?

We are working with the City Firm - Hodge Jones and Allen to challenge this decision and hold the Mayor to account. We have been unable to secure Legal Aid funding.

We are a group of small and grassroots Organisations and have very little Funds available to take on the Mayor and his lawyers, which is why we are appealing for help from the wider community and anyone that cares about maintaining Community driven services and ensuring we have fair and accountable local governance. 

Initially, we need to raise £5,000 to proceed with our Case and will then go on to raise £20,000. All Funds will be directly transferred to our legal team and any unused funds will be dealt with in line with CrowdJustice’s unused funds policy. Please, support us in our fight for Justice, Fairness and Equality. 

Donate generously or whatever you can – £10, £20, £30 – every little helps. Please share this page with your friends and family and social media.

Kind Regards,

Dr Muhammad Abdul Hannan - "Save our Communities Groups and Save our Services"


Bangladesh Youth Movement, Wapping Bangladesh Association, Boundary Community School, Dorset Community Association, Stepney Trust, Bangladeshi Teachers Association, Thames Bengali Association, Collective of Bangladeshi School Governors in Tower Hamlets, The Rooted Forum, Culloden Bangladeshi Parents Association and others.

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