Liberal Democrats condemn council’s budget cuts to Tower Hamlets Community Language Service (CLS)

The Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats have condemned the Labour council’s budget cuts to the Community Language Service (CLS), and expressed their support for the public demonstration  against the cuts that will take place at the Town Hall on Weds 20th February at 6:30pm. The council’s plan to fund the service entirely from fees - rather than grants - will lead to a decline in take-up and the likely eventual closure of both the service and many of the 47 community organisations it supports.

Councillor Rabina Khan said:

“It is typical of Mayor John Biggs’s council to change the funding model for the Community Language Service without any meaningful consultation with the people impacted. The CLS provides a vital community service that champions and helps the diverse communities of Tower Hamlets, and Labour’s attempt to scrap it by stealth is disgraceful. The Liberal Democrats call on the Mayor to consult properly with the people he serves and build a viable publicly funded plan to run the service. I encourage all concerned residents to support the demonstration at the Town Hall at 6pm on Feb 20th, and to sign the online petition at The Petition Site.”

Elaine Bagshaw, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Poplar & Limehouse said:

“Providing good education to all people is a core value of the Liberal Democrats. As with the closure of the council run nurseries, Labour have once again shown that they cannot be trusted to run a public service that is vital to the cohesion of the diverse communities of Tower Hamlets and to providing wider opportunities to residents. The Liberal Democrats demand better for Tower Hamlets.”

The Community Language Service was created to build community cohesion and improve educational attainment in those for whom English is not their first language. Tower Hamlets residents use around 90 different languages and have one of the highest levels of child poverty in the country. The CLS enables lower income and ethnic minority residents to gain better education and improved job prospects.

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