David Cameron’s speech in Birmingham on Wednesday talked about the power of the Big Society ideas and how the Conservatives are set to revolutionise our country. But what does this mean for Tower Hamlets and how will it apply to the mayoralty? Well, on Wednesday night I had the opportunity to address TELCO, a coalition of local faith groups, trades unions and other community bodies. For those who struggle to understand the Big Society, well this was it writ large. These are the people who day in, day out work in the community to deliver change and improve lives. These are the groups, not the distant Town Hall, who can help deliver on the agenda of employment, education and crime reduction that I have been championing since day one, before all the other candidates (some have decided to join the race now) began talking about them.
I am quite clear in my Contract with Tower Hamlets about how I will go about running our borough if elected. I am not running to try and turn into the fat controller, ordering about the local authority as if that can deliver change. Backed by a cabinet of able people who share my ambitions, I will deliver real results in Tower Hamlets and the Big Society will empower churches, mosques, synagogues, residents’ associations, charities, volunteering organisations and businesses to help deliver the change. This isn’t government abdicating responsibility, but arming the responsible.