Tag Archives: Rohima Rahman

Another one bites the dust

10 Nov

Rohima Rahman

Suspended from the party

On the Newham Recorder website today:

An Upton Park councillor has been suspended from the Labour Party.

Cllr Rohima Rahman, who represents the Green Street East ward, was placed “in administrative suspension” according to a letter sent to Newham Labour Party members and seen by the Recorder.

In the letter, sent out by Labour party secretary Cllr Susan Masters, it states that despite the suspension Cllr Rahman will “continue in her role as a Newham Councillor” and will still be able to attend Labour branch meetings.

But it adds that “for the time being”, she will no longer be part of group communications nor attend East Ham CLP (Constituency Labour Party) meetings.

There is no indication as to when the suspension will be lifted or why it has been imposed.

A council spokeswoman said: “Responsibilities for the Mayoral Adviser for Community Care and Personal Assistance have been transferred to Cllr Clive Furness, Mayoral Advisor for Adults and Health.”

The reason behind the councillor’s suspension remains unclear.

Cllr Rahman told the Recorder that it was a “personal matter” and declined to make a comment. The Newham Labour Party has been approached for a statement.

This story broke last night on Twitter but still no-one seems any the wiser as to the reason.

It isn’t quite clear from the Recorder story, but this is a suspension imposed by the national Labour party. It’s not Sir Robin getting his knickers in a twist about someone saying no to him or failing to put two sugars in his tea. Whatever she’s alleged to have done has brought the weight of party HQ down on her.

And the speed with which the mayor acted to sack her as his advisor on community care and have all details of her portfolio expunged from the council website suggests it’s a serious matter.

But however hard he tries to distance himself, Sir Robin has to confront the fact that two of his councillors – both of them reliable and compliant allies – are now suspended from the party. Plaistow’s Ahmed Noor remains on ‘administrative suspension’ following his property troubles back in May.

Is this the kind of party the new post-Corbyn influx of members thought they were joining? I very much doubt it.

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The invisible woman

15 May

Although some pitifully inadequate details of what the mayor’s chums are meant to be doing for their ‘special responsibility allowances’ have now been published, there is one group of advisors whose role remains a complete mystery: the lead community councillors.

There are nine of them:

  • Beckton – Cllr Ayesha Chowdhury (Beckton)
  • Custom House & Canning Town – Cllr Idris Ibrahim (Green St West)
  • East Ham – Cllr Lakmini Shah (East Ham South)
  • Forest Gate – Cllr Rohima Rahman (Green St East)
  • Green Street – Cllr Hanif Abdulmuhit (Green St West)
  • Manor Park – Cllr Salim Patel (Manor Park)
  • Plaistow – Cllr Forhad Hussain (Plaistow North)*
  • Royal Docks – Cllr Patrick Murphy (Royal Docks)
  • Stratford & West Ham – Cllr Mas Patel (Forest Gate South)

Each one pulls in an extra £6,679 a year. According to the published pay scale that means they are meant to spend a full day a week on their community leading duties.

As Sir Robin endlessly reminds us, Newham is facing the most savage cuts in funding of any council in the country, while at the same time having to cope with expanding demand for services. How can he justify handing out such large sums for vague, undefined, and apparently unaccountable responsibilities?

Forest Gate residents will be especially bemused. Despite having six councillors of our own, the lead councillor represents a ward in Green Street – where she also lives. What advice or insight could she possibly offer the mayor – who lives locally himself and has done for 20 years?

I’d recognise any of the Forest Gate councillors if I saw them in the street (or the Forest Tavern or CoffeE7, or at the station). In fact, I regularly do. But Cllr Rahman could punch me in the face and I’d have no idea who she was.

That may also be true of some of her colleagues. According to council records, In the 2014/15 municipal year, she turned up to just three of the eight meetings of the Health and Social Care scrutiny commission she sits on and not a single cabinet meeting. She attended four full meetings of council, although the minutes do not record her uttering a single word.

* Cllr Hussain also has two other mayoral appointments: Cabinet Member for Commercial Opportunities and Deputy Cabinet Lead for Building Communities. He therefore gets an allowance of £33,395 for working 5 days a week.

New community lead councillor

5 Jun

Rohima Rahman

Councillor Rohima Rahman has been named as the new community lead councillor for Forest Gate.

The announcement was included in a list of Sir Robin’s new line-up of cabinet members and advisors published on the council website.

Our previous lead councillor, David Christie, has been promoted and is now mayoral advisor for ‘Small Business Programme and Local Enterprises’.

It is a strange appointment. Councillor Rahman does not represent either of the two Forest Gate wards, nor does she live here. 

Councillor Mas Patel of Forest Gate South qualifies on both counts, but he has been appointed as lead councillor for Stratford and West Ham.

Besides Mas Patel there are many other councillors who are local residents, or who represent us, and are not otherwise occupied advising the mayor or scrutinising him – Seyi Akiwowo, John Gray, Alan Griffiths or Rachel Tripp, to name just a few.

Why could Sir Robin not have given one of them the job?