Tower Hamlets offers the best of London in one borough.
A place of opportunity that is at the heart of the UK economy, boasts some of the capital’s biggest attractions and has one of the most culturally rich populations in the country.
Our borough has been built on entrepreneurship as people come to make better lives for themselves. Their aspirations have made Tower Hamlets a melting pot of creativity, enterprise and cultural life.
Our economy is thriving. We mix the ever expanding Canary Wharf and City fringe with independent traders in our colourful high streets and markets such as Petticoat Lane and Columbia Road.
Every day thousands of tourists come to see major tourist attractions including Tower Bridge, Victoria Park and Brick Lane.
But our biggest assets are our people.
For hundreds of years new communities have settled in Tower Hamlets because of the opportunities to trade and do business.
We celebrate this diversity as one of our greatest strengths. This ethos is reflected in our workforce where the overwhelming majority say they are proud to work for the borough.
Our success is plain to see. People want to live, work and visit in ever increasing numbers.
We have one of the UK’s fastest expanding economies and the fastest growing population with almost half of our residents aged between 20 and 39.
Our challenge is to manage this growth in a sustainable way so that we see improvements in the lives of all our residents, along with the environment around us.
The Mayor’s priorities include cleaner streets, safer communities, greater prosperity for all residents and better access to cultural, community and leisure activities.
That means more affordable housing and family homes; ensuring that we have the social infrastructure to support our new and existing communities; capitalising on the excellent performance of our schools and harnessing economic growth so our young people and those furthest from the job market can benefit.
All of this at a time when our budgets have been significantly cut by central government and high levels of poverty and inequality persist.
The council is meeting the challenge by transforming the way it operates in order to deliver better outcomes for our residents with the money we have.
These changes will put us in the strongest possible position for the move to our new civic centre in Whitechapel in 2021.
The Mayor and our partners have a clear vision for the borough to improve the quality of life for everyone living and working in Tower Hamlets. The vision is articulated through the priorities of the council’s Strategic Plan:
Priority 1 - People are aspirational, independent and have equal access to opportunities
- People access a range of education, training, and employment opportunities.
- Children and young people are protected so they get the best start in life and can realise their potential.
- People access joined-up services when they need them and feel healthier and more independent.
- Inequality is reduced and people feel that they fairly share the benefits from growth.
Priority 2 - A borough that our residents are proud of and love to live in
- People feel they are part of a cohesive and vibrant community.
- People feel safer in their neighbourhoods and anti-social behaviour is tackled.
- People live in good quality affordable homes and well-designed neighbourhoods.
- People live in a borough that is clean and green.
Priority 3 - A dynamic, outcomes-based Council using digital innovation and partnership working to respond to the changing needs of our borough
- People say we are open and transparent putting residents at the heart of everything we do.
- People say we work together across boundaries in a strong and effective partnership to achieve the best outcomes for our residents.
- People say we continuously seek innovation and strive for excellence to embed a culture of sustainable improvement.
The Tower Hamlets Plan 2018-23 sets out the Tower Hamlets Partnership’s five year vision for the borough, articulating local aspirations, needs and priorities. It informs all other strategies and delivery plans of the partnership, including the council’s Strategic Plan.
At Tower Hamlets we live by five TOWER values:
- We work TOGETHER across boundaries and with partners to achieve the best outcomes for Tower Hamlets
- We are OPEN and transparent
- We are WILLING to challenge, innovate and be accountable
- We empower each other to be EXCELLENT and go the extra mile
- We RESPECT all communities, they are the heart of everything we do
To explore more about these integral values please read our 'Living the Tower Values' document.
- The council operates an Executive Mayor and Cabinet form of executive decision-making, with an overview and scrutiny committee, a standards committee and various other decision-making and regulatory committees.
- The corporate structure is designed to support the council's objective of ensuring the provision of services that are responsive to the needs of individuals and communities and integrated at the point of delivery.
- The Chief Executive has been working alongside the Executive Mayor to provide renewed vision and direction.
- The council management structure consists of five directorates:
- Governance Directorate comprises Democratic Services, Legal Services, including Electoral Services and Registrars. The Communications function and the Strategy, Policy, Equalities and Partnerships function currently report to the Chief Executive.
- Resources Directorate comprises of the Finance, Procurement and Audit, Revenues and Benefits, HR & Organisational Development, Customer Services & IT functions. Risk Management and the Programme Management Office are also located in this Directorate.
- Children's and Culture Directorate is responsible for services improving outcomes for children and young people including education and children's social care.
- Health, Adults and Community Directorate is responsible for adult social care, integrated commissioning, public health and community safety.
- Place Directorate includes five key service areas: Growth and Economic Development, Property and Major Programmes, Planning and Building Control, Housing, and Public Realm.
Tower Hamlets is located to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames in east London. It is well connected with its tube, bus and train links across the borough to the City and the West End. It is also served by the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) - the only fully accessible railway in the UK - and City Airport is right around the corner. Click here to see our Civic Centre, Mulberry Place location.
- Three London Underground services cross the district: the District and Metropolitan Lines share track between Aldgate East and Bromley-by-Bow. The Central Line has stations at Bethnal Green and Mile End, where there is an interchange to the District Line. And the Jubilee Line has one stop at Canary Wharf.
Rail and DLR
- The principal rail services commence in the City at Fenchurch Street - with one stop at Limehouse - and at Liverpool Street, with stops at Bethnal Green and Cambridge Heath.
- The DLR was built to serve the docklands areas of the borough, with a principal terminus at Bank and Tower Gateway. An interchange at Poplar allows trains to proceed north to Stratford and south via Canary Wharf towards Lewisham.
- Roads radiate across the borough from the City of London, with the A13 starting at Aldgate and heading east passing the entrance to the Blackwall tunnel towards Newham and south-east Essex. The A12 also starts at Aldgate, and crosses the Lea at Bow, towards Colchester and Great Yarmouth.