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Walkabout Mayor joins Covid Advice Panel

“WHY WAS Executive Mayor John Biggs walking round the St John’s estate, with Cllr Ehtasham Haque, on 6th February?” is one of the questions on the lips of many residents in E14. Now there is a chance to push for an answer.

Tower Hamlets Council is holding a “live virtual discussion and Q&A session”, starting at 7pm on Wednesday, 17th February. The Council says that this is an opportunity to “ask Mayor John Biggs and a panel of health experts about Covid-19 vaccinations and share any concerns.”

Many residents have been concerned about why the Executive Mayor and a councillor have been walking through E14, given that the lockdown restrictions currently require people to stay at home – unless they have one of a small number of reasons to go out. To date, the Executive Mayor and Cllr Haque have not explained which of those reasons justifies their walkabout: the meeting is a chance for the Executive Mayor to put public concerns to rest.

There may be many questions about Covid and the vaccination that members of the public wish to ask, and it would be a shame if too much of the meeting was taken up with talking about the mayoral walkabout, rather than the vaccine. The answer is in the Executive Mayor’s hands: if he were to answer residents’ questions beforehand, this matter need not take up any time at the meeting at all.

The panel of health experts includes Deputy Mayor Cllr Rachel Blake, who is the Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, and Dr Somen Banerjee, who heads up Public Health for the Council. From outside the Council come Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England’s National Director for Health and Wellbeing, and Dr Anwar Ali MBE.  It is not immediately obvious who Dr Anwar Ali is, and it may be that the guest is actually local GP and former Conservative candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets Dr Anwara Ali MBE.

Registering to attend the meeting is very easy. During registration, you will be asked to put a question to the panel. You can ask a question about the vaccine – or you can ask Executive Mayor John Biggs to explain why he was on walkabout during lockdown. It may well be that the health experts on the panel will think that it will boost public confidence if the Executive Mayor does indeed give an answer.

●Find out more about the meeting here:

●Register for the meeting here:

●Listen to callers express concerns:
The Tuesday Show

●Read more about this story:
Mayor John Biggs and Cllr Ehtasham Haque step out together
Are apologies enough when lockdown rules are broken?
Mayor tight lipped as community asks for answers

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