Help Shape the future of Tower Hamlets’ library service

Until now, Tower Hamlets has kept all its libraries and Idea Stores open in the face of continued government cuts which have seen 778 libraries close nationally since austerity was introduced a decade ago.

Continued government changes to council funding and the Covid-19 crisis mean the council has to save £30m by 2024. This is on top of £200m already saved since 2010. You can find out more in Tower Hamlets’ budget consultation.

To do this, savings have to be made across the council including reducing the cost of the library service, which is £4.4 million a year. The savings proposed will deliver savings of £1.6 million. Tower Hamlets’ are suggesting two options:

Option 1

Deliver savings by:

  • closing Cubitt Town Library
  • reducing opening hours at Bethnal Green Library from 50 to 15 a week
  • reducing the space and opening hours at Idea Store Watney Market to one floor and from 65 to 30 hours a week
  • reducing Sunday opening hours at our four main sites from six hours to four hours
  • reducing evening staffing levels at our four main sites.

Option 2

Deliver savings by:

  • Closing Cubitt Town and Bethnal Green Libraries and Idea Store Watney Market
  • but keeping service levels at our four main sites unchanged (Idea Store Whitechapel, Idea Store Bow, Idea Store Chrisp Street and Idea Store Canary Wharf)

Help shape the future of Tower Hamlets’ library service | Let’s Talk Tower Hamlets

Two focus groups are planned, where residents, community, voluntary groups and other interested parties will be invited to discuss the two options put forward.

  • Thursday 17 December 2pm-3pm (details tbc)
  • Wednesday 13 January 6pm-7pm (details tbc)

For more information and to take part in a survey (which will remain open until 5pm, Friday 29 January 2021) please click the button below

Testing Times

Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum (THIFF) would like to invite you to an online 2020 Inter Faith Week Event, ‘Testing Times’ – an information giving event for all faiths and communities in the borough. We are pleased to announce that we will be joined by Janet Daby MP, Shadow Minister for Faith, Women & Equalities.

Testing Times
Time: 12-2pm
Date: Thursday 12 November
Place: Online, via Zoom.


This Inter Faith Week will be very different to the ones that we are used to, although we cannot meet together in person, we can still mark Inter Faith Week online. Nobody could have predicted how much life would change due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this year we will be focusing on the importance of keeping Tower Hamlets communities informed and up to date on important issues such as health, funding and resources, along with recognising the fantastic support that is offered by faith communities themselves.
Come along and find out:


• What resources are available to faith and community groups?
• What is the coronavirus guidance for Tower Hamlets right now?
• How are the police working to ensure communities are safe?
• What are local faith groups doing to offer support to the community?

Confirmed speakers
• Janet Daby MP, Shadow Minister for Faith, Women & Equalities
• Peter Okali, CEO of THCVS (Tower Hamlets Council for Voluntary Services)
• Chief Inspector Pete Shaw, HQ & Covid Lead Central East BCU (Hackney & Tower Hamlets)
• Polly Ashmore, Public Health Speciality Registrar, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
• Local faith leaders (more tbc) Dilowar Khan, Executive Director, East London Mosque.

Faith continues to be a vital part of the borough’s response to the coronavirus, so please come along and stand together with us for Inter Faith Week 2020 – you can register your free spaces(s) by clicking the button below:

Light Up a Life 2020

Click below to make a dedication in memory of your loved one on our virtual tree.
 

The annual Light up a Life service is a special time to remember and celebrate the lives of those who are gone but not forgotten.
This year, to keep everyone safe and follow the guidelines, we will be broadcasting the service via our website and social media pages.

It will still be a multi-faith service at the Hospice with music and readings as well as time for quiet reflection, and the most poignant part of the evening will be when we switch on the lights of the Remembrance Tree, with each twinkling light symbolising the life of a loved one.