Councillors in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets have been criticised for spending tax-payers’ money on public speaking lessons, revealed by a Freedom of Information request. 

The Docklands and East London Advertiser report:

Public speaking lessons for elected members of cash-strapped Tower Hamlets Council have been costing the taxpayer thousands of pounds, it has emerged.

Councillors received lessons from external coaches – including from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art – at a cost of almost £5,500 since 2004.

Training is provided as a matter of course for members who accept ceremonial roles, with bills for some coaching sessions running to almost £2,000.

The figures, released following a Freedom of Information request, have triggered criticism as the Town Hall seeks £100million in savings over four years.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.