Allow us to introduce you to one of the most significant events in Twentieth Century local democracy and how local Councillors were jailed for putting their people first.
This story of ordinary people standing firm for their community resonates today, a century later.
In 1921, the recently elected Poplar Borough Council found itself on the wrong end of a ruling by the High Court and a number of Councillors (30) were sent to jail indefinitely for Contempt of Court.
Their Crime? It was a refusal to collect the cross-London precept for the London County Council, the Metropolitan Police, the Metropolitan Asylums Board and the Metropolitan Water Board from their poverty stricken residents.
Read more about theses events on our History page.
The Hale Street Mural
In Hale Street, Poplar, is a mural commemorating the 1921 Poplar Rates Rebellion. It is now in urgent need of renovation and you can lend your voice to this project by emailing Tower Hamlets Council. Please Contact Us for the address to send your email and some suggested text - Your Voice Matters.
This site is supported by the George Lansbury Memorial Trust which was founded in 2012 to commemorate the life, work and legacy of George Lansbury (1859–1940). A pioneering campaigner for peace, women’s rights, local democracy and improvements in labour conditions, Lansbury was an adopted East Ender who made a great contribution to local as well as national life.
George Lansbury, MP for Bow & Bromley, led the Labour Party from 1932–1935 and spent his political life campaigning for social justice, women’s rights and world disarmament. The Lansbury Estate in Poplar is named after him. It was built as part of the 1951 Festival of Britain, as an example of ‘housing for the people’ after the Second World War.