Councillor Keith Rayner revealed to have had some difficulty with, ahem, his own council tax payments

A valuable investigation by Lewis Berrill, Chief Reporter of the East London and West Essex Guardian, has revealed that in the past few years four LBWF councillors – Rajar Anwar, Kastriot Berberi, Jemma Hemsted, and Keith Rayner – have been issued with notices for late payment of council tax, with Messrs Anwar and Rayner also then each receiving a court summons, see

https://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/17993449.waltham-forest-councillor-summoned-court-council-tax/

Cllr. Rayner’s case is certainly the most serious, as he was issued with two notices for late payment in 2015-16; a further reminder for payment in 2016-17; and shortly afterwards, a summons.

According to Mr. Berrill the summons was later ‘withdrawn’, something that, in a revealing display of arrogance, neither Cllr. Rayner nor LBWF now are willing to explain.

Some readers will no doubt remember that in the later 2000s Cllr. Rayner, a long-term Lib-Dem, was Deputy Leader of the coalition running the Town Hall, at a time when an independent panel found therein ‘a deep-rooted culture of non-compliance with procedures to prevent fraud’ (see link below); and that in 2011, after his party performed poorly at the polls, he quickly abandoned his colleagues, and jumped ship to Labour.

It is also worth noting that taking the years 2015-16 and 2016-17 together, Cllr. Rayner received £24,116 in council allowances, about 20 times the total sum in unpaid council tax that he was being chased for.

And there is even a nice comic coda.

For recently, Cllr. Rayner has become chair of no less than the LBWF Budget and Performance Scrutiny Committee – and that, surely, is one of the best ‘you couldn’t make it up’ Waltham Forest moments yet.

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Documenting Past Failures: (7) The Independent Panel and a ‘scathing’ report on LBWF’s ‘deep-rooted culture of non-compliance with procedures to prevent fraud’.

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