Health inequalities by ward in Waltham Forest: an investigation in eight acts

Prologue In the early 2000s, it was often noted that health in Waltham Forest varied noticeably from ward to ward. For example, the Primary Health Trust’s Public Health Report 2003/04 included the following graphic: What this showed, to take one example, was that men and women in Cann Hall at that date were likely to die 5.3 years and 4.4 years earlier that their equivalents in Endlebury. For a short while, such figures were also at the forefront of public debate, but subsequently they slipped from view. Recently, however, the subject has been referenced again, and what follows recounts the story that has subsequently unfolded. Act One On 28 January 2017, Councillor Ahsan Khan, Cabinet... »

LBWF old boy Daniel Fenwick makes the news in Newham

This week’s Private Eye has some disquieting news about LBWF old boy Daniel Fenwick, now working for Newham, see ‘Truth Will Doubt’, below: Many will remember then LBWF Director and Governance Mr. Fenwick fondly as a stout defender of his employer’s interests. He worked for LBWF at a time when the authority had its fair share of scandals – the Better Neighbourhoods Initiative, the Independent Panel inquiry, Worknet, and the revelation that workers in the Town Hall had been exposed to asbestos, to name but a few. But ‘organised crime and masonic links’ – that’s a whole other ballgame. We wish him well. »

An interview with James O’Rourke of Walthamstow Independents Forum

For those who don’t know you, can you briefly describe your political apprenticeship? Life events are often the catalyst for entering politics. In my case in 1990 my brother, who has a severe learning disability, faced a crisis. I approached each Party spokesperson seeking support. The Liberal Democrat, Bob Sullivan, simply said ‘I can’t promise anything but I’ll do my best to help you resolve the issue’. As a former social worker that’s all I wanted to hear. The ruling Party spokesperson refused to engage and the main opposition simply saw it as a political and PR opportunity. In 1994 I first stood for election for the Liberal Democrats in the local elect... »

LBWF and the Freedom of Information Act: some troubling new findings

The Campaign for Freedom of Information has just published an overview* that examines the extent to which London local authorities are following good practice in complying with the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, and predictably LBWF does not come out of it very well. To start with, it emerges that LBWF receives an unusually high number of FOI requests: In passing, it is rather surprising to find that, almost uniquely, as a note to this chart records, ‘Waltham Forest wasn’t able to extract the number of requests received in 2016/17 from its system’. But the more interesting question, obviously, is why LBWF finds itself being so much questioned. Perhaps the borough’s residents are unusually... »

The Prevent programme in Waltham Forest: has LBWF surrendered to Islamic sectarians? UPDATED

‘Waltham Forest is a Prevent Tier 1 priority area and as such receives additional funding from the Home Office to deliver Prevent projects. Tier 1 status is apportioned as Waltham Forest is considered to be of significantly higher risk [of terrorism] than the majority of local authority areas. Accordingly, expectations of delivery are high’ (Home Office, Prevent Pier Review Report Waltham Forest (March 2018)) For some years past, Waltham Forest has been home to a number of active Islamist extremists, and as a consequence LBWF continues to receive a considerable amount of extra cash to augment its counter-terrorism Prevent programme. Never afraid to look a gift horse in the mouth, LBWF today ... »

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