‘London Borough of Waltham Forest: “a property empire with a sideline in local government”’ – the movie

The trailer from Limitedscope. Other Limitedscope productions can be found at   »

LBWF’s refresh of its Gang Prevention Programme: spin, spin, and more spin?

It is abundantly evident that many people in the borough, from many different backgrounds, are worried about the seemingly unchecked level of local gang-related crime, and the grave impact that this is having on young people’s lives. It is therefore astonishing that those who turned to LBWF’s website yesterday in order to find out what the Cabinet is intending to do about gangs found themselves greeted by the following: Certain aspects of anti-gang work – for example, active police operations – of course must be kept largely confidential. But yesterday’s discussion was about the direction of LBWF policy, and the resources to be expended, in other words the kind of things that taxpayers... »

The Labour Party in Waltham Forest and the financing of local elections: a scandal in the making?

Over the years, a number of correspondents have approached this blog to express anxieties about how the local Labour Party (LP) is being run and financed. Some of their claims are plausible, others less so. But in general, it is often difficult for the bystander, given the prevalence of internecine strife, to separate out truth from factional point scoring. However, a whistleblower with impeccable credentials now has stepped forward to put meat on the bone, and what emerges is alarming, to say the least. LP rules require that the costs of local government elections – which are often substantial – should be borne by the relevant Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). But in the last two co... »

Silver Birch Academy Trust: Lost in the Forest?

As this blog has periodically observed, to mere mortals the world of primary and secondary school academies, and in particular their governance, is sometimes rather puzzling. Last Sunday, the Observer featured a local case that well illustrates the point. Silver Birch Academy Trust (SBAT) runs four primary schools with nearly 2,000 pupils, three of which (Chingford Hall Primary Academy, Longshaw Primary Academy, and Whittingham Primary Academy) are in Waltham Forest. Like its peers, SBAT is regulated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and subject to periodic inspection. Where the controversy arises is that, according to the Observer, when ESFA inspectors recently visited SBAT... »

LBWF councillors and their register of interests forms: an update and reflection UPDATED

Previous posts have looked at the problems that some councillors are having over accurately filling in their register of interests forms (see links below). What follows summarises the current state of play with the three most egregious cases, all uncovered by residents, and in particular looks at how LBWF Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes has handled them. So, starting with the three cases, this is how they stand: Cllr. Anna Mbachu In the autumn of 2017, it emerged that Cllr. Mbachu had not disclosed that she was a director of a private property letting company called Knice Industries Ltd., and in fact had been so since February 2016. Mr. Hynes response was that ‘strictly speaking’ t... »

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