After a complaint, LBWF’s legal eagle, Mark Hynes, rules that Cllr. Anna Mbachu’s register of interests is compliant, but inevitably questions remain

Some weeks ago, on 6 April 2022, I complained to LBWF Director of Governance and Law, Mark Hynes, that Cllr. Anna Mbachu’s register of interests (RoI) did not make reference to the fact that she was a director of Anna Mbachu Educate Orphans and Support The Widows Ltd. (company number 12321223), incorporated on 19 November 2019, and Association of British Nigeria Councillors UK Ltd. (company number 12956092), incorporated on 16 October 2020. On 11 May, after some further correspondence, Mr. Hynes delivered his final verdict. Cllr. Mbachu, he stated, did not need to declare the two directorships, and so had not transgressed in any way.  However, as is often the case in Waltham Forest... »

New LBWF fire safety scandal: Northwood and St Georges Court towers have had high risk failings for years, and nothing has been done about them

LBWF is currently embarked on a £40m. programme of ‘building safety works’.  Much of this sum will be spent on its 14 tower blocks, all of which require substantial modifications, to the extent that for many months Waking Watch arrangements (where ‘suitably trained persons continually patrol all floors and the exterior perimeter of the building in order to detect a fire, raise the alarm, and carry out the role of evacuation management’) have been in place throughout, causing considerable public anxiety. Earlier posts have judged this situation to be fairly disgraceful, but new evidence reveals that it is even worse than originally thought. Much of the previous discussion was based on LB... »

Cllr. Anna Mbachu seeks permission to appeal her recent libel trouncing, but is refused, meaning she’s on the hook for £34,000

As previously reported here, Cllr. Anna Mbachu recently lost a libel action she had brought at the High Court, and in spectacular fashion, too, so leaving her with a £34,000 bill. Subsequently, she decided to seek permission for an appeal, and on the 29 March just past the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Welby of the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, gave his verdict. It is fair to say that he was less than impressed by what was put in front of him.  He began by noting that Cllr. Mbachu’s case had been ‘conducted in a disorderly and highly unsatisfactory fashion from the outset’, and went on to enumerate its ‘many flaws’. To give one example, the core allegation that Cllr. Mbachu made was tha... »

LBWF housing scandal: just 5 per cent of the new homes built in Waltham Forest since 2012 were classified as ‘genuinely affordable’…and this from a Labour council!

As this blog consistently has argued, for some years now LBWF has overlooked its responsibilities to those with least means. Further evidence of this regrettable trend is revealed by examining how LBWF has performed when measured against its oft repeated promise to ensure, using its planning powers, that 50 per cent of the new homes which developers and construction companies complete each year in the borough are ‘affordable’. It’s worth emphasising at the outset that the word ‘affordable’ in this context often triggers confusion and cynicism, because, as veteran London journalist Dave Hill notes, ‘the range of housing types to which the word “affordable” is applied has become so wide a... »

Can the ordinary resident get justice in Waltham Forest?

Some may judge the question posed in the title of this post as superfluous, with the answer so obviously ‘yes’ that it’s not worthy of further consideration. But consider these two case studies. Case One – Mr. A For some years, Mr. A has lived in a flat at a LBWF sheltered housing block.  In March 2021, he answered a knock on his door, and was confronted by a tradesman who claimed to be from a partner company which LBWF employs to carry out maintenance and repairs. The tradesman wanted to come into the flat, but was not wearing a face mask and had no ID.  Mr. A was wary on both counts, and so declined to let the tradesman in. Later, Mr. A went into the block’s common room. Sho... »

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