Posts

Amy Lamé finds a congenial home

One name that has cropped up recently in relation to Waltham Forest is Amy Lamé, London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s £75,000 p.a. Night Czar, ‘TV personality’, and ‘active’ Labour Party member. Her link to Waltham Forest is because she has been intimately involved in Mayor Khan’s plan to pilot Walthamstow High Street as a ‘Night Time Enterprise Zone’, something he has buttressed by granting LBWF £75,000 to run initiatives such as a ‘shop local late’ campaign. Of course, as so often is the case, the back scratching is mutual, and so LBWF’s spin machine has taken up Ms. Lamé big time, positioning her as Leader Cllr. Clare Coghill’s new best friend: However, at the end of last wee... »

LBWF councillors: what do they do, and is it value for money?

What is it that LBWF councillors do? Are they proficient or laggard? And can it be said, given that they are paid via allowances from the public purse, that residents get value for money? This post looks at some of the evidence dispassionately. It does not pretend to be definitive, for reasons that will become clear, merely an introduction to what hopefully will be a longer debate. It should be said, to start with, that wider discussion about councillors’ performance is currently polarised. Those who are close to the action invariably stress the difficulty of the role, and the hard work that is being put in. One recent report from the umbrella body, London Councils, perceptively describes so... »

The Goddarts House fire safety fiasco: an update

Previous posts have looked at the controversy over flat entrance doors (FEDs) at Goddarts House sheltered housing in Walthamstow, particularly the issue of whether or not they offer sufficient resistance in the event of a fire, and what follows is an update. Regular readers will remember that when LBWF, though its repairs and maintenance contractor, Osborne, replaced the FEDs at Goddarts in late 2017, it was purported to be an upgrade. FEDs are classified as either FD30 or FD60, the numerals denoting how many minutes of fire protection are guaranteed. The new doors at Goddarts, LBWF and Osborne agreed, were FD60s, offering 30 minutes more protection that their predecessors. Subsequently, LBW... »

The East London Credit Union: some new facts, but confusion, maybe evasion, persists

 Last month, LBWF divulged some more information about its subsidisation of the now collapsed East London Credit Union (ELCU). The focus is on a large grant that LBWF awarded to ELCU in 2015 in order to help it support vulnerable residents and small businesses. Previous references to this grant were both contradictory and deficient as to important details. In a book published during 2017, a chapter co-authored by then ELCU CEO Michelle Howlin claimed that, two years earlier, LBWF had made ‘a £500,000 investment [in ELCU] to deliver a range of initiatives, including business lending’. Yet in a supposedly definitive listing of all LBWF payments to ELCU from 2014 onwards, forwarded under the Fr... »

Private Eye on fire safety at Goddarts House sheltered housing complex, Walthamstow

  (From Private Eye, No.1512 21/12/19-09/01/20) »

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