Waltham Forest Matters: 100,000 views up

In the past few weeks, Waltham Forest Matters has sailed through the ‘100,000 views’ mark. As is obvious, ‘view’ dies not mean ‘read’, and ‘read’ does not mean ‘digest’, let alone ‘agree’. Nevertheless, those caveats accepted, the milestone does indicate that (a) there is an appetite for discussion about the way that Waltham Forest is evolving, which can only be a good thing; and (b) despite the vast amount that LBWF spends on PR and spin, not everyone accepts its much proffered version of the truth. Anyway, warm thanks to all our readers. »

Redevelopment in Waltham Forest: the shocking fate of Section 106 ‘planning gain’ UPDATED

In recent years, there has been growing unease in Waltham Forest about the character of redevelopment, particularly in terms of the balance between public and private good. While LBWF in theory is charged with advancing the interests of local residents, there is a feeling that all too often it has tiptoed around the big property companies now operating in the borough, meaning that what is built tends to cater for those with ready money, and overlook those without. Readers will no doubt have their own views on these matters, but one important detail that has escaped much attention is the so called ‘planning gain’ that accrues to LBWF as building work continues, and may be used to soften the r... »

The mysterious case of the disappearing LBWF councillor…

Yesterday, various readers contacted this blog about a little local mystery. The story is as follows. A couple of days ago, our old friend, LBWF Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes, circulated a list of councillors who are retiring at the forthcoming local election, and who should be tacked onto the end but Cllr. Alastair Strathern. This rightly caused consternation. Representing Higham Hill for Labour, Cllr. Strathern has been generally seen as something of a rising star, a junior Cabinet portfolio holder who in real life is a finance whizz-kid, holding down a high powered job at the Bank of England. Moreover, when LBWF had shortly before circulated the names of all prospective candid... »

Lutfur Rahman: an apology (of sorts)

Over the years, this blog has recorded the richly deserved political and professional downfall of ex-Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman. But it turns out we owe Mr. Rahman something of an apology, because compared to some he never quite scraped the bottom of the barrel. This week’s Private Eye (no. 1467, 6 April to 19 April 2018) explains all: »

Cllr. Limbajee, Cllr. Mbachu, their register of interests forms, and LBWF’s Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes: the controversy continues

The controversy over the register of interests forms posted by Cllrs. Khevyn Limbajee and Anna Mbachu, covered by this blog recently, is mushrooming, with even the officer in charge of enforcing the rules, LBWF Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes, apparently struggling. Let’s take Cllr. Mbachu first, because her case is fairly straightforward. It will be remembered that she has been a director of an ‘active’ company called Knice Industries Ltd. since February 2016, but has never disclosed this fact on her LBWF register of interests form; and that when challenged about this in mid-October 2017, Mr. Hynes excused her non-declaration in part because ‘the councillor... »

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