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LBWF and fire hazards in its housing stock: the appalling case of Northwood Tower in Walthamstow (3)

Lest there is anybody out there who still thinks that LBWF’s handling of fire risks at Northwood Tower has been commensurate with its boast that ‘The safety of our residents is always our top priority [emphasis added]’, reproduced below are the overall Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) provided by the assessor Ridge and Partners LLP from 2014 to 2018. Nobody, of course, would want to live in a property where there was ‘significant potential for serious injury or death’ and ‘improvements should be undertaken urgently’ (as in 2017 and 2018), but most people would baulk, too, at the prospect of living in a property where ‘essential action must be made ... »

LBWF and fire hazards in its housing stock: the appalling case of Northwood Tower in Walthamstow (2)

In response to ‘[s]everal recent articles in local newspapers’ about Northwood Tower, LBWF has just issued a PR release which predictably claims that the latter contain unspecified ‘misunderstandings and inaccuracies’ and seeks to reassure ‘residents and the wider community’ that the building is ‘safe and secure’. No doubt local newspapers can respond for themselves, but as far as this blog is concerned, the PR release does not challenge any of the facts already posted. LBWF admits that the 2018-19 Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) of Northwood Tower did indeed identify 65 necessary remedial actions, and adds the wholly new (and as yet unverified) inf... »

LBWF and fire hazards in its housing stock: the appalling case of Northwood Tower in Walthamstow (1)

In the past few months, journalists James Cracknell and Michelle Edwards of the Waltham Forest Echo have done sterling work in exposing the serious safety flaws that currently blight many of the 22 tower blocks in the borough, see here https://walthamforestecho.co.uk/fire-safety-flaws-at-borough-tower-blocks/ here https://walthamforestecho.co.uk/tower-residents-fire-safety-fears/ and here https://walthamforestecho.co.uk/returning-to-northwood-tower/ What follows examines one of the tower blocks in detail, documents the dreadful situation that pertained there as of mid-2018, and reveals that many of the flaws then existent also had been clearly identified several times previously, indeed incl... »

Cllr. Clare Coghill responds to a polite inquiry about Universal Credit: first there is prevarication, then she complains about ‘sexually aggressive’ abuse

I try not to post about issues where I am directly involved, but sometimes it’s unavoidable, and what follows is a case in point. During September 2018, I signed a joint letter to LBWF Leader Clare Coghill inquiring about what steps the council was taking to mitigate the disastrous introduction of Universal Credit. The tenor of the letter was thoughtful, evidenced, non-partisan, and of course about a pressing current issue, and the other signatories included some political figures, but of greater personal consequence, colleagues from the community and voluntary sector who were working directly to address poverty. The letter was dispatched in early October, but despite some chasing, week foll... »

The Connecting Communities Programme in Waltham Forest: everyone’s welcome (except the disabled and poverty-stricken)

In March 2018, the government launched a new £50m. Integrated Communities Strategy (ICS), ‘to tackle the root causes of poor integration and create a stronger, more united Britain’. Shortly afterwards, it was announced that LBWF was to be one of five authorities in England involved in piloting the ICS to 2019/20, supported by an initial grant of £1.2m.; and subsequently, LBWF has published Waltham Forest Our Place. A Shared Plan for Connecting Communities [hereafter Our Place], an implementation document aimed at the general public. What follows outlines LBWF’s intentions, and then offers a critical evaluation. Our Place opens with some background. Waltham Forest’s population increased by 17... »

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