The £40,000 Cann Hall side-wall ‘artwork’ is cancelled, artists Mathew Raw and Abigail Holsborough depart the scene, and LBWF scrambles for excuses – its a big victory for local residents

As the linked posts (below) describe in some detail, for the past few months, and as part of its Making Places programme, LBWF has been intent on putting an ‘artwork’ made of tiles and costing an extraordinary £40,000, on the dilapidated side-wall of a private property in Cann Hall Rd. – a private property that coincidentally happens to be owned by a prominent family of Labour supporters, the most eminent of whom is Dawn Butler, the Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary. Meanwhile, large numbers of residents have expressed their displeasure, citing everything from the ‘artworks’’s flawed aesthetics, to the almost total lack of consultation about what was to be done an... »

‘Public realm and shop front improvements’ in South Leytonstone: dogs get their dinner, while the area’s real problems are forgotten

Recent posts have looked at LBWF’s plan to spend £40,000 turning the wall of a private property on Cann Hall Rd. into an alleged ‘artwork’, and the subsequent massive backlash. But as documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal, this is by no means the only extraordinary waste of public money that LBWF is foisting on the same area, broadly South Leytonstone’s Cann Hall and Cathall wards. As has been previously pointed out (see links below), having studiously ignored the subject for the best part of a decade, Cann Hall councillors in particular have suddenly become infatuated with the idea of a local plan, which sounds impressive, though on closer inspection turns out to be... »

LBWF Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes and Labour Councillor Liaquat Ali: Punch meets Judy, again

At the beginning of November 2018, The Waltham Forest Guardian’s Alice Richardson reported that at a full Council meeting in 2015, the Labour Cabinet portfolio holder, Cllr. Liaquat Ali, had failed to declare an interest. She explained: ‘On the council’s website, Cllr Liaquat Ali, who is a private landlord, is recorded as being present in a full council meeting on July 9, 2015 where private rental licences were discussed, but there is no record of him declaring an interest during the meeting. The council’s list of interests declared at meetings shows that fellow cabinet member for health, Cllr Naheed Asghar, did declare an interest on the day, as her partner owns a lettings company. Cllr Asg... »

How the Labour Party funds local elections in Waltham Forest: further embarrassing revelations

Two previous posts have looked at how Labour in Waltham Forest manages its finances, and suggested that all is not as it should be, particularly with respect to transparency. What follows examines some new data that appreciably amplifies this earlier conclusion. After local elections, political parties are required to account for their expenditure to the Electoral Commission (EC) by submitting returns for all candidates listing how they financed their campaigns and what exactly they spent their money on. Focusing on Labour at the 2018 contest, these returns reveal, in aggregate terms, the following about funding: As can be seen, Labour spent £21,392 in all, and two-thirds of the total was pr... »

LBWF’s Making Places programme and the Cann Hall side-wall fiasco: good news and bad

As a previous post has described in detail, LBWF currently plans to spend a dizzying £40,000 on tiling the large side-wall of a private commercial property in Cann Hall ward, all in the name of producing a ‘joyous’ and ‘popular’ piece of public art, Matthew Raw and Abigail Holsborough’s Embedded Bread. The good news is that because of widespread local disquiet (and in particular a petition with well over 450 signatories) LBWF has just put the project ‘on hold’ (even if, to residents’ amusement, it is apparently incapable of explaining exactly what this means). However, there is plenty of bad news too. First, a new Freedom of Information Act deposition reveals that, th... »

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