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) »

Mark Hynes, LBWF Director of Governance and Law, receives a second successive rebuke from the Information Commissioner’s Office: what’s going on?

As a previous post has revealed, though LBWF’s Director of Governance and Law, Mark Hynes, doubles as the council’s Data Protection Officer, his understanding of how information on individuals should be handled on occasion is completely at odds with the experts of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Some recent correspondence provides a further illustration of Mr. Hynes’ embarrassing divergence from the legal mainstream. The letter reproduced below from an ICO case officer to Mr. Hynes concerns a complaint that the redoubtable Waltham Forest Echo journalist, Michelle Edwards, has made about how LBWF handled two inquiries of hers submitted under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).... »

London Borough of Waltham Forest: the local authority that can’t even finalise its annual accounts

Every year, like other local authorities, LBWF is bound by law to produce its annual accounts, using an external auditor and a timetable specified by the Accounts and Audit Regulations of 2015. But this year, the procedure has gone wrong, indeed very wrong, and now there is a lively post mortem in progress about who is to blame, and what are the likely consequences. As regards the 2018-19 audit, LBWF knew the specified time frame well beforehand. Unaudited accounts were due by 31 May 2019, and audited accounts by 31 July 2019, so that the latter then could be signed off by the Audit and Governance Committee. However, it has recently emerged that LBWF’s auditor, Ernst and Young LLP (hereafter... »

John Cryer MP and Anti-Semitism

All the recent talk of the Corbynistas’ anti-semitism brings to mind a post that appeared on this blog way back in 2017. That great advert for Labour meritocracy, John Cryer MP, had awoken from his usual deep slumber, and was holding forth at a Labour Conference fringe event. The BBC reported thus: ‘A senior Labour MP has said he is shocked at some of the anti-Semitic tweets by party members that come before its disciplinary panel. John Cryer said some of what is written “makes your hair stand up”, adding: “This stuff is redolent of the 1930s.” He was speaking at a fringe debate at the Labour conference in Brighton… …Mr Cryer, Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead, described a “seeping poison” a... »

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