John Cryer MP speaks out on anti-semitism – and this time it’s personal

A few days ago, Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer released the statement reproduced below to his local constituency party. As reported by this blog (see links), he has spoken out about Labour anti-semitism before, but this time round he is particularly forceful, and also introduces a personal dimension, alleging that attacks on him for raising the issue over the years were ‘orchestrated’ by ‘someone’ in Jeremy Corbyn’s office. He ends by bluntly stating that those who continue to dismiss complaints about Labour antisemitism as ‘conspiracy’ and ‘smear’, the standard far Left mantra, ‘should ask themselves what they are doing in the&#... »

LBWF’s in-house ‘Eastern Legal Partnership’ initiative: another Waltham Forest mystery

Back in 2018, LBWF launched Eastern Legal Partnership (ELP), which its supremo, Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes, introduced thus: ‘Eastern Legal Partnership (ELP) is a team of lawyers that primarily provide legal services to the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Our successes and expertise in the council’s legal matters means that we are ideally placed to help other public sector organisations such as other borough councils, housing associations, NHS, schools and academies and others. We can also provide legal services to third sector organisations. ELP is the enterprise we have set up to do this’. The accompanying prospectus was bullish, emphasising that, unlike private sect... »

Learning the lessons of Grenfell…or maybe not: LBWF’s 2017-18 flat entrance door update programme at Northwood Tower, Goddarts House, and other sheltered housing blocks

From November 2017 to April 2018, LBWF, via its repair and maintenance agent Osborne, employed a company called Exterior Plas Ltd. to upgrade 217 flat entrance doors (FEDs) at what it called five ‘key sites’ – Walthamstow’s 21 floor Northwood Tower, and four sheltered housing blocks, Boothby Court, Goddarts House, Holmcroft House, and Lime Court. The promise to residents was that in future they would be more secure from the danger of fire than ever before, since while the Building Regulations stipulated that FEDs be at least FD30 (i.e. providing 30 minutes protection), those being installed were FD60 (i.e. providing 60 minutes protection), and moreover, as Divisional Director, Housing ... »

LBWF councillors right to withhold ‘sensitive’ information about themselves on the Register of Interests: use and possible abuse

Though relatively rarely discussed, a clause in the current local government legislation allows councillors to withhold information on their register of interests forms so long as the monitoring officer agrees the information in question is ‘sensitive’, meaning, if made public, would lead to ‘violence or intimidation’ either directly or against ‘a person connected’. The reasoning here is fairly obvious. Councillors are a vital part of local democracy, and must be allowed to carry out their public duties free from fear. Moreover, if abusive behaviour is allowed to flourish, it may well deter members of the public from seeking office in the future, and thus pose a significant threat to the con... »

LBWF’s Internal Audit and Anti-Fraud Team investigates Town Hall procurement of goods and services, and finds disturbing ‘non-compliance with existing Rules’

In late 2019, LBWF’s Internal Audit and Anti-Fraud Team (hereafter IAAFT) completed a report on Town Hall procurement, and surprisingly, given the fact that each year this involves many millions of pounds’ worth of goods and services, concluded that it was only deserving of ‘limited assurance’, with two of the five component findings about risk rated ‘high’ (‘Key targets missed, some services compromised…Service budgets exceeded…Significant breach in laws and regulations resulting in significant…consequences’). The IAAFT investigation was based upon a forensic examination of five procurement contracts, three of which were found to be seriously flawed. At the time, LBWF’s Procurement St... »

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