Posts

Register of interests wrap: five councillors did not update their forms as required, but others, including Cllr. Terry, are cleared

This post briefly sums up the past few months’ revelations about LBWF councillors and their register of interests forms (grouping the findings under three broad headings) and then discuses some of the issues that arise. Failure to update (a) Cllrs. Limbajee, Miller, and Mbachu As earlier posts have noted, LBWF Director of Governance and Law, Mark Hynes, has determined that Cllrs. Limbajee, Miller, and Mbachu did not updated their registers of interests as required (see links below). (b) Cllr. Johar Khan In a recent judgment, Mr. Hynes also finds against Cllr. Johar Khan on similar grounds, writing to a complainant: ‘You were quite in your assertion that Cllr. Khan’s register had not been upd... »

LBWF’s Making Places programme and the strange case of the Cann Hall side-wall: four residents speak and £40,000 of public money goes west UPDATED

In the summer of 2017, LBWF put out an open call to architects, artists, designers, and landscape artists, inviting them to take part in a programme called Making Places, which it was funding from its own resources to the tune of no less than £1m.. The objective was to commission ‘community arts’ projects for ‘unloved spaces’ in each of the borough’s 20 wards, thus generate ‘places which are brighter, safer and where residents and visitors enjoy spending time’, and so ultimately make ‘a lasting impact on local communities’. Those bidding were encouraged to think imaginatively and promised a budget of up to £40,000 per ward, but it was also emphasised that residents’ views must be valued. Ind... »

Labour Chief Whip Cllr. Steve Terry: rule book king, but does he really know his apples from his oranges? UPDATED

Cllr. Steve Terry is Waltham Forest Labour Group’s Chief Whip, and works as a regional organiser for Unison. It is reasonable to conclude that, occupying such weighty offices, he must be an expert on the minutiae of procedure, and a stickler for respecting the rule-book. The fact that he is a regular confidant of LBWF Director of Governance and Law, and Monitoring Officer, Mark Hynes about all things Labour also speaks volumes. Nevertheless, examining Cllr. Terry’s register of interests as of this morning prompts some interesting questions. First, though the register of interest form consists of nine subsections, in Cllr. Terry’s case, the ninth, which documents non-pecuniary interests... »

How local government works: (2) LBWF Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes and Cllr. Limbajee

Between 19 June 2014 and 13 March 2018, senior Labour councillor Khevyn Limbajee’s register of interests recorded his sole employment as ‘Press Officer, Labour Party’. However, in March 2018, research showed that (a) according to his Linkedin page, Cllr. Limbajee had stopped working for the Labour Party in 2014; and (b) Companies House listed him as  ‘a person with significant control’ of PR company Tenth Muse Ltd., which had been incorporated on 31 August 2016 and had no other directors. When alerted to these facts, LBWF Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes investigated and found that ‘although Cllr Limbajee should have ensured that the Register of Interests was accurate and updated I ... »

LBWF and government funding to encourage social cohesion (1)

In recent months, the government has awarded LBWF two large sums of money to help boost social cohesion, and this, and a succeeding post, look in detail at the justification for such funding, and how the money is being spent. The first award was announced late last year, came from the government’s rather oddly named Controlling Migration Fund (CMF) (for which see https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP7673#fullreport) and is worth ‘£1,015,080 for the period to August 2019’. In bidding for CMF, LBWF submitted a ‘summary of key proposals and council outcomes’, and this begins with some observations on the local background: ‘Over the last 10 years Waltham Forest has... »

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