LBWF Chief Executive Martin Esom’s (non-) attendance at Cabinet

Back in September 2014, Waltham Forest’s Chief Executive, Martin Esom, was awarded a very large pay increase, amounting to £15,000 or 8.7 per cent, and this took his salary to £195,000 p.a.. With some justification, the Waltham Forest Guardian reported the story under the headline ‘Inflation busting pay rise for town hall boss’. Given his level of remuneration, one might expect that Mr. Esom would be a fixture at Cabinet, as this is, of course, supposedly the Council’s highest decision-making body.  But looking at the Council’s website, I find that Mr. Esom last attended Cabinet on 15 July 2014, has missed all the six following meetings, and on five of the six occasions has not even given hi... »

Tower Hamlets and a ‘grant funding shambles’: echoes of Waltham Forest

Mark Baynes at Love Wapping has just posted a very interesting piece on a Tower Hamlets council audit report which ‘paints a grim picture of an almost total lack of control in relation to the awarding and monitoring of grants across the borough’. As he observes, the report, which covers the period September 2014 to November 2014, ‘describes a culture within Tower Hamlets council that seems to have little or no interest in accounting for public funds. Issues identified included not verifying that grant money was actually being spent for the purpose the grant had been awarded, no monitoring visits to organisations, expense claims not supported by receipts and two Lunch Clubs ... »

Waltham Forest Pool and Track: non-consultation and what we can do about it

Ian Capes and Amanda Connolly write: ‘Some of you may be aware that GLL and the Council are redeveloping Waltham Forest Pool & Track. A few of us locals are concerned that they haven’t run a meaningful consultation. The new plans (due to be approved in the next month) show a reduction in facilities; for the disabled, the elderly and parents and toddlers, along with taking away the diving pool. We are also hearing that the Dog Track Redevelopment are reducing their planned leisure facility, as they will be investing in the Pool & Track, so why are we loosing any facilities at all? There is an online petition to demand a meaningful consultation with all residents, clubs and... »

Asbestos matters: Waltham Forest Council, PR, and keeping stum

So you are an employer who has just been found guilty of breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 – of running your affairs, in other words, in such a way as to endanger your employees and those who visit your premises. What do you do? Publicly apologise? Offer everyone involved some advice and support? Perhaps even take action against those who directly presided over the negligence? Most of us would expect (and do) all of these things. Yet after the recent court case, which has left LBWF in exactly the position I’m talking about, the only reaction currently discernible is…silence. Check the Council’s website for instance. The ‘Latest... »

Residents of Fredd Wigg and John Walsh Towers talk about gentrification

Worth reading: East London Residents talk about gentrification in their own words by residents of Fredd Wigg and John Walsh Towers »

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