Nick Tiratsoo's Posts

Islamic extremism in Walthamstow: the Charity Commission investigates two Muslim charities over controversial statements made in youth programmes, but LBWF must intervene, too.

As has been reported by various media outlets (most prominently the Times), the Charity Commission is currently investigating two Waltham Forest Islamic charities, the Miftahul Jannah Academy and the Masjid-E-Umer Trust (which runs Walthamstow Central Mosque), following a complaint about controversial statements in lectures that allegedly have been delivered as part of their youth progra... »

Cllr. Anna Mbachu’s High Court claim to have been libelled thrown out, leaving her with a £34,000 bill UPDATED

After attending the High Court for the Waltham Forest Echo last week, Local Democracy Reporter, Josh Mellor, brings news that Councillor Anna Mbachu has lost a libel action in spectacular fashion, leaving her with a £34,000 bill, £15,000 of which must be paid within 21 days, with leave to appeal refused. Cllr. Mbachu claimed that, in 2018, she had been called a ‘“liar”’ and a ‘“vile deceptive pig”... »

Crime and policing latest: the Waltham Forest Safer Neighbourhood Board hits the skids again, and now LBWF – controversially – wants to disband it

The Waltham Forest Safer Neighbourhood Board (WFSNB) brings together councillors and residents, and is a potentially very important component of the local fight against crime, supported, as it is, by LBWF, the Metropolitan Police Service,  and the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC), and charged with ‘bringing police and communities together to decide local policing ... »

LBWF launches a £40m. programme to upgrade the fire safety of its social housing provision, but questions remain as to why this wasn’t done years ago

It has long been suspected, by this blog not least, that LBWF is facing a major problem about fire safety in its social housing provision, and now some new evidence shows that not only is this true, but something is finally being done about it.  The pandemic has slowed down council reporting across the board, and so for the latest developments it is necessary to go back to a report presented ... »

Looking back at the past, an occasional series. Part one: LBWF CEO Roger Kilburn is sacked and walks away with £356,000

The story reproduced below is from the Oldham Evening Chronicle of 11 June 2010, and deals with the dismissal of current LBWF CEO Martin Esom’s immediate predecessor, Andrew Kilburn. Briefly, Mr. Kilburn had come to Waltham Forest with a big reputation, gained during a long career in local government, and burnished by his recent leadership of Oldham Council through a period of heightened... »

Another LBWF fire safety cock up: now its housing management agent, Morgan Sindall, replaces flat entrance doors ‘in error’

Over the years, LBWF has gained a reputation for blunders, whether big, like recklessly exposing its own employees in the Town Hall to dangerous asbestos dust, or relatively small, like planning to spend £40,000’s worth of public money on an inappropriate and unwanted ‘artistic’ mural in Cann Hall. What follows is a further example of this disreputable tradition. As this blog has extensively repor... »

Cllr. Clyde Loakes and food standards: Waltham Forest revealed to be London’s least hygienic borough when it comes to visiting eateries, pubs, and supermarkets

Every now and again, Cllr. Clyde Loakes, the relevant Cabinet portfolio holder, pops up in local media, and assures residents that LBWF is taking food hygiene very seriously. Thus, earlier this year, when LBWF closed three restaurants down, he opined ‘“This sends a very clear signal to that small minority of food businesses which think they can flout the law…We want residents in Waltham Forest to ... »

London Fire Brigade attendance times in Waltham Forest: are they delayed by road closures?

The paper reproduced below is by local resident Steve Lowe, and looks in detail at the vexed issue of whether LBWF programmes such as Mini-Holland and low traffic neighbourhoods have impacted on London Fire Brigade attendance times in the borough. We are grateful to Mr. Lowe for permission to reproduce what is a very interesting, well researched, and, above all, convincing contribution to the deba... »

The Information Commissioner’s Office audit of LBWF: less a forensic examination, more a damp squib

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has just released the executive summary of a ‘Data protection audit report’ focusing on LBWF (ICO policy, apparently, is not to release the full version). The ICO’s overall judgement is that, as regards both the governance and accountability of data protection and the operation of the Freedom of Information Act, LBWF is achieving ‘a reasonable level of a... »

The recent Labour Leadership contest in Waltham Forest: a tale of Grace Williams, Liaquat Ali…and Clyde Loakes

As local news outlets have reported, in the election to find a new Council Leader following Clare Coghill’s resignation, the Labour Group has plumped for Grace Williams, with Liaquat Ali a close second. The general feeling on the Labour benches is that Ms. Williams will provide short-term stability, though many also believe that after the 2022 local elections, there will be a further Leadership co... »

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