Nick Tiratsoo's Posts

Cllr. Paul Douglas and the East London Credit Union: yet further confusion

As a previous post pointed out (see link below), the demise of LBWF’s beloved East London Credit Union (ELCU) throws up a number of as yet unanswered questions. Some recent correspondence adds to the confusion. On 26 September 2019, I wrote to LBWF’s Director of Governance and Law, Mark Hynes, as follows: ‘Dear. Mr. Hynes, As of today, Cllr. Paul Douglas’s register of inter... »

Rebuked by the Information Commissioner’s Office, and revealed to have misunderstood the law, LBWF sails on regardless

As past posts demonstrate, LBWF has a poor record when it comes to issues around transparency, regularly failing even in terms of its statutory responsibilities. A recent case reinforces the cause for concern. In April 2019, the Waltham Forest Echo journalist Michelle Edwards sent LBWF a Subject Access Request (SAR), that is, a request to see what information the local authority at that point held... »

The East London Credit Union crashes into administration, leaving several important questions unanswered

On 11 September 2019, the East London Credit Union (ELCU), trading as the Waltham Forest Community Credit Union, collapsed into administration. Simultaneously, the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme announced that it was stepping in to safeguard ELCU’s 5,500 members’ deposits, valued at £2.25m, and most could expect like-for-like payment within a week. The administrator, LBWF, and the East ... »

LBWF and fire hazards in its housing stock: residents in Cann Hall’s John Walsh and Fred Wigg towers left in danger, as Labour averts its eyes

John Walsh and Fred Wigg tower blocks in Cann Hall are 15 storey identical twins, built in the 1960s, and each containing 117 flats. It would be nice to state definitively how many people have lived there at any one time over the past decade, but nobody really seems to know, with (surprisingly) official estimates ranging from 230-ish to 700. In 2011, Fred Wigg residents suffered a terrible fire, w... »

A new outbreak of sectarianism in the Town Hall?

As this blog has reported previously, some councillors in Waltham Forest seem to find avoiding sectarianism, whether national or religious, rather difficult. Now news emerges of what appears to be a further example of this unpleasant phenomenon. Annually, LBWF celebrates a variety of nation days, normally with a reception and flag raising ceremony. The 14 August is Pakistan day, and this year, it ... »

Love amongst the Leaders: Councillors Clare Coghill and Simon Blackburn

For the past few months, Labour members in Waltham Forest have been agog about the evolving private life of their supremo, Cllr. Clare Coghill. Now Cllr. Coghill has set the record straight, posting that she is happily embarked upon a relationship with the Leader of Blackpool Council, Simon Blackburn. People of goodwill from across the political spectrum will no doubt join this blog in wishing the... »

Fire safety in Waltham Forest: Cabinet portfolio holder for housing, Cllr. Louise Mitchell, responds but fails to convince

Following on from this blog’s earlier post about fire risks at LBWF’s Goddarts House in Walthamstow, the East London & West Essex Guardian has published a related story, which includes a response from Cllr. Louise Mitchell, Cabinet portfolio member for housing: www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/17824818.man-handed-eviction-notice-raising-fire-safety-concerns-council/ Much of what Cllr... »

LBWF and fire safety in its housing stock: Goddarts House sheltered housing in Walthamstow, a new low which shames the council

Following on from recent discussion of fire hazards in LBWF housing provision, this post presents a further case study, which is certainly the most disturbing yet. Goddarts House in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, is sheltered accommodation and consists of 27 flats, with the ‘occupancy types’ officially described as ‘Elderly, Hearing Impairment, Mental Health, Sight Impairment, [and] Wheelchair Users’. U... »

LBWF and customer service: ‘I wouldn’t even give this council 1 star’ UPDATED

LBWF likes to project itself as a ‘forward-thinking’ and ‘innovative’ council, listening to the preoccupations of its residents in order to deliver ‘high-quality public services’, and thus improve everyone’s lives. But as this blog periodically points out, projected image and hard reality are often two very different things. A further depressing example of such divergence is the way that LBWF hand... »

LBWF and fire hazards in its housing stock: the appalling case of Northwood Tower in Walthamstow (3)

Lest there is anybody out there who still thinks that LBWF’s handling of fire risks at Northwood Tower has been commensurate with its boast that ‘The safety of our residents is always our top priority [emphasis added]’, reproduced below are the overall Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) provided by the assessor Ridge and Partners LLP from 2014 to 2018. Nobody, of course, would want to ... »

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