Nick Tiratsoo's Posts

Solidarity with the Sandwell Skidder!

From today’s Daily Mail: ‘”Labour council with £2.8m hole in its finances ‘found £300,000 to silence blogger” Published: 02:15, 21 December 2020 | A penniless Labour council with a £2.8million hole in its budget set aside £300,000 to silence a blogger who was highly critical of its work. Sandwell council…had admitted to setting taxpayers’ money aside to pu... »

LBWF and its fire safety contractor S3 Environmental Ltd.: council officers maintain everything’s OK, but questions and concerns persist

Previous posts have expressed unease about the fact that in 2019, and via its housing repairs and maintenance agent Morgan Sindall Group PLC, LBWF appointed S3 Environmental Ltd. to conduct Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs) for its housing blocks (see links below). In response, LBWF has remained steadfast in its view that S3 Environmental Ltd. is an experienced and qualified provider of fire safety ser... »

Statement submitted to tonight’s full Council meeting on the fire safety scandal in Waltham Forest

I have submitted the following statement to tonight’s full Council meeting: 1. In 2017-18, the Council replaced 217 flat entrance doors (FEDs) at Northwood Tower and four sheltered housing blocks. 2. The Council told residents that the new FEDs were certified FD60 (i.e., they would provide sixty minutes protection) and made the same claim repeatedly in public; while many of the FEDs carried ... »

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 ‘orchestrated̵... »

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 o... »

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 t... »

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 ob... »

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 service... »

Cllr. Clyde Loakes makes Private Eye

From Private Eye No.1532, 9-22 October 2020. Cllr. Loakes, of course, is no stranger to these kind of controversies, see, for example, the story retold in the links. It is also arresting that someone who bangs on about the importance of curtailing motor traffic in Waltham Forest in order to promote clean air is, at one at the same time, keen on building a large incinerator in Edmonton, with the bo... »

London Borough of Waltham Forest: the local authority that can’t even finalise its annual accounts (3)

The saga of LBWF’s failure to complete its 2018-19 accounts – originally due, as for all other local authorities, on the last day of July 2019 – continues, and indeed seems to have no very clear end in sight. What’s gone wrong? Recent papers to the LBWF Audit and Governance Committee provide some elucidation. Initially, it appears, LBWF could legitimately claim that it was being thwarted by extern... »

Page 2 of 301234»