Nick Tiratsoo's Posts

LBWF and COVID-19 (1)

A few days ago, the Cabinet considered a paper which looked at the impact of COVID-19 on LBWF’s finances. The headline figures that were presented are alarming. Assuming the crisis lasts 12 weeks, LBWF will have an ‘exposure’ (increased costs plus lost income) of between £34.857m. and £39.487m. while at the time of writing, promised central government emergency assistance amounts to only £7.540m. ... »

LBWF and the East London Credit Union: yet more disturbing details emerge

This blog’s investigation into the 2019 collapse of LBWF favourite the East London Credit Union (ELCU) continues to generate revelations, and what follows is a brief roundup of the most noteworthy, grouped under four headings. LBWF’s initial decision to give ELCU £500,000 in 2014 At the Council Meeting of 16 October 2014, and with standing orders suspended, the Leader, Cllr. Chris Robbins, m... »

LBWF, Mini Holland, and air quality: the King’s College Environmental Research Group report and its frailties

Acknowledgement: I am very grateful to Steve Lowe for drawing my attention to the subject of this post, providing important source material, and making helpful suggestions right the way though the drafting process. In the early summer of 2018, LBWF commissioned the much respected Environmental Research Group based at King’s College London [hereafter KCERG] to ‘model a range of interventions around... »

London Borough of Waltham Forest: the local authority that can’t even finalise its annual accounts – AN UPDATE

Mystery continues about the fate of LBWF’s 2018-19 externally audited annual accounts. As a previous post outlined, these were due on 31 July 2019, so that they could be signed off by the Audit and Governance Committee, but the auditor, Ernst and Young LLP, was tardy in starting work; then became entangled in ‘historical audit issues‘, possibly dating to as far back as 2007; and in the end was for... »

LBWF’s press, communications, and PR operation: less about providing information, more about ‘controlling the narrative’

It is a staple of LBWF public utterances that ‘Communicating with our residents is important to us and we strive to ensure our residents are kept informed’. Indeed, in recent year, LBWF has underlined that it sees communication not just as a matter of informing, but also of transforming, a way of turning out ‘active citizens’, co-partners in the development of the borough. Thus, for instance, a re... »

Cllr. Keith Rayner at it again UPDATED

Cllr. Emma Best has posted on Twitter a piece of film recording an exchange with the puffed up Cllr. Keith Rayner at last night’s Council meeting. In it he refers to her as ‘dear’, to the amusement of his Labour colleagues: The full clip can be viewed here: https://twitter.com/emmabest22/status/1233142633947639808  Cllr. Rayner, it will be remembered, in recent years has had cons... »

Amy Lamé finds a congenial home

One name that has cropped up recently in relation to Waltham Forest is Amy Lamé, London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s £75,000 p.a. Night Czar, ‘TV personality’, and ‘active’ Labour Party member. Her link to Waltham Forest is because she has been intimately involved in Mayor Khan’s plan to pilot Walthamstow High Street as a ‘Night Time Enterprise Zone’, something he has buttressed by granting LBWF... »

LBWF councillors: what do they do, and is it value for money?

What is it that LBWF councillors do? Are they proficient or laggard? And can it be said, given that they are paid via allowances from the public purse, that residents get value for money? This post looks at some of the evidence dispassionately. It does not pretend to be definitive, for reasons that will become clear, merely an introduction to what hopefully will be a longer debate. It should be sa... »

The Goddarts House fire safety fiasco: an update

Previous posts have looked at the controversy over flat entrance doors (FEDs) at Goddarts House sheltered housing in Walthamstow, particularly the issue of whether or not they offer sufficient resistance in the event of a fire, and what follows is an update. Regular readers will remember that when LBWF, though its repairs and maintenance contractor, Osborne, replaced the FEDs at Goddarts in late 2... »

The East London Credit Union: some new facts, but confusion, maybe evasion, persists

 Last month, LBWF divulged some more information about its subsidisation of the now collapsed East London Credit Union (ELCU). The focus is on a large grant that LBWF awarded to ELCU in 2015 in order to help it support vulnerable residents and small businesses. Previous references to this grant were both contradictory and deficient as to important details. In a book published during 2017, a chapte... »

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