Nick Tiratsoo's Posts

Documenting Past Failures: (9) the collapse of LBWF’s pet charity, O-Regen

The registered charity O-Regen was set-up in 1997 as part of the redevelopment of Cathall estate, and charged with running community facilities in the south of the borough together with various programmes to benefit local residents. From the start, O-Regen appeared blessed. It was presented with a £4.5m endowment as well as a portfolio of 16 leasehold properties yielding an income of £120,000 p.a.... »

Documenting Past Failures: (8) the self-defeating silence of Councillor Marie Pye

Shortly after the Independent Panel report, I attended a Community Council meeting, and heard Cllr. Marie Pye vociferously denying any responsibility for the NRF/BNI fiasco. So I wrote her an open letter explaining why I thought she was wrong. Needless to say, in true Waltham Forest style, she never replied. However, to some extent the last laugh is on her, because if you Google ‘Cllr. Marie... »

‘Forget the homeless, what about the coffee drinkers?’ LBWF v. The Christian Kitchen (Part 1): Councillor Terry Wheeler makes a stand

A local correspondent writes as follows: ‘Waltham Forest Council is big on celebrating its own perceived achievements and spending our money to do so. You would think that having a local charity like the Christian Kitchen which feeds the homeless 365 days a year would be worth celebrating, but unfortunately, in 2013 our less than enlightened leaders decided otherwise by revoking its licence ... »

Waltham Forest Pool and Track, again

Reporting on Tuesday’s planning committee meeting, Amanda Connolly writes: ‘Last night we had a great turnout at the Pool and Track Application. We had 12 articulate, emotional and compelling speakers. The Chamber and seating areas were full. The general feeling from Committee and Councillors was that if we didn’t pass the plans, the whole project was at risk of failing (and as t... »

Documenting Past Failures: (7) The Independent Panel and a ‘scathing’ report on LBWF’s ‘deep-rooted culture of non-compliance with procedures to prevent fraud’.

In mid-2009, the crisis around the BNI finally came to a head. The Council had spent c. £116,000 on a series of seven or eight disparate inquiries into the programme, (Waltham Forest Guardian, 17 June 2009)  culminating in the PwC report, but some were obviously flawed, few convinced, and almost all begged further questions. Negative press coverage continued, as when the Waltham Forest Guardian re... »

Documenting Past Failures: (6) Cllr. Loakes, PwC, and the BNI Community Cohesion Projects

As I have described in the previous post in this series, the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report was a revelation. The figures already recounted tell much of the story. But to get a full picture of the chaos that PwC uncovered, it is necessary to look at some of its unpublished findings on individual BNI files, and there is no better place to start than with the batch concerning ‘community c... »

Documenting Past Failures: (5) The BNI – ‘We’re awfully sorry, folks. Mistakes were made about how we spent millions of pounds of public money. But it’s all in the past. Let’s move forward and forget it’.

By the spring of 2008, the situation with the Better Neighbourhoods Initiative (BNI) programme was becoming untenable. The Council’s Corporate Audit and Anti-Fraud Team had just reported on the Dr. Foster episode, had nearly completed its work on EduAction’s Youth at Risk project, and was chasing new leads.  A consultant’s examination of the BNI which was presented to Cabinet concluded there had b... »

North London Ltd. – an enigma wrapped in a mystery?

A name that crops up in the context of the E11 BID Co. fiasco is North London Ltd. (NLL), a company that was launched in 2004 and apparently went into compulsory liquidation ten years later, put there by its creditors. According to a press release of 2013, NLL was ‘the sub-regional business support agency for North London’ and worked ‘to accelerate business growth and development and attract inwar... »

Ex-Cllr. Afzal Akram, again: why no MBE?

Mention of ex-Councillor Akram in a previous post brings to mind what we have lost since he decamped to West London. The website of his new company, which appears to be a high end mini-cab firm, handily sums up his service to public life in the tabulation reproduced below. Can any local figure claim to have done anything like so much in so short a time? And for some reason Cllr. Akram never even g... »

Councillor Whitney Ihenachor: keeping it in the familiy

A local resident writes: ‘If you check the Register of Interests on the LBWF website for Councillor Whitney Ihenachor, you will see she appears to be currently unemployed.  As with a number of other local Labour Group members, this is not unusual, but in Whitney’s case, does it obscure the fact that she is a full-time student at Glasgow University? Eyebrows were first raised when Whitney was... »

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