LBWF spin

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... »

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... »

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

Every year, like other local authorities, LBWF is bound by law to produce its annual accounts, using an external auditor and a timetable specified by the Accounts and Audit Regulations of 2015. But this year, the procedure has gone wrong, indeed very wrong, and now there is a lively post mortem in progress about who is to blame, and what are the likely consequences. As regards the 2018-19 audit, L... »

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 ... »

LBWF and fire hazards in its housing stock: the appalling case of Northwood Tower in Walthamstow (2)

In response to ‘[s]everal recent articles in local newspapers’ about Northwood Tower, LBWF has just issued a PR release which predictably claims that the latter contain unspecified ‘misunderstandings and inaccuracies’ and seeks to reassure ‘residents and the wider community’ that the building is ‘safe and secure’. No doubt local newspapers can respon... »

The Connecting Communities Programme in Waltham Forest: everyone’s welcome (except the disabled and poverty-stricken)

In March 2018, the government launched a new £50m. Integrated Communities Strategy (ICS), ‘to tackle the root causes of poor integration and create a stronger, more united Britain’. Shortly afterwards, it was announced that LBWF was to be one of five authorities in England involved in piloting the ICS to 2019/20, supported by an initial grant of £1.2m.; and subsequently, LBWF has published Waltham... »

LBWF and the Freedom of Information Act: some troubling new findings

The Campaign for Freedom of Information has just published an overview* that examines the extent to which London local authorities are following good practice in complying with the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, and predictably LBWF does not come out of it very well. To start with, it emerges that LBWF receives an unusually high number of FOI requests: In passing, it is rather surprising to fin... »

The £40,000 Cann Hall side-wall ‘artwork’ is cancelled, artists Mathew Raw and Abigail Holsborough depart the scene, and LBWF scrambles for excuses – its a big victory for local residents

As the linked posts (below) describe in some detail, for the past few months, and as part of its Making Places programme, LBWF has been intent on putting an ‘artwork’ made of tiles and costing an extraordinary £40,000, on the dilapidated side-wall of a private property in Cann Hall Rd. – a private property that coincidentally happens to be owned by a prominent family of Labour supporte... »

‘Knife crime in Waltham Forest: a nasty little scandal’ UPDATED

In May 2017, this blog published a post entitled ‘Knife crime in Waltham Forest: a nasty little scandal (1)’, which, somewhat unexpectedly, attracted a big readership. What follows provides an update, focusing both on knife crime specifically, and the broader (though intimately related) issue of gangs and gang violence. First off, and very regrettably, it is worth underlining that the knife crime ... »

Islamist extremism in Waltham Forest: a disturbing new episode

In the past week or so, much of the press has covered the trial and conviction of Forest Gate Isis supporter Umar Ahmed Haque on a number of serious terrorist offences. During Mr. Haque’s trial, the court heard extensive evidence about his activities at two schools and a madrassa in East London, where (amongst other things) under the guise of teaching ‘Islamic Studies’ he ‘re-enacted attacks on po... »

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