LBWF spin

LBWF and its Freedom of Information Act failings: now the Information Commissioner’s Office directly intervenes UPDATED

Past posts have covered LBWF’s increasingly unsatisfactory record in handling Freedom of Information (FOI) inquiries – its delays, illegitimate evasions, ignorance of the legal framework, and so on. However, at last there is some good news, because the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is to meet with LBWF Chief Executive, Martin Esom, shortly to discuss ‘the numerous [ICO] decision notices ... »

LBWF ‘communication’ with local residents: the yawning gap between rhetoric and reality

As this blog has previously reported, though LBWF stridently declares that it wants to ‘communicate’ with residents, even help them become ‘active citizens’, able to drive policy, what transpires on the ground is often very different. Communication turns out to be a one-way street, while those who raise issues that are at odds with LBWF’s rosy self-image find themselves studiously ignored. To furt... »

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... »

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... »

Page 1 of 3123