LBWF

Academies, George Tomlinson Primary, and LBWF Interim Director of School Standards Rosalind Turner UPDATED

Earlier this week, a reliable contact in the Town Hall rang me to say that some Labour councillors seemed spooked by the stance being taken by LBWF’s Interim Director of School Standards, Rosalind Turner, and more generally were nervous about what they perceived as the ‘academisation’ of Waltham Forest schools. Indeed, my contact told me, the rumour circulating was that Cabinet member Cllr. Mark R... »

LBWF and the Freedom of Information Act: dumb insolence reigns?

LBWF’s response to Freedom of Information Act inquiries has, in my experience, always been pretty hit and miss, but recently things seem to have deteriorated sharply, ostensibly due to the fact that the system has been automated. I reproduce a letter that I have sent today to LBWF Chief Executive Martin Esom, as it well illustrates the kind of muddle that the innocent inquirer now can so eas... »

LBWF councillors through the prism of their register of interest forms

The LBWF councillor code of conduct requires each member to answer questions on a register of interest form at the beginning of their term of office, and then update as necessary, with the results being published on the authority’s website. In 2012, the Waltham Forest Guardian reported that councillors were finding this requirement challenging. Some had missed out crucial details, with, for exampl... »

LBWF in Private Eye again, this time over ISIS and Prevent

From Private Eye, no.1407, 11-18 December 2015:   »

The National College for Leadership and Teaching report on Waltham Forest head Ludiya Besisira: a tale of dishonesty and almost total regulatory failure UPDATED

‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank the headteacher, Ludiya Besisira and her staff for all their hard work in improving the school and attaining an excellent Ofsted report’ (Cllr. Chris Robbins, portfolio holder, to LBWF Cabinet, October 2008) In October 2015, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) published its adjudication on allegations made against Ms. ... »

LBWF and the fight against ISIS

As a previous post has indicated, there are serious questions to be asked about Waltham Forest’s attempts to confront local Islamist extremists. The record over the past decade has been at best mixed, and includes some embarrassing failures. The fact that LBWF will not discuss its current Prevent programme in any detail only adds to the sense that someone, somewhere is afraid of further revelation... »

LBWF’s relationship with the local business sector: new revelations about the E11 BID Co.

I have written before about LBWF’s relationships with the local business sector, and pointed out that our council appears to treat certain businesses and business organisations rather more favourably than might be expected. Money is handed out, and assets handed over, but there seems to be no great urgency about due process. It is all very relaxed, even informal, and contrasts strikingly with the ... »

Reforming local government (2) an agenda from Tower Hamlets

On the subject of local government reform, it is notable that another of our neighbours, Tower Hamlets, also has begun examining the status quo, in this case through the medium of a Transparency Commission, described in an August press release as follows: ‘The council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee has launched an Overview and Scrutiny Transparency Commission (OSTC) to identify actions th... »

Reforming local government: (1) an agenda from Newham

In a recent post on his blog about the downsides of one-party administrations in local government, John Gray, councillor for West Ham ward in Newham, writes as follows: ‘Finally, I think just as important as electoral reform, local government needs structural and legislative reform. Such as making the role of scrutiny committees much more robust and truly independent of the Executive; beefing up S... »

The LBWF Gang Prevention Programme: yet another missed opportunity

I have been meaning to write about Waltham Forest’s Gang Prevention Programme (GPP) for some time, and now seems as good a time as any. The GPP is coming towards the end of its fourth year, has cost several million pounds, and garnered significant national attention. Yet this summer the local newspaper reported a series of seemingly awful stabbings, shootings, and murders, often featuring young pe... »

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