Waltham Forest Labour Party

How local government works: (1) LBWF and Mears

1. In February 2018, the LBWF Cabinet agrees to set up ‘a joint venture with Mears Limited to acquire 400 properties to let to those living in temporary accommodation or on the Council’s housing register’. 2. In June 2018, Mears sponsors a ‘think tank’ session at Housing 2018, ‘Europe’s largest and most inclusive housing festival’, which includes a heavywe... »

Cllr. Johar Khan: the prince of pranksters hits the skids?

Cllr. Johar Khan, the Labour member for Markhouse, has always been a bit of a card. Spats with colleagues and adversaries, political implosions, party defections, suspensions, investigations, big posh cars, personalised number plates, flash weddings, and an impish way with facts – his back pages feature the lot. Who, for instance, could forget the time when, as finance director, he reassured his c... »

Waltham Forest Labour : boosting the local economy…er sorry, a local economy

Here’s something funny. Councillor Clare Coghill is a great one for saying how important it is to boost the local economy, and often reassures us that, in its never ending search to make our lives better, her council is doing just that. For example, here she is writing in the preface to LBWF’s 2016-18 Growth Strategy: ‘Over the next four years we will continue to work closely wit... »

The Labour Party in Waltham Forest and the financing of local elections: a scandal in the making? (1)

Over the years, a number of correspondents have approached this blog to express anxieties about how the local Labour Party (LP) is being run and financed. Some of their claims are plausible, others less so. But in general, it is often difficult for the bystander, given the prevalence of internecine strife, to separate out truth from factional point scoring. However, a whistleblower with impeccable... »

Councillor Saima Mahmud’s surreptitious Town Hall award ceremonies: a further update

Regular readers of this blog will remember that last year’s Mayor, Cllr. Saima Mahmud, hosted surreptitious award ceremonies, organised by two private citizens, in the Mayor’s Parlour; and that the beneficiaries of these events included several controversial figures. The most unpleasant without doubt was the Pakistani Senator Sirajul Haq, a man known, amongst other things, for ranting about the Je... »

STOP PRESS: Coghill replaces Robbins as Labour Group Leader

Labour councillors have just completed voting for their new Group Leader, and the results are as follows: Clare Coghill 30 Nadeem Ali 9 Gerry Lyons 1 Two of those eligible to vote did not attend (one was away, one sick) while another is currently suspended. It is said that Gerry Lyons’ single vote was cast by….Gerry Lyons. Amusement aside, however, it will be interesting to see what if... »

LBWF backs down on proposed changes to its Council Tax Support scheme

Some good news for a change. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Labour’s plan to drastically increase the proportion of council tax that the poorer sections of society would be required to pay in the forthcoming financial year. However, I now understand that, due to pressure from Labour’s rank and file, in tandem with the opposition of ‘some’ councillors, the rate will st... »

Waltham Forest Labour and Anti-Semitism (2)

This speaks for itself and is fairly shocking: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/166110/labour-branch-chair-praised-activist-suspended-over-antisemitism In the past, Labour and anti-semitism stood at opposite poles, but now it seems to be a different story. »

Council Leader Chris Robbins finally bobs off UPDATED

Several well-placed Town Hall sources tell me that, yes, it is finally true: Council Leader Chris Robbins is standing down, perhaps by Christmas, certainly by next May. Robbins has always been nervous around selection time, looming now, but in the past, he was at least able partly to control the process. However, with the influx of new members, Waltham Forest Labour is now a rather different kettl... »

‘In Calais with Stella Creasy’

There is a long article in today’s New Statesman about Dr. Stella Creasy’s recent visit to the Calais refugee camp: http://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2016/09/calais-stella-creasy-how-politicians-are-trying-change-refugee-policy For sure, there will be the usual accusations that this is another example of her penchant for grandstanding. But I doubt if such comment is fair. Dr. Cr... »

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