Afzal Akram

Labour takes William Morris, and Cllr. Marie Pye stirs the pot

The results of the William Morris ward by-election are in, with Labour unknown Umar Ali romping home, followed by the Green’s Rebecca Tully, and our man, Walthamstow ‘born and bread’ Afzal Akram, bringing up the rear. Labour supporters are predictably jubilant on social media, but there is one puzzling comment that is worthy of note. In an extended interchange, a peer of Mr. Akram make... »

The National Construction College’s Cathall Rd. facility UPDATE: local people still miss out

Courtesy of the LBWF Growth Scrutiny Committee, I now have some up-to-date figures on how many people – and in particular how many local people – have attended The National Construction College’s Cathall Rd. facility. As I pointed out in a previous post on this subject, LBWF initially promised that the College would have a dramatic impact on the locality. In December 2010, Council Leader Cllr Chri... »

‘Our Olympics': (2) The National Construction College’s Cathall Rd. facility

The National Construction College’s facility in Cathall Rd., on the Leyton-Leytonstone border, was presented by LBWF as the jewel in the crown of Waltham Forest’s Olympic legacy. Looking like a super IKEA, looming over the surrounding buildings, and hyped by every Labour hack from Cathall Councillor Terry Wheeler to the Leader himself, here was something, the patter ran, that really was goin... »

Documenting Past Failures: (10) LBWF and Worknet: a tale of underperformance, failure, and the betrayal of local people

Between 2008 and 2014, LBWF operated Worknet, a multi-million pound programme, funded from London and central government sources, delivered by outside ‘partners’, and aimed at helping local people find employment. At first, LBWF gave Worknet significant publicity, and presented it as a major initiative. For example, in November 2009, Council Leader Cllr. Chris Robbins told WFN: ‘“Walth... »

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... »

Ex-Cllr. Afzal Akram finds a new political home

After reading my previous post, an astute reader contacts me to ask what has happened to onetime Waltham Forest councillor Afzal Akram. Her question is understandable. After all, here is a man who in a matter of a few years first rose from relative obscurity to occupy a powerful place in the Labour Cabinet, concurrently served on many different local boards and quangos, then was suspended by his l... »

LBWF, the Local Authority Business Growth Initiative programmes, and the Waltham Forest Business Board, E11 Bid Co., and North London Ltd.

A couple of years ago, I started hearing some very surprising things about Leytonstone’s Business Improvement District (BID) company, the E11 Bid Co.. The allegation, in short, was that the directors of the company had failed to keep proper books and neglected to pay their taxes; run up substantial debts; and as a consequence jeopardised the company’s ‘going concern’ status... »

Asbestos matters: the Waltham Forest Town Hall fiasco

The Council’s recent conviction over the asbestos dust that it allowed to pollute the Town Hall has been well covered in the local press, see for example: http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/11734109.Council_admits_failing_to_protect_staff_from_deadly_asbestos/  http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/11746274.Confusion_over_town_hall_asbestos_scandal_as_contractor_denies_involvement/  http://www.... »