Martin Esom

LBWF CEO Martin Esom, the Prevent anti-terrorist programme, and the politics of illusion

Perhaps curiously, given LBWF’s decidedly chequered record in identifying and addressing Islamist extremism, Martin Esom, the council CEO, chaired the pan London Prevent Board (LPB) from 2012 to late 2018. Earlier this year, the Local Government Chronicle interviewed Mr. Esom about his time at the LPB, and his views are worth exploring, not least because they may well feed into the government’s re... »

LBWF and fire hazards in its housing stock: the appalling case of Northwood Tower in Walthamstow (1)

In the past few months, journalists James Cracknell and Michelle Edwards of the Waltham Forest Echo have done sterling work in exposing the serious safety flaws that currently blight many of the 22 tower blocks in the borough, see here https://walthamforestecho.co.uk/fire-safety-flaws-at-borough-tower-blocks/ here https://walthamforestecho.co.uk/tower-residents-fire-safety-fears/ and here https://... »

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... »

The Waltham Forest Matters Annual Awards for 2017

It’s that time of year folks, and as this blog rapidly approaches the treasured 100,000 hits mark (OK, we admit it, 50,000 of them come from Cllrs Loakes and Robins) here are our awards: Picture of the year (From a couple of years back, true, but just too much of a cracker not to include) Sentence of the year ‘The company Knice Industries ltd is dormant and had never traded and that the coun... »

LBWF dodges the Local Government Association’s acclaimed peer review scheme, and it’s reasonable to ask: why?

Since 2011, the Local Government Association (LGA) has run and financed a scheme called Corporate Peer Challenge (CPC), which it sees as ‘a core element of our sector-led improvement offer to local authorities’. As the name suggests CPC involves small teams of experienced officers and councillors visiting participating councils in order to understand how they work, challenge assumptions, and share... »

LBWF CEO Martin Esom’s appointment to the Health and Safety Executive Board: a step far too far

In July of this year, LBWF CEO Martin Esom joined the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as a part-time non-executive director – a post that entails approximately 30 days commitment per year for a remuneration of no less than £15,100 (that is £503 per day). The HSE obviously values Mr. Esom highly, with its press release citing, amongst other things, his background in environmental health, his succ... »

London Borough of Waltham Forest:  ‘a property empire with a sideline in local government’?*

In March 2016, then portfolio holder for economic growth and high streets, now Group Leader, Clare Coghill travelled to Cannes in the company of LBWF CEO Martin Esom and ‘Assistant Director, Investment and Delivery’ Jonathan Martin, to attend Marché International des Professionnels de l’Immobilier (MIPIM), ‘the world’s leading real estate event for property professionals’. Their mission? To sell i... »

St. Mary’s Primary School, Walthamstow, and asbestos: the final verdict (2)

Lest there be any doubt about the matter, this excerpt from AEC Ltd, “Independent Report on the Potential Risk of Exposure to Asbestos during Refurbishment Works in 2011 at St Mary’s School Walthamstow” (NPSL, 2013), p.6 demonstrates that LBWF had overall responsibility for what went on at St. Mary’s, and also (according to AEC) specific culpability for the events that led to the likely expo... »

St. Mary’s Primary School, Walthamstow, and asbestos: the final verdict (1)

The Waltham Forest Guardian‘s Tom Barnes has just filed an online story reporting that, following a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE),  Balfour Beatty Regional Construction, NPS London Ltd., and Squibb Group Ltd. today have been fined in all over £1m. for breaking various safety regulations in connection with the removal of asbestos at St Mary’s Church of Eng... »

LBWF Chief Executive Martin Esom responds to my questions re the Cllr. Ahsan Khan affair

I post Mr. Esom’s responses below. Much of what he writes is self-evidently vague, and seems to have been written with the explicit aim of avoiding giving anything away, hardly appropriate in the light of the seriousness of both the events in question and the wider situation that we find ourselves in. Regarding the ‘community award’, I understand that LBWF is claiming that every visitor to the May... »

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