Knife crime in Waltham Forest: a nasty little scandal (3)

Cllr. Liaquat Ali MBE JP is the long-standing LBWF Cabinet portfolio lead for community safety and cohesion, a position which involves, amongst other things, responsibility for the local ‘crime and disorder’ and ‘anti-gangs’ strategies.

In recognition of his Cabinet role, and in addition to his councillor’s allowance, Cllr. Ali receives the sum of no less than c. £21,000 p.a.

Most people will assume that, as a well-paid portfolio lead, Cllr. Ali rigorously attends the Waltham Forest Safer Neighbourhoods Board (WFSNB), since

(a) he is listed as a member of that body (he even includes this information on his LBWF web page, see here );

(b) the Board is charged with the very important tasks of fashioning police priorities and assessing police performance; and

(c) the ward which he represents has for some years experienced gang problems, spawning knife and gun violence.

Yet examining the published minutes of the WFSNB from its inception to the present (which are here reveals the following:

Total number of meetings from 2014 to today: 7

Meetings where it is recorded who is present: 6

Meetings where Cllr. Ali’s apologies are noted: 1

Meetings where Cllr. Ali is listed as ‘absent’: 3

Meetings where there is no mention of Cllr. Ali: 2

Total number of WFSNB meetings that list Cllr. Ali as present: 0

No further comment is surely necessary, other than to note that Cllr. Ali has form over this kind of issue, and the story as a whole echoes many others over the years which concern the Council and Councillors in Waltham Forest.

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