Chingford speed humps: the prior consultation was manipulated, and what LBWF refers to as supporting evidence is revealed to be decades out of date

Here’s a further update from our Chingford correspondent, this time with some incendiary revelations (see links for back story). ‘Recent research casts further doubt on how LBWF has acted in installing speed humps in Chingford. First, it emerges that the consultation about speed humps was blatantly manipulated.  LBWF claims to have distributed a survey to all households in the area where the humps were planned, seeking their opinions. One notable fact is that only 6.7 per cent of households responded, which seems to give credence to local claims that the distribution was nowhere near as comprehensive as claimed. But the bigger issue is how LBWF has subsequently presented the results. Th... »

LBWF and information requests: a new case shows that despite past official reprimands, Information Officer Mark Hynes’ service is still casually impeding transparency

As this blog has documented, LBWF’s past history of handling information requests is chequered, with some residents finding their inquiries thwarted by delays, illegitimate evasions, and ignorance of the legal framework, to the extent that the Information Commissioner’s Office periodically has had to intervene. All that is regrettable, but a new case suggests that obfuscation has not just continued, but become bolder. In October 2022, the Leader, Cllr. Grace Williams, told me that if I kept asking questions about Town Hall asbestos failures, she might invoke the Council’s Unreasonable Behaviour Policy. Her threat triggered derision in Private Eye, but since my questions a... »

Departing LBWF CEO Martin Esom: 13 years in the job, £2.6m. salary in the bank, a few highs, but also some very unattractive lows

In December 2022, LBWF announced that its CEO, Martin Esom, would be leaving the Town Hall at the end of 2023, but subsequently, and without explanation, his departure date was brought forward to the last day of July just past, when he took up a position at the Sports Grounds Safety Authority. Accordingly, it’s a good time to evaluate what Mr. Esom has achieved in his near 13 years at the helm. Has he helped change the council, and Waltham Forest, for the better? It is certainly true that he has led the borough through an unusually volatile period, with budget cuts, Islamist terrorism, COVID, significant amounts of fresh legislation, and so on, each offering their own challenges. And it’s al... »

Ex-Guardian journalist Dave Hill skewers Cllr. Clyde Loakes over Waltham Forest’s Mini-Holland and LTNs UPDATED

In the New Statesman last week, Cllr. Clyde Loakes claims that Mini-Holland and LTNs are ‘proven to make ourselves, our neighbourhoods and our planet healthier’. As might be predicted, while Cllr. Loakes’ tone is bombastic, his argument is largely vapid.  Thus, to take one example, he quotes the Kings study on air quality of 2018 as if gospel, apparently unaware that, LBWF spin notwithstanding, careful evaluation has shown it to be hedged with qualifications, and anyway significantly flawed (see links below). Answering Loakes, ex-Guardian journo and one time Clare Coghill admirer Dave Hill tweets thus: Leaving aside Mr. Hill’s amusing turn to iconoclasm, his observations are u... »

Traffic calming measures that are harming houses and people: a local resident fights on to force LBWF into recognising its responsibilities

A previous post focused on a local resident’s concern that badly thought-out traffic calming measures in Waltham Forest are producing damaging consequences (see link, below). More recently, the same resident has requested a meeting with the newly appointed LBWF CEO, Linzi Roberts-Egan.  Asked by one of the latter’s staff to explain why a meeting was justified, our resident replied with the eloquent and very full elucidation of their case reproduced below, which once again is damning of both the traffic calming measures themselves, and the way LBWF has dealt with complainants. This is clearly an important issue, which has widespread implications, and so updates will follow. ‘De... »

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