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Speed humps in Waltham Forest: new evidence shows that activists’ call for a review are perfectly reasonable

It is pleasing to report that the campaign for a review of speed humps in Waltham Forest is progressing well, led by determined activists in partnership with the Chingford Residents Association, gaining support from local MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith, and currently attracting ministerial attention in the Department for Transport. However, barely a month passes without new questions arising about exactly what LBWF has been up to. Take the recent statement about speed humps that Deputy Leader and Cabinet Portfolio Member for Climate and Air Quality, Clyde Loakes, provided to the Sunday Telegraph: ‘“We know for sure that vehicles travelling at speed do cause significant damage to people. ... »

The Housing Ombudsman makes three findings of severe maladministration in cases involving London Borough of Waltham Forest

Taken direct from the Housing Ombudsman’s webpages, here https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/2024/02/01/waltham-forest-council-failings-in-three-different-cases/ ‘The Housing Ombudsman has made 3 findings of severe maladministration in 3 cases involving Waltham Forest Council, including poor handling of a damp and mould case involving a vulnerable resident and another resident experiencing Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) for 5 years. With the important role that social housing has to play in giving safe and secure housing to millions, the learning in these reports should help landlords provide effective services that protect this aspiration. Case A In Case A (202217685) th... »

LBWF Chief Executive Linzi Roberts-Egan orders a review of how the council handles residents’ requests for information, but the omens are not encouraging

In a recent e-mail, LBWF Chief Executive Linzi Roberts-Egan tells me: ‘We are currently reviewing our FOI [Freedom of Information Act] and SAR [Subject Access Request] processes to ensure they are as effective and efficient as possible and that the errors identified in dealing with your FOI and SAR will be avoided in the future’. If this review is meaningful, then it will be welcomed. But as is always the case with LBWF, it is advisable to be cautious, because as the pertinent history indicates, fine words are one thing, fine actions quite another. To start with, it is notable that the designated head of service, the Data Protection Officer Mark Hynes (who of course is also Monitoring Office... »

EXCLUSIVE From 2015 to 2022 the number of senior staff in the Town Hall grew nearly fourfold, the cost of employing them did too, but service levels remained average

What follows looks in greater detail at an earlier post’s revelation (see links) that in the past few years, despite repeatedly complaining about government imposed cuts, LBWF in fact has spent millions more from the public purse appointing expensive senior staff.  To get a better handle on this surprising development, I have analysed the annual series which LBWF publishes about its senior staff (here defined as everyone from the chief executive, paid £217,762 p.a., through the different directors and heads, down to grade PO8, paid £50-55,000 p.a.), focusing particularly on the period 2015 to 2022, when the data was presented in common format (regrettably, a 2023 update has yet to appea... »

LBWF embarks on staff redundancies but quietly admits that it’s allowed senior staff hires to mushroom, even as resident satisfaction with the council plummets

LBWF never ceases to amaze. Take its current voluntary redundancy programme. Of course, the timing, just before Christmas, is deplorable, and says everything about how little the Town Hall leadership really cares for those who work for it. But putting that point aside, it’s very interesting to see how LBWF justifies itself.  Predictably, the story being spun for public consumption is that ‘the urgent need to address financial constraints’ stems from ‘reduced government funding, a challenging economic climate and escalating service demands’, in other words, ‘it’s nothing to do with us, gov’. But internal briefings introduce an important qualification. For it turns out that in recen... »

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