LBWF Chief Executive Martin Esom and asbestos: the silence continues

Exactly one month ago, Trevor Calver and I wrote LBWF Chief Executive Martin Esom the following e-mail:   Dear Mr. Esom, In November 2012, we wrote to you about the potential conflict of interest inherent in concurrently you being chief executive of LBWF and board member of NPS London Ltd.. You told us that you understood the risks, and had taken steps to mitigate them, explaining: ‘I fully recognise my role as board director, and also Chief Executive of the authority and ensure that the two roles are not blurred. My deputy, Shifa Mustafa, acts as the lead client and she has a free reign to fulfil that task in the best interests of the local authority. She reports to a variety of Cabine... »

Cllr. Dhedi

A second eagle-eyed reader of my Barnett v. Dhedi post contacts me to ask if the Cllr. Dhedi referred to is one and the same person as Shabana Qadir, of Private Eye fame. I’m pleased to confirm that they are indeed one and the same, and for good measure append the oft cited April 2010 Private Eye piece, which I am bound to say, reveals little of interest about Cllr. Dhedi, though a great deal about the unappealing world where would-be councillors like herself sometimes choose to earn their spurs. ‘Saving the Wales Like many councils, the London borough of Newham has a large “communications” department devoted to telling taxpayers – at taxpayers’ expense – what a great job the cou... »

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 local party, and subsequently abruptly disappeared from view – truly, a shooting star. Luckily for the body politic, it turns out that Mr. Akram is alive and well, has moved across London, and is now a luminary of….UKIP! Getwestlondon has the story: »

Barnett v. Dhedi: councillors scrap

Spats amongst councillors are often good value for money – a window into the Town Hall world of petty rivalries, vanities, jealousies, self-importance and general buffoonery, where molehills soon become mountains. Whether the latest altercation, between the deeply unimpressive Cllrs Peter Barnett and Shabana Dhedi, conforms to this mould remains to be seen. The Waltham Forest Guardian has covered the story in surprising depth, and attracted a fair bit of public interest. There is some suggestion of an organised campaign.  Regarless, the synthetic rage of the supposedly affronted adds an albeit unintended comedic quality to much of the comment. The by now fashionable charges of ‘racism&... »

Asbestos matters: John Cryer MP keeps stum, too

John Cryer is a trade union sponsored MP who likes to present himself as a staunch defender of the downtrodden. In April 2014, Mr. Cryer addressed a memorial service in the Town Hall complex to commemorate ‘men killed whilst at work’, in particular those  ‘as young as 16 who have died in and around the borough’. The local press published a picture of him standing outside the Town Hall itself, alongside trade unionists and bereaved family members. Nine months elapse, and LBWF is found guilty of exposing staff and visitors to dangerous asbestos dust in the very same building that Mr. Cryer had earlier posed before. And what has Mr. Cryer had to say about this? Absolutely nothing. His silence b... »

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