Nick Tiratsoo's Posts

Tory Deputy Leader Cllr. Afzal Akram fails to declare his company directorships etc. on his register of interests form, as LBWF Monitoring Officer Mark Hynes dithers over what to do

Afzal Akram is a councillor for Valley ward; ‘Voluntary Party Manager’ for the Conservative Party (previously having been ‘Senior Campaign Manager’); Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group in the Town Hall; and member of two important Scrutiny Committees, those covering Budget and Performance, and Health. It might be imagined that someone so senior must know the ins and outs of what he should dec... »

LBWF censured by an Ombudsman again, this time because it sent an invoice demanding £6,000 to a vulnerable resident…though when challenged admitted this was an ‘error’

Hardly a week goes by without someone from LBWF repeating the twin mantras that ‘Residents are at the heart of everything we do’, and ‘We are determined to be a Council that listens to and works for everyone’. Regrettably, hardly a week goes by, either, without evidence emerging that, especially for anyone who is disadvantaged, these mantras are at best an aspiration for the future, at worst ... »

A new study shows that the closure of police stations in Waltham Forest likely was a false economy, and may have actually aggravated criminality

From 2011 onwards, Waltham Forest saw police stations in Leyton, Leytonstone, and Walthamstow close, leaving only Chingford open. There was much disquiet about this at the time, but senior police officers and their allies assured residents that money would be saved without any discernible impact on policing or criminality. Now a paper by Dr. Elisa Facchetti of the Institute of Fiscal Studies sugge... »

Leytonstone cartoonist Woox on Michael Gove’s letter to LBWF about it’s severe maladministration of residents’ housing complaints

Item: ‘Secretary of State Michael Gove has written to the LBWF Chief Executive following a Housing Ombudsman report that finds LBWF guilty of severe maladministration in dealing with residents’ complaints’.  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/660d22dcfb0f77001aec66f2/220324_-_letter_from_SoS_to_Waltham_Forest.pdf »

LBWF’s latest employment tribunal case: allegations of serious Town Hall racism dismissed, but a sour taste lingers

On 28 March 2024, The Times published the following story: ‘No leading lady worth that label in the golden age of Hollywood would have balked at being called “glamorous”. But Joan Crawford and Rita Hayworth were not slaving away in modern local authority offices, where, according to an employment tribunal judge, the term is “undermining” and “belittling”. The judge, Sophie Park, said tha... »

‘Affordable housing’ in Waltham Forest: Labour councillors talk up their alleged achievements, but the data on completions is still dismal

(cartoon courtesy of WOOX) It’s been widely reported that some Labour councillors are bragging about a supposed breakthrough in the local provision of ‘affordable housing’. Politicians habitually will trim to their advantage, obviously, but in truth this new claim is incomplete without careful contextualisation, as a glance at the data demonstrates. To start with, it is important to underline that... »

LBWF’s new core strategy, ‘Mission Waltham Forest: our plan for a more equal borough’: laudable response to austerity, or cynical political opportunism?

 At its February meeting, the Council approved ‘Mission Waltham Forest: our plan for a more equal borough’ (hereafter MWF), comprising a new ‘strategic ambition’ and ‘core purpose’, which is to make Waltham Forest a more equal borough by 2030, plus a new and ‘radical’ way of working, very much ‘a break from… business-as-usual’. In detail, MWF will focus council effort and resources on ten dif... »

LBWF is making 150 employees redundant, and imposing 105 separate spending cuts, but its long-term habit of appointing expensive senior staff apparently continues

Some of the choices that LBWF makes about the expenditure of public money are perplexing, to say the least. Consider first some recent history. Over the years, and when speaking publicly, leading Labour councillors have repeatedly insisted that dwindling central government funding is threatening the council’s financial stability. Yet behind the scenes, as this blog has revealed, these same leading... »

Private Eye reports LBWF’s mushrooming number of expensive senior staff, their failure to improve performance, and the redundancy programme that is the consequence

From Private Eye, No. 1617, 16 Feb to 29 Feb. 2024 »

Walthamstow community activist Charlie Edwards’ court case shows that, though LBWF has a legal duty to release to each resident the personal information it holds about them, it is still obstructive

Some months ago, Walthamstow community activist Charlie Edwards lodged a claim for damages against LBWF because of the way it had handled a request for the personal information which it held about him, what’s known as a Subject Access Request (SAR), and earlier this week his case was heard at the Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court. The hearing started on a comical note.  LBWF was represe... »

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