Nick Tiratsoo's Posts

The Mall tower blocks: Stella Creasy raises safety fears with Secretary of State Michael Gove, but there are other big concerns too UPDATED

In the last few weeks, Walthamstow residents have been amused – possibly bemused – by the sudden appearance of a new tower block’s soaring central core right in the middle of the Mall redevelopment scheme (now officially called ‘17&Central’). As the Waltham Forest Echo reports, this startling vision has prompted numerous memes on social media, including ‘King Kong atop the tower... »

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the prior consultation was manipulated, and what LBWF refers to as supporting evidence is revealed to be decades out of date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

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 jus... »

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. Ha... »

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 notwithst... »

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 t... »

LBWF Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes releases his asbestos report and finds LBWF to have acted lawfully, but it’s not the final word

In September 2022, I asked the council’s Director of Governance and Law, Mark Hynes, to confirm that, in the period 2015-20, LBWF had managed asbestos in the Town Hall as required by the key piece of legislation, the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (hereafter CAR 2012). I was particularly concerned about the Town Hall basement, where asbestos was known to be most prevalent, and wanted to esta... »

Departing CEO Martin Esom given freedom of the borough, though he was five years in post when LBWF was found to have exposed staff and contractors to asbestos

At the council meeting last week, departing CEO Martin Esom was granted the freedom of the borough. At first sight, many will conclude that he deserves such recognition, having guided the council for nearly thirteen years, albeit paid handsomely for his efforts, c. £200,000 every year, c. £2.6m in all. Yet it is often now overlooked that Mr. Esom had been in post for five years when in 2015 the He... »

The new Office of Local Government launches a tool to compare how councils are performing, and LBWF emerges as one of the laggards

The newly formed Office of Local Government (Oflog) has just launched a tool which shows how English councils are performing in terms of both their near neighbours and the national median. So far, the focus is on adult social care, finance, and waste management, with a total of 18 different metrics tracked. It’s fair to say that LBWF doesn’t come out of this exercise very well, performing below th... »

Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor exposes the botched refurbishment of LBWF’s John Walsh and Fred Wigg towers in Leytonstone

Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor has just published a terrific story in the Waltham Forest Echo about the botched refurbishment of LBWF’s John Walsh and Fred Wigg towers in Leytonstone, which has taken four years and millions of pounds, but for the most part remains incomplete: https://walthamforestecho.co.uk/2023/07/12/montague-road-estate-tenants-accuse-council-of-badly-misman... »

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