Nick Tiratsoo's Posts

Goddarts House sheltered housing in Walthamstow: new facts, new controversy

Reproduced below is a letter that I yesterday sent to LBWF Chief Executive Martin Esom which focuses on some new material that has emerged about fire safety measures at Goddarts House sheltered housing in Walthamstow. The first issue raised with Mr. Esom is about the London Fire Brigade’s recently divulged claim that it was misrepresented in one or more of LBWF’s pre-2019 Fire Risk Assessmen... »

LBWF and settlement agreements: a bellwether in the post COVID-19 years

In the post COVID-19 years, it will be imperative that LBWF spends money wisely, and turns its back on past profligacy. The fact that LBWF’s Chief Executive currently earns substantially more than the Prime Minister is palpably absurd, and urgently needs rectifying, but there are also several other possible ways of making enduring savings. In February this year, the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TA) invest... »

The London Fire Brigade and fire safety at LBWF’s Goddarts House, Walthamstow, sheltered housing: the anatomy of a shambles

This post examines the role played by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) in the ongoing scandal about fire safety at LBWF’s Goddarts House sheltered accommodation in Hoe Street, Walthamstow – 27 flats, with the ‘occupancy types’ officially described as ‘Elderly, Hearing Impairment, Mental Health, Sight Impairment, [and] Wheelchair Users’.  First, some general background about the legislation whic... »

LBWF and COVID-19 (1)

A few days ago, the Cabinet considered a paper which looked at the impact of COVID-19 on LBWF’s finances. The headline figures that were presented are alarming. Assuming the crisis lasts 12 weeks, LBWF will have an ‘exposure’ (increased costs plus lost income) of between £34.857m. and £39.487m. while at the time of writing, promised central government emergency assistance amounts to only £7.540m. ... »

LBWF and the East London Credit Union: yet more disturbing details emerge

This blog’s investigation into the 2019 collapse of LBWF favourite the East London Credit Union (ELCU) continues to generate revelations, and what follows is a brief roundup of the most noteworthy, grouped under four headings. LBWF’s initial decision to give ELCU £500,000 in 2014 At the Council Meeting of 16 October 2014, and with standing orders suspended, the Leader, Cllr. Chris Robbins, m... »

LBWF, Mini-Holland, and air quality: the King’s College Environmental Research Group report and its frailties

Acknowledgement: I am very grateful to Steve Lowe for drawing my attention to the subject of this post, providing important source material, and making helpful suggestions right the way though the drafting process. In the early summer of 2018, LBWF commissioned the much respected Environmental Research Group based at King’s College London [hereafter KCERG] to ‘model a range of interventions around... »

London Borough of Waltham Forest: the local authority that can’t even finalise its annual accounts (2)

Mystery continues about the fate of LBWF’s 2018-19 externally audited annual accounts. As a previous post outlined, these were due on 31 July 2019, so that they could be signed off by the Audit and Governance Committee, but the auditor, Ernst and Young LLP, was tardy in starting work; then became entangled in ‘historical audit issues‘, possibly dating to as far back as 2007; and in the end was for... »

LBWF’s press, communications, and PR operation: less about providing information, more about ‘controlling the narrative’

It is a staple of LBWF public utterances that ‘Communicating with our residents is important to us and we strive to ensure our residents are kept informed’. Indeed, in recent year, LBWF has underlined that it sees communication not just as a matter of informing, but also of transforming, a way of turning out ‘active citizens’, co-partners in the development of the borough. Thus, for instance, a re... »

Cllr. Keith Rayner at it again UPDATED

Cllr. Emma Best has posted on Twitter a piece of film recording an exchange with the puffed up Cllr. Keith Rayner at last night’s Council meeting. In it he refers to her as ‘dear’, to the amusement of his Labour colleagues: The full clip can be viewed here: https://twitter.com/emmabest22/status/1233142633947639808  Cllr. Rayner, it will be remembered, in recent years has had cons... »

Amy Lamé finds a congenial home

One name that has cropped up recently in relation to Waltham Forest is Amy Lamé, London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s £75,000 p.a. Night Czar, ‘TV personality’, and ‘active’ Labour Party member. Her link to Waltham Forest is because she has been intimately involved in Mayor Khan’s plan to pilot Walthamstow High Street as a ‘Night Time Enterprise Zone’, something he has buttressed by granting LBWF... »

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