Cllr. Chris Robbins

LBWF Leader Chris Robbins and Syrian refugees: the same old same old

Back in October 2015, the Leader of LBWF, Cllr. Chris Robbins, went public with a pledge to house Syrian refugees. The Waltham Forest Guardian story started with his picture in large format – – and then included the following specifics: ‘Ten refugee families fleeing Syria will be housed in Waltham Forest…The council have promised to provide decent homes “wherever poss... »

Cllr. Robbins on the Private Eye and Guido Fawkes allegations about Cllr. Ali

I reprint below some correspondence that I have had with Cllr. Chris Robins, Leader of LBWF, concerning allegations involving his close colleague Cllr. Liaquat Ali and the latter’s family. Most of Cllr. Robbins’ response to me, it hardly needs saying, is irrelevant, but I am struck by the line about ‘as a matter of routine’ not responding to ‘either publication’. The allegations made are serious o... »

Council Leader Chris Robbins: staying or going?

A local Labour Party mole writes in as follows: ‘When Labour was re-elected at the 2014 council elections, it was assumed by many insiders that this would be Chris Robbins’ last term as Leader. Speculation turned to the succession, with Clare Coghill and Mark Rusling generally believed to be the leading contenders. However, those who knew Robbins well were always sceptical, because he previo... »

The National College for Leadership and Teaching report on Waltham Forest head Ludiya Besisira: a tale of dishonesty and almost total regulatory failure UPDATED

‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank the headteacher, Ludiya Besisira and her staff for all their hard work in improving the school and attaining an excellent Ofsted report’ (Cllr. Chris Robbins, portfolio holder, to LBWF Cabinet, October 2008) In October 2015, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) published its adjudication on allegations made against Ms. ... »

The LBWF Gang Prevention Programme: yet another missed opportunity

I have been meaning to write about Waltham Forest’s Gang Prevention Programme (GPP) for some time, and now seems as good a time as any. The GPP is coming towards the end of its fourth year, has cost several million pounds, and garnered significant national attention. Yet this summer the local newspaper reported a series of seemingly awful stabbings, shootings, and murders, often featuring young pe... »

A week in the reign of our Leader….or is it?

A reader gets in touch to say that he has found a document in one of the Town Hall skips, and thinks it is a page of a diary feature that the Leader was preparing for WFN. Personally, I have my doubts, no least because of the Bon Jovi comment (its widely known that Cllr. Loakes is a big Northern Soul fan and so would have chosen Al Wilson’s ‘The Snake’ ). Maybe one of the many Ro... »

The Barnett v. Dhedi fallout: things are getting nasty

If a recent exchange of correspondence is anything to go by, the Barnett-Dhedi affair (covered in two previous posts) has turned decidedly nasty. Writing on behalf of the Waltham Forest Council of Mosques to Cllr. Robbins, Media Officer Irfan Akhta’s stance is predictably shrill. Cllr. Barnett’s infelicitous language is ‘Islamaphobic’ and ‘grossly offensive’. Re... »

Cllr. Liaquat Ali hits the Andy Burnham campaign trail

Good to see Cllr. Liaquat Ali out supporting Andy Burnham on his recent visit to Waltham Forest (see I hear from well placed sources that should our Andy win the Labour leadership, he will make Cllr. Ali one of his key advisers on solving London’s housing problems. PS Of course every picture tells a story, and here it is interesting to see the aged Lea... »

Flying the flag in the face of austerity

A local resident writes: ‘Have you noticed all the Union Jacks now flying in the borough? You might expect a Union Jack at the Town Hall, but do we need them at Leyton Cricket Ground and other such facilities? Alongside running the Council, with all the difficult decisions to be made over cuts to essential services, it would appear that money has been found to put a flagpole and union jack a... »

Documenting Past Failures: (3) NRF, EduAction and an open letter to Cllr. Chris Robbins

One of the outside organisations that LBWF paid NRF monies to was EduAction, or more properly EduAction Waltham Forest Ltd., a joint venture formed by Amey Plc (‘one of today’s leading public services providers’) and Nord Anglia Education. In the 2000s, EduAction ran the schools in the borough, after a damning Ofsted report at the turn of the century had disposed of the idea that the l... »

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