Mark Hynes

Ex-Leader Cllr. Clare Coghill’s breach of the LBWF Code of Conduct: Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes adds further fuel to the fire

Leading on from previous posts about Cllr. Coghill and her breach of the LBWF Code of Conduct by not declaring in 2017 that she was on the staff of Barry Sheerman MP, Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes has just provided some new details, small in themselves but nevertheless significant. First, he underlines that Cllr. Coghill’s error ‘was down to her and no one else’ (in other words, ruling... »

Cllr. Clare Coghill confirmed to have broken LBWF’s Code of Conduct by not declaring her work for Barry Sheerman MP, but Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes declines disciplinary action

A recent post (see first link below) looked at ex-Leader Cllr. Clare Coghill’s LBWF register of interests in the period 2014 to 2018, and noted some discrepancies.  In 2014, Cllr. Coghill declared that she was office manager for the Labour MP Barry Sheerman, but in her next register three years later, she included no such entry: The clear implication was that her job with Mr. Sheerman ha... »

LBWF Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes lands a plum job on the side, but then ‘unforeseen circumstances’ spoil his Christmas, leaving the Town Hall hierarchy with questions to answer

Reports reach this blog of a new and arresting episode in the life and times of our old friend, LBWF Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes. The gist is as follows. In the past few years, Thanet District Council (TDC), which provides services to 140,000 people living in the Margate, Ramsgate, and Broadstairs area, has descended into chaos, said to stem from a near complete failure of gover... »

Complaints by residents about Waltham Forest councillors: another can of worms

As many readers of this blog will know, Waltham Forest councillors must comply with the ‘Code of Conduct for Members’, Part Nine of the LBWF Constitution. This document covers matters such a ‘General Standards of Conduct’ and ‘Registration of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests’; applies only when councillors are acting in their official capacity; and is presided over by Mark Hynes, Director of ... »

The Information Commissioner’s Office audit of LBWF: less a forensic examination, more a damp squib

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has just released the executive summary of a ‘Data protection audit report’ focusing on LBWF (ICO policy, apparently, is not to release the full version). The ICO’s overall judgement is that, as regards both the governance and accountability of data protection and the operation of the Freedom of Information Act, LBWF is achieving ‘a reasonable level of a... »

Fire safety scandal (1): recently disclosed e-mail reveals industry expert’s warning that the LBWF specification for flat entrance doors on its estates prioritised ‘design’ over ‘compliance’, thus potentially ‘endangering lives’.

For ordinary Waltham Forest residents, how LBWF tenders and completes fire safety contracts is typically opaque, because so much is shielded from scrutiny by commercial confidentiality clauses and arms’ length transactions delivered through third parties, both outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. However, an e-mail that has just surfaced provides a fascinating, and unexpectedly rev... »

LBWF’s in-house ‘Eastern Legal Partnership’ initiative: another Waltham Forest mystery

Back in 2018, LBWF launched Eastern Legal Partnership (ELP), which its supremo, Director of Governance and Law Mark Hynes, introduced thus: ‘Eastern Legal Partnership (ELP) is a team of lawyers that primarily provide legal services to the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Our successes and expertise in the council’s legal matters means that we are ideally placed to help other public sector o... »

LBWF councillors right to withhold ‘sensitive’ information about themselves on the Register of Interests: use and possible abuse

Though relatively rarely discussed, a clause in the current local government legislation allows councillors to withhold information on their register of interests forms so long as the monitoring officer agrees the information in question is ‘sensitive’, meaning, if made public, would lead to ‘violence or intimidation’ either directly or against ‘a person connected’. The reasoning here is fairly ob... »

LBWF and its Freedom of Information Act failings: now the Information Commissioner’s Office directly intervenes UPDATED

Past posts have covered LBWF’s increasingly unsatisfactory record in handling Freedom of Information (FOI) inquiries – its delays, illegitimate evasions, ignorance of the legal framework, and so on. However, at last there is some good news, because the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is to meet with LBWF Chief Executive, Martin Esom, shortly to discuss ‘the numerous [ICO] decision notices ... »

Cllrs Anna Mbachu and Victoria te Velde: register of Interests controversy re-surfaces UPDATED

Given the frequency over the years with which they have been discussed by this blog, it might be thought that councillors’ register of interests (RoI) forms now must be a non-issue – all present, up-to-date, and correct as to fact. Yet, regretfully, this seems not to be the case. Take that Town Hall veteran, Cllr. Anna Mbachu. As readers of this blog will remember, her RoI has attracted reproval b... »

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