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Introduction

A note for readers…

This is a personal blog, which aims to scrutinise the powers that be in Waltham Forest, from the Council (hereafter London Borough of Waltham Forest or LBWF), both elected members and staff; to our MP... »

Posts

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 ... »

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 ... »

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... »

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 Leytonst... »

Mr. Hynes asbestos inquiry report is still awaited, though promised for June, and meanwhile LBWF continues to fight off awkward questioning

In various statements made from the end of 2022 onwards, LBWF Director of Governance and Law, Mark Hynes, reiterated that he aimed to complete the report of his asbestos investigation by June 2023. In... »

Some councillors seem to have been put on earth purely to entertain us. But are they having the last laugh?

In a recent Waltham Forest Echo story, Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor reports that one of Waltham Forest’s finest, Cllr. Alistair Strathern, is standing for Labour in the eagerly ... »

LBWF spends millions of public money on cycling, but cannot say whether residents as a whole are getting on bikes, or just the better off

In the past few years, LBWF has spent upwards of c. £30m. on cycling infrastructure, while preaching the virtues of cycling at every opportunity.  Indeed, cycling has become an integral part of t... »

Local faith in the police plummets to levels lower than elsewhere in London. Why? Probably because too few criminals are being caught!

It is a striking, though often overlooked fact, that Waltham Forest residents’ trust and confidence in the police has not only declined markedly over recent years, but is also comparatively less favou... »

Town Hall asbestos: now LBWF can’t produce the mandatory health and safety permits issued to the contractors doing vital remedial and removal work

In the period 2015-20, LBWF ostensibly managed Town Hall asbestos on the basis of a 101-page manual, ‘Asbestos Management Procedure For Main Building Walthamstow Town Hall Complex’, jointly produced w... »

NPS London Ltd. (now re-named Evolve Norse Ltd.) has advised LBWF on managing asbestos since 2007, but does that inspire much confidence?

One organisation that sometimes pops up on the margins of public discussion about how LBWF has managed asbestos in the past few years is NPS London Ltd., recently renamed Evolve Norse Ltd. (so hereaft... »

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