Art of self-serving Politics

Evolution of a PoliticianWith a matter of days to Christmas our team have pondered on our reflective, appreciative – and hopefully wise and experienced – outlook on life as well as our evaluation of family and community. It is the community about which we are concerned. Waltham Forest is in trouble.

Therefore, in the interests of balance we felt obliged to report that the Liberal Democrats and Labour Parties in Waltham Forest are not alone in having amongst their ranks people for whom politics is self-serving rather than serving the community.

Uncommonly, it appears the Chingford Conservatives have 4 vacancies for candidates at next years local elections!

Following the recent announcement that deputy leader of the Conservatives and ward Councillor for Chingford Green, Cllr Michael Lewis, is not to stand at the local elections in 5 months time we have heard rumblings that a number of his ‘colleagues’ are already plotting to replace him.

We understand these so called colleagues include, the Conservative Councillors’ Whip and the Chingford Conservative Association Deputy Chairman – Political, who are actively ‘throwing their weight around’ in an attempt to ensure their self-serving ambitions are fulfilled.

Unwittingly, the current leader of the Conservative Councillors may have played into their hands by announcing he will not stand in the ward he currently represents but will contest one of the two vacancies in Chingford Green. Particularly, as we understand it, as the Deputy Chairman – Political has a vote!

With only 5 months before the next local elections we must remind our elected political trough feeders what is most needed is a policy of community revitalization – NOT Party nepotism.

So on 22nd May 2014 –  Let them know party-first, self-serving tactics will no longer be tolerated.

Not to Plan?

A senior Labour Councillors intervention in a Chingford planning application has provoked calls for an ultra right-wing and anti Islamic organisation to come to Waltham Forest.

Under delegated powers Council Officers recommended the application for the expansion of a mosque in Chingford Mount Road be refused due to the loss of a residential premises, the impact on surrounding residential occupiers and parking, with the increased number of visitors. However, Cllr Afzal Akram, who represents Lea Bridge ward on the borders of Walthamstow and Leyton and the person responsible for the Councils Corporate Resources, Business & Employment, has stepped in to ask officers to refer the application to the Labour dominated planning committee.

Bloggers have voiced their opinions questioning Cllr Akrams motives for his intervention.

Cllr Akram’s questionable intervention can only but heighten the fears, legitimate or otherwise, that one section of our community is being given preferential treatment over others.

Snobs snub affordable housing

It seems a bunch of residents, supported by Conservative Chingford MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan-Smith, have influenced a developer to drop plans to build affordable housing in North Chingford.

Atlantic Housing originally planned to build 12 flats behind the renamed Bull on the Green pub which would have meant up to 50% would have had to be affordable according to Waltham Forest Council planning policy.

To avoid meeting the quota, and with the agreement of nearby residents, Atlantic Housing lowered the number of the flats to be built.

According to 60-year-old local resident, Chris Whitbread,

The residents around here don’t want social housing on the site because we don’t know who will be put in there.

So the Tories are endorsing prejudice against having affordable and/or social housing in their ‘hamlet’. Disgraceful.

A close eye needs to be kept on the Tory members of the Council’s Planning Committee, Cllr Ed Northover and Cllr Alan Siggers, to see how often their Parties prejudice influences their decisions.

Earlier this year Duncan-Smith announced reforms to tackle poverty and get Britain working again.

Well Iain…those at the lower end of the pay scales need more affordable housing – that is their entry point – particularly younger people.

Loakes’ Lavatory Lunacy

The last public toilets in Waltham Forest were finally closed last weekend following Cllr Clyde Loakes announcement that the Council could no longer afford spending the alleged £89,500 a year to keep them open.

Chingford Mount

This weekend sees the entire site, including the water fountain and ‘obelisk’, surrounded by ‘Walthamstow Arcade style’ boarding presumably in preparation for Loakes’ threat to demolish the building.

So why demolish this toilet? Why is he not proposing to demolish toilets else where in Waltham Forest such as

  • St James Street
  • Wood Street
  • South Grove

The Truth Will Out team concluded that it can only be Labour’s contempt for anywhere north of the A406 where the representation is dominated by the Conservatives. This kind of behaviour will hardly endear Labour to  the voters of Chingford.

Going down the pan

The last public toilet in Waltham Forest is to close on Monday 13th September according to a recent announcement from Cllr Clyde Loakes, cabinet member for the environment despite a 4000 petition against the decision signed by residents and local businesses.

Cllr Clyde Loakes

Not only are they to close but visionary Loakes says the building will be demolished in October. A commentator on WF Guardian’s website correctly states “Cllr Loakes has made this decision without giving anyone else a chance to show how they (the toilets) could be properly run, eg as part of a small café, shows not a regard for economy, but petulance: how dare anyone contradict what he intends to do?”

In a recent WF Guardian web article Cllr Loakes spouts the usual Labour rhetoric that the council had been “forced” into the closure as a direct result of cuts in funding from central Government.

It is with a heavy heart we are closing these toilets, but they are too expensive to keep open when the Council is trying to save millions of pounds and there are suitable more effective toilets nearby” he said.

What he forgets to tell us is that £30m of the £38m cuts were identified before the last elections and he and his Labour cronies continue to deny spending thousands of pounds on new curtains and carpets for the Leader of the councils office and providing office space for Labour cabinet members even though staff working in the Town Hall state the contrary to the Truth Will Out team.

The Truth Will Out team wonders what Transport for London’s (Tfl) view of the closure is given Chingford Mount is a bus terminus and it is expected bus drivers have access to toileting facilities during their breaks?

Surely, Loakes and his cronies are not suggesting London bus drivers have to enter a public house whilst on duty?

The Truth Will Out looks forward to the campaigners threat to have a sit in. Not easy to say after a few pints!!!