Reward for failure

In a recent article we covered the publication of a damning Ofsted report which stated that vulnerable children in Waltham Forest have been put at risk due to council failures.

As a consequence the two senior Council Officers responsible swiftly ‘left’ their jobs no doubt with the blessings of the Labour Party and a large golden handshake.

Failure is almost always punished in real sports; in the shameless sport of politics, it is often no impediment.

Jon Ralston 

The latest example in Waltham Forest is the announcement that two fairly inept and failing Councillors have swapped jobs.

We agree with Archipelago of Truth that this shows (forgive us for another sporting analogy!) the strength in depth of the Labour team – or more accurately the lack of it!

But is this the entire story?

Why is Cllr Saima Mahmud still in the cabinet following her spectacular failure as Cabinet Member for Children and Young People? Could it be that her father has significant influence in the Waltham Forest Labour Party both financially and otherwise?

So what of Cllr Marie Pye who is no stranger to controversy? This is the Councillor who represents Waltham Forest Council on the London & Quadrant Housing Trust – Regional Committee and supports their plans for ‘The Stow’ and has her red sofa transported around the borough, at our expense, even though rumour has it she is not registered as disabled.

It seems if you are connected to the Waltham Forest Labour Party failure is an option; and can be well rewarded!


Labour lemmings

Vulnerable children in Waltham Forest have been put at risk due to council failures, a damning Ofsted report has found following an unannounced inspection of its children and young people’s services department in June.

A result of this failure is the department’s deputy director, Linda Cointepas, has left the authority by “mutual agreement” and executive director, Chris Kiernan (allegedly a card carrying Labour supporter), is to ‘retire’ at the end of this month. Both, no doubt, with largess ‘golden handshakes’.

But what of the politicians responsible for this service?

The Labour Party have been responsible for this critical area of the councils services for well over a decade yet the current Portfolio Lead for Children and Young People, Cllr Saima Mahmud, has left commenting to a ‘spokesperson’.

We don’t expect the chair of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee, Cllr Ebony Vincent, to give this serious matter full and proper attention as we understand she is more interested in reporting to the Scrutiny Management Committee her activities with Walthamstow MP, Stella Creasy, and Cllr Mahmud!

Ironically, Leyton & Wanstead Labour MP, John Cryer, has an article on his website accusing Boris Johnson and the Government of “…shredding our services and putting our children’s futures at risk!”

Previous Councillors responsible for Children and Young People services are the councils ‘strong leader’, Chris Robbins (allegedly close friend of Chris Kiernan) and Liaquat Ali. Enough said!!!

Council Officers delivering political idealogy

Three Waltham Forest schools planning to take advantage of the coalition Governments Academies programme are under attack in a Council report tonight.

The eight Labour Cabinet members are directing Executive Director of Children and Young People Services, Christopher Kiernan, to write to all governing bodies urging them to “think very carefully” and “act wisely” before considering applying for the status.

First glance of the document shows what complete buffoons the senior Officer, who wrote the report, and the politician, who signed it off, are. Kiernan seems to have forgotten which politician he reports to as according to the header page Cllr Liaquat Ali is still responsible for Children’s Services.  The current politician responsible for the service, Cllr Saima Mahmud, has clearly signed the report without properly reading it.

The reports says, should the three schools become Academies, the Council will lose £2 million. What is doesn’t say is the £2 million is not lost but will go directly to the schools.

The  report also says Academies are bad as we lose money. The Council don’t want the good schools to become Academies  but suggest they might make the bad ones Academies – Doh!

The real issue is parents, head teachers and governors have lost faith in Children’s Services and are choosing Academy status as a better option than being with a directorate that bought the Councils star rating down from four to two under the tenure of Cllrs Ali and Robbins.

Questions still remain about the Independent Panel conclusions plus the Council has not shown any ability to aid schools in improving their GCSE outcomes in comparison with other boroughs.