Should have gone to SpecSavers

In the days well before ancient Greeks ever toyed with pseudo-democracy, a biblical sage wrote, ”Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).

Waltham Forest now, more than ever, needs exciting and visionary government yet is getting political drift, administrative incompetence, and a culture of secrecy under the ‘strong leadership’ of Cllr Chris Robbins.

Visionary leadership seeks to take people into a new, morally engaging and uplifting future. Under Robbins and his Labour cronies we are getting procrastination and blinkered vision.

A case in point is Walthamstow Dog Track – The Stow.

Since 1933 this iconic site has been the home to greyhound racing, speedway and banger racing attracting punters, and their money, from far and wide.

The Council recently carried out a a borough wide ‘needs assessment’ for retail and commercial leisure uses in Waltham Forest. The study showed that projected growth in the population and expenditure over the period 2009-2026 is expected to lead to an increase in retail and leisure provision in the borough.

What better place to put a facility charged with providing a mix of leisure and much needed housing, than a site with a long history of leisure facilities with the space for housing.

The opportunity to provide much needed housing and leisure facilities is a chance to fulfil a significant part of Waltham Forests needs, and the Council’s role in that is critical.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Chris Robbins, needs to show some backbone and take the lead of the process and not just call for a meeting between L&Q and the Save Our Stow campaign, headed by multi millionaire, Bob Morton, as Cllr Marie Pye did but ensure Waltham Forest gets the leisure and housing it desperately needs .

Yes, there’s a risk. But to not accept that in the face of the benefits both socially and economically for Waltham Forest would be short-sighted.

If it is vision we want from our councillors then maybe we, the electorate, need to go to SpecSavers before we next enter the polling station otherwise we get the politicians we deserve.

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Build now & get permission later

For years unscrupulous developers have been laying down concrete on weekends or bank holidays and then putting in a planning application after the event. Developers do this in the knowledge that Councillors often have little choice but to give approval and currently, planning enforcement cannot commence whilst an application is pending.

Earlier this year a key Conservative election promise was to curtail the ability, of unscrupulous developers, to apply for retrospective planning permission. The Truth Will Out team hopes the coalition Government implements this promise as we feel that all retrospective planning applications should be refused to send a clear message to the unscrupulous developers not to circumnavigate the legal planning process.

However, its little wonder unscrupulous developers are comfortable with this practise when Waltham Forest Council partakes in the practise itself.

Next week the Councils Planning Committee will decide whether or not to grant permission for a mobile classroom and an adventure playground for disabled youngsters sought by the Children & Young Peoples Directorate.

Yes, you’ve guessed it the building work has already started according to information received by the Truth Will Out team and this is not the first time this part of the Council has acted this way.

Cllrs Loakes and Mahmud need to get their houses in order.

Government declares war on the town hall ‘Pravdas’

Biased Council ‘newspapers’, like Waltham Forest News, will soon face being taken to court by the Government if they breach strict rules on publishing political propaganda.

Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, has announced plans to limit council journals to four per year and insist that only material directly related to council services should be included.

This is welcome news particularly given Labour’s recent blatant hyperbole about the financial cuts and a visit to City Hall.

The Truth Will Out team are aware that, prior to the elections in May, all three Political Parties were briefed by the former Chief Executive, that the Council faced between £20 and £50m cuts.

The visit to City Hall article by a ‘cross-party’ delegation (5 Labour Councillors & naive Lib Dem leader, Cllr Bob Sullivan) suggests that they had a personal meeting with Boris Johnson.

According to a City Hall spokesperson no meeting with Mr Johnson had been scheduled and that the council’s delegation instead sat in the public gallery during the mayor’s question time with London Assembly members.

So much for honesty and transparency Cllr Robbins!

Coalition Government leaves Waltham Forest in a mess

Plans to replace the Edmonton waste incinerator, due to be decommissioned in 2020, have been scuppered despite the Coalition Agreement giving the ‘all clear’ to the project over the summer and saying it wanted to be the “greenest Government ever”.

It is understood the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) spent hundreds of thousands of pounds developing the project following the Government’s summer approval.

The Government’s decision to withdraw £258.4 million promised to support investment in the future waste disposal infrastructure for North London, and which would have seen 400,000 tonnes of waste diverted away from landfill, leaves local council taxpayers to pay the whole cost of the Government increases in landfill tax that it has confirmed will rise by £8 per annum to £80/tonne in 2014. Additionally, this decision sees the loss of 700 new, desperately needed, local jobs.

We all wait with bated breath to hear the thoughts of the Leaders of the Conservatives, Cllr Matt Davis and the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Bob Sullivan.

NLWA is the second largest waste authority in the country, after
Manchester, and currently deals with 3% of the country’s total
municipal waste. Members of the NLWA are Waltham Forest, Islington,
Barnet, Haringey, Hackney, Camden and Enfield.

It’s Miliband…

The wait is over for the Labour Party who announced their new national leader today, Ed Miliband.

Of the five candidates, pundits predicted a Miliband will attempt to lead Labour out of the electoral wilderness; and they were right.

However, it was not the Miliband the Waltham Forest Labour Party threw all their support behind when he was the key guest at a Pakistan Independence Day and Ramadhan dinner at Walthamstow Assembly Hall recently.

Notable supporters of David Miliband were Walthamstow MP, Stella Creasy (clearly looking for a higher position in the parliamentary Labour Party), Waltham Forest Mayor Cllr Masood Ahmed, Cllr Akram Afzal and Cllr Robbins, leader of the council who said they hoped that under him the party would win the next election.

If this is the level of their judgement God help Waltham Forest over the next few years.

The real winners in this contest are the unions who helped young Ed secure his narrow victory over his older brother by just one percentage point of the votes. It’s inevitable they will want payback at some point.

All Out Brothers