Sham…bolic Consultation

A twelve week ‘consultation‘ in regards the future of Waltham Forest Library and Information Service may be proved to be a sham following rumours received by the Truth Will Out team.

Just six weeks ago Cabinet member for Leisure, Arts and Culture, Cllr Geraldine Reardon, said of the consultation  “First and foremost we must stress that no decision has yet been made and that these are still proposals” and the Councils consultation page states “The results of this consultation will be taken into account when a final decision is made.”

Whilst Labour politicians (fighting against low pay, workplace injustice and unemployment!!) are saying one thing in public we have been led to believe that  staff at South Chingford Library were told, in a recent meeting, it closes on 23rd December 2011. So what of Cllr Reardon’s assertion that “we will, of course, encourage as many residents and employees as possible to take part” if the decision has already been made?

If true, ‘Strong Leader’, Cllr Chris Robbins, champion of the working class, should advise Cllr Reardon that her position is untenable for presiding over a sham consultation and remove her from cabinet.

If you wish to contribute to the ‘consultation’ click here to fill in the online form by no later than 9th September 2011.

Note: The Labour Party are not novices at closing libraries in Waltham Forest – Friday Hill and St James Street libraries are just two examples.

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Comedy of errors

Waltham Forest’s Labour politician responsible for Leisure, Arts & Culture has been left red faced over her handling of the Lloyd Park debacle.

Not only has she had to hold out her begging bowl it now transpires the man heading the project, Head of Greenspaces and project director, was made redundant as a result of the Labour party’s savage cuts.

Cllr Reardon

It seems the unity, so desperately espoused by Cllr Geraldine Reardon, between the Council and members of the ‘Project Board’ is at an end after a £1.6m disagreement as to the final cost.

In addition it is believed that Reardon has agreed to close much of Lloyd Park to the public until next May, when the work is due to finish in order to save money.

Such a story of utter incompetence and mis-management should provide plenty of material for the first performance at the open air theatre on the island.

Blind leading the Blind

A senior Council officer responsible for the Lloyd Park debacle has been tasked with bailing out a local development charity, O-Regen, after it got itself into serious financial difficulties.

Clive Morton

Head of Cultural Services and former Labour Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Clive Morton, has been tasked with investigating how and why O-Regen has consistently made losses over the last five years.

O-Regen’s financial history can be seen here and shows the accumulative loss over the last five years as £1,621,728.

O-Regen’s Board of Trustees consists of three Waltham Forest Councillors and its chair is Leader of the Waltham Forest Conservatives, Cllr Matt Davis.

Interestingly, earlier this year Cllr Davis demanded that the council must “get real” about costs and “If something is going to cost a certain amount of money, that’s how much you should budget for.”

With Cllr Davies’ leadership acumen, Cllr Terry Wheeler’s regeneration expertise and Clive Morton’s financial acumen we are sure O-Regen is in capable hands.

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.

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!