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.

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Democrat becomes Liberal

A former Waltham Forest Councillor exiled from the Liberal Democrats for speaking out against alleged corruption and racism is standing in the forthcoming by-election in Larkswood ward.

James O’Rourke has thrown his hat into the ring as an old-fashioned Liberal. Whilst we, and others, are encouraged to hear of his return, we thought the negative impact of The Scarlet Pimpernel would have discouraged Mr O’Rourke from returning to politics for life!

However, we wholeheartedly agree with Archipelago of Truth that Mr O’Rourke was a “…hard-working, case-working councillor when he was the representative for the High Street ward” and that by standing as a Liberal Party candidate it “…is the closest thing … to standing as an Independent without actually taking the plunge.”

Realistically, Mr O’Rourke is not going to beat the Conservatives on their ‘home turf’ but we wish him all the very best in dramatically reducing their majority and seeing off the other pretenders.

Ali family extends their empire

Not content with building their property empire in Waltham Forest the Ali family have extended their grubby tentacles into the Councils innermost sanctums – the cabinet and the mayoralty.

One week after the inauguration of the Mayor for 2012/13  Cllr Nadeem Ali, son of Cllr Liaquat Ali, hosted a celebration of Waltham Forest’s Mayoralty in the Town Hall Council chamber. The event, filmed by an asian TV channel and posted on YouTube, shows Cllr Liaquat Ali thanking family and friends for attending.

‘Chairing’ the meeting was newly elected Mayor of Waltham Forest and first citizen, Cllr Richard Sweden, so we assumed that this event was to celebrate his coming year in office. NOT SO!!!

The event was a ‘jolly’ for the family and friends of Cllr Nadeem Ali to celebrate him being the youngest Deputy Mayor of Waltham Forest!!!

Questions need to be asked of the Councils ‘Strong Leader’ Cllr Chris Robbins including:

  • Was the Mayor used to promote Cllr Ali and Cllr Ali who are known to be business men in area?
  • Was this an official Council sanctioned event?
  • Who paid for this event to glorify Cllr Nadeem Ali?
  • Were refreshments provided?
    • If so, who provided and paid for them?

Such narcissistic abuse of public facilities by Labour Councillors needs to be challenged.

If anyone can answer our questions please come forward with information.

Note: Brother of Liaquat  and uncle of Nadeem sits in his grey suit directly in front of Mayor, Cllr Richard Sweden.

L & Q Wins Race

Walthamstow Assembly Hall played host to a special Planning Committee tonight with celebrity racing pundit, John McCririck, joining hundreds of local residents and Save Our Stow campaigners to oppose London & Quadrant’s proposals.

After a tortuous four hours the four Labour Councillors (Cllr Pete Barnett, Cllr Jenny Gray, Cllr Ebony Vincent & Cllr Asim Mahmood) outvoted the two Conservatives (Cllr Alan Siggers & Cllr Ed Northover) and the solitary Lib Dem (Cllr Liz Phillips) giving L & Q the go ahead for their ludicrous scheme which does not meet any of the Councils own targets. Interestingly, it was noted that Cllrs Gray, Vincent and Mahmood needed to take their cue when voting from Chair Cllr Pete Barnett who in turn kept looking towards the Councillor formerly responsible for housing and planning, Cllr Marie Pye, who was in the audience.

The standard of the debate from those opposing L & Q’s plans was extremely high. Not so from the highly paid L & Q staff (who described their organisation as a charity) nor, bar one, Waltham Forest’s elected Councillors!

The merits for and against this development can be easily found elsewhere.

We are more interested in the fact that democracy had been given short shrift tonight by an ‘accountable’ charitable and our Labour run Council whose political interests are more important than that of the community it supposedly serves.

We understand that an irate Labour supporter challenged Cllr Pete Barnett to resign so as they could both contest the seat in a by-election. Cllr Pete Barnett is reported to have replied “You can challenge me in 2014”. (Privately, it is rumoured that Cllr Barnett and his partner Cllr Angie Bean will not be standing for election in 2014).

Sadly, Waltham Forest is now being run by a Labour Party clique who lacks vision and has lost contact with its own supporters and residents. The opposition….what opposition!!!

Waltham Forest’s residents need to challenge the political incestuous allegiances by either putting up or supporting candidates in the 2014 local elections who will put community first.

Labour Council Honours Truth Will Out

For many years the Labour Party has waged a campaign to stifle freedom of expression by pumping millions of pounds of local tax payers money into the Councils ‘pravda style‘ publication – Waltham Forest News (WFN).

It is said the ultimate aim, started by former Council leader, Cllr Clyde Loakes, and continued by ‘Strong Leader’, Cllr Chris Robbins, is to rid Waltham Forest of the free press such as The Guardian.

So it is with some pride that we have heard that access to this website, by Council staff, has been blocked by our Stalinist rulers.

A GREAT HONOUR INDEED!!!

THANK YOU CLLR ROBBINS 

Liberals find their voice

Four months after the relaunch of the Waltham Forest Liberal Party they have finally had something to say.

Former Waltham Forest Councillor, James O’Rourke, suggests he was responsible for getting the council to collect rubbish left “festering for the last three weeks” and is quoted as saying “Cllr Loakes has presided over the introduction of a contractor worse than the previous contractor – Verdant. Something I thought would not have been possible.”

He may well be correct?

Do we remember some years ago when the refuse collection contract was transferred from in-house to Verdant? Remember the uproar on blogs and local newspapers?

We do. The then politician responsible for bin collection was former councillor, Bob Belam. Bloggers and commentators filled Waltham Forest Guardian’s website with hundreds of criticisms – much of it threatening and personal – in what looked decidedly like a ‘politically’ [sic] organised campaign and also included many of Mr Belam’s former political colleagues!

What intrigues us is the ‘uproar’ to ‘Loakes the Jokes’ latest wheeze of engaging Kier to collect the boroughs refuse. Over three Guardian web articles a mere 31 comments have been recorded.

The lack of ‘official opposition’ in Waltham Forest from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats leads us to conclude, sadly, that we will have to watch the Labour Party destroy our borough until our next opportunity to remove them at the May 2014 local elections.

Waltham Forest deserves, and needs, to have elected people who put the boroughs interests above that of Party or personal interests.

Brown Envelopes

Politicians’ promises of transparency juxtaposes the reality of their actions. However, it is not actually transparency itself that is the most important thing. Transparency concerns us because it has a purpose. The purpose of transparency is accountability.

So it’s no surprise to hear that those accountable to us, Waltham Forest council and the Greater London Authority (GLA), have been negotiating behind the scenes to secure a pledge from property developer, London & Quadrant, of £1.75 million for improvements at Waltham Forest Pool & Track if it builds a residential estate at Walthamstow Stadium.

Two publicly funded organisations secretly negotiating with another publicly funded organisation to secure £1.75 million of taxpayers money as a ‘sweetener’ in return for guaranteed planning permission! Is there a connection to Councillor Marie Pye’s removal from her cabinet job for housing after her persistent denials that she was in secret talks with London & Quadrant?

Now, lets suppose the millionaire behind the Save Our Stow campaign was in similar secret discussions. He would undoubtedly be accused of bribery which could result in criminal charges.

The bottom line seems that ‘brown envelopes’ from publicly funded property developers is acceptable.

If, or rather when, London & Quadrant gets planning permission, even though a GLA report states that L&Q’s proposals do not

On balance…comply with the London Plan

it should be subject to Waltham Forest’s Section 106 policy. (Click here for general definition of Section 106).

Our fear is that that this deal will severley jeopardize the quota for affordable housing and valuable funding for infrastature (health provision, roads and schools) in and around The Stow to cover up the Waltham Forest Labour Party’s shortsightedness and ineptitude of not securing Olympic funding for Waltham Forest Pool & Track and the lack of meaningful regeneration in our borough.

The only transparency offered by the Waltham Forest Labour Party is that of its commitment to dodgy deals in the hope of electoral success at the next local elections.