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.

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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.