Waltham Forest Lib Dem Leader Councillor Bob Sullivan has been appointed to a new panel set up to examine the questions surrounding the council’s £9 million Worknet programme.
Councillor Sullivan requested the enquiry in September and the panel has now been established by the council’s Overview and Scrutiny management committee. The panel will investigate claims that millions of pounds went unspent or were put away in the council’s balances.
Also on the panel will be Conservative Cllr John Moss and Labour Cllr Saima Mahmood.
Councillor Sullivan said:
“I’m pleased to have the opportunity to raise the difficult questions needed about the council’s Worknet programme.
“All of this £9 million should have been used to put our residents back to work but so far we don’t know how much of this money actually made it into these back to work schemes or if any of them were successful.
“The council, the contractors and cabinet members all have tough questions to answer. We need to know if these contracts were successfully delivered, if they weren’t delivered then what went wrong, and why residents didn’t know about it sooner?”
LIB DEMS CALL FOR COUNCIL RETHINK OVER PARKING IN THE BOROUGHWith problems over the CPZ consultation and plans by Waltham Forest Council to sell off the Stanley Road Car Park in Bakers Arms shopping area, parking is fast becoming a big issue in the Borough.
Lib Dems are opposing plans by the council to sell off the car park at Bakers Arms. And have gone further by asking the council to extend free parking times over the Christmas period to help local businesses.
Cllr Mahmood Hussain, Lib Dem Environment spokesperson said:
“With Christmas coming up, now would be the perfect time to help local businesses by extending the 15 minutes free parking time up to 30 minutes for the remaining few weeks. This would help our local shops compete with supermarkets and the big shopping centres nearby.
“And selling off the Bakers’ Arms car park is clearly the wrong decision. The car park is badly signposted at the moment but if we could bring it back into proper use it could be a great asset for local businesses.
“Cabinet members need to rethink parking in the Borough and focus on how it can help local businesses.”
Chair of the Bakers’ Arms Business Forum, Suleman Ahmed said:
“We should be taking advantage of the resource that we have in this car park at Bakers’ Arms. If the car park was better managed and better signposted by the council then it would not need to be sold off.
“Extending free parking would also be a great boost to local businesses in the run up to the Christmas period.”
Liberal Democrat councillors joined an all-party group of councillors and residents lobbying Parliament to ban the planned march through Walthamstow.
GOOD NEWS– the Minister for Policing Damian Green has this afternoon approved a ban on any protests in Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Islington for the next 30 days.
In a statement issued this afternoon the Council and Parliament said the Police would only allow the EDL to hold a static protest outside the Houses of Parliament.
A joint statement issued by the Council and the three Members of Parliament urged residents to stay away from all planned protests.
Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Mark Collins also urged the public to stay away from any counter demonstrations and said they could make the situation worse.
Lib Dem Group Leader Bob Sullivan said:
“I hope reason prevails and the community enjoys a peaceful weekend.”
At the recent full council meeting, councillors voted in favour of a Liberal Democrat motion to introduce Selective Licensing in the Borough.
Selective licensing has recently been introduced across the whole of the neighbouring borough of Newham. Once in place the law requires that all landlords in the area are licensed and that license can then be revoked if certain conditions aren’t met.
Lib Dems want to use it to tackle rogue landlords and in particular the growth of anti-social behaviour in private rented properties, which now make up 32% of the Borough’s housing stock.
The motion called for a full consultation on proposals to introduce selective licensing in the Borough to tackle rogue landlords, although this was diluted by a Labour amendment, which instead simply referred to ‘an evaluation’.
Lib Dem Housing spokesperson Councillor Winnie Smith, who moved the motion said:
“We’re pleased that the council are now seriously looking into selective licensing. And we hope that the Labour group will now stick to the spirit of the motion and push forward with selective licensing.
“There is a clear need to tackle the growing problem of rogue landlords in the Borough. As we heard from Leyton resident Sharon Crossland in the council meeting, there are landlords in our borough that just aren’t playing by the rules and there is only so much that can be done at the moment without this new licensing power.”
“Many residents are suffering in properties that just aren’t up to standard and paying too much for poor housing that’s blighted by anti-social behaviour.”
Temporary Olympic CPZ sign
When the Council and the ODA decided to implement the temporary Olympic Controlled Parking Zone, it was clearly stated that it would be withdrawn on the 9thSeptember following the closure of the Paralympic Games.
The Council also stated that they would be undertaking a consultation with the residents to find out if, in the light of their experience during the Games, they wished to make the Controlled Parking Zone permanent.
The Lib Dems have now discovered that the Council has already published a Traffic Order allowing them to extend the temporary provision for 18 months. It also states that the Council will be considering ‘in due course’ whether the provisions of the experimental orders should be continued in force indefinitely by means of permanent Orders.
Liberal Democrats feel very strongly that there is no need for permanent parking restrictions in most of the roads in areas GO1 – GO10, as they do not have a history of parking problems.
All residents are urged to send in written objections to both the temporary 18 month extension and the permanent CPZ to the Council at:
Environment and Regeneration,
London Borough of Waltham Forest,
Argall Avenue, London, E10 7AS
quoting reference: Traffic Orders T20.
Closing date for objections: 8th February 2013
St. Joseph's Hall
Residents are concerned about what is going to happen to the old St. Joseph’s Hall on the corner of Primrose Road and Vicarage Road.
It has been boarded up for years and has become an unsightly blot on the corner.
FOCUS understands that previous plans to build a nursery and plans for flats and community hall have been turned down by the Council.
I am investigating what the problem is with this building, and will report back with any developments.