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.”
The Police have announced that Leyton Police Station in Francis Road will be shut down from next Monday 10th December.
The front counter services are being transferred to the Custody Centre, in Boreham Close, off Hainault Road.
The front counter will be manned from 7am until 3am daily. The same hours as currently offered at Francis Road.
Boreham Close is a cul-de-sac situated opposite Norlington Road.
Councillor Bob Sullivan pictured at George Mitchell School
Teachers, staff and Pupils came together at a recent meeting at George Mitchell School to campaign against any measures that would turn the school into an Academy.
I, and my colleague Councillor Naheed Qureshi, a former student, both spoke in support of the campaign.
Although the school is not currently under threat, nearby Willowbrook School has already agreed to Academy status and Riverley School is in the process of becoming one.
Focus will keep you informed of any developments.
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.”
The recent Focus residents’ survey in Oliver Close identified that there was a problem with dog mess in Walnut Road, Robinia Crescent and the alley-way between the mosque and the fire station.
Following a report by the Focus Team the Council has said that action will be taken to identify the owners of the dogs concerned.
If you know who the owners are, please report it to one of the Focus Team.
The Council has decided to issue a Consultation Document asking residents in the temporary Olympic Parking Zone (G01-G10) for their views on the proposal to introduce an indefinite Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) in their roads.
The consultation document is due to be issued on 24 September and has to be returned by 19 October.
PLEASE NOTE – Closing date now 22 October
The Council’s policy on the introduction of a CPZ is based on the views of the majority of residents, who return the questionnaire.
Whatever your views the Lib Dems stress that it is vital that the Council receives a response from every household regarding this important consultation.
When you receive the consultation document, please complete and return it without delay.