Waltham Forest Council says it is waiting to be formally told of change in law limiting town hall publicity sheet

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Waltham Forest Council does not consider this letter sent by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis, as formal. Waltham Forest Council does not consider this letter sent by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis, as formal.

Waltham Forest Council has defended its controversial publicity sheet and says it will continue to publish fortnightly until formally told otherwise.

The taxpayer-funded Waltham Forest News costs around £500,000 per year to produce, and as of March 30 the new Local Audit and Accountability Bill only allows quarterly publication.

This week Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis, wrote to council leader Chris Robbins telling him the publication must be wound down, but the authority does not regard the correspondence as "formal".

“The council is mindful of the statutory guidance for publicity,” an authority spokeswoman told the Guardian.

“We have not received any formal communication from the government under the new legislation.

“We will consider our position when we do so.”

The bill turned guidance, ignored by many councils including Waltham Forest, into law, giving the secretary of state power to make local authorities comply with the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity.

The code states: “Where local authorities do commission or publish newsletters, newssheets or similar communications, they should not issue them more frequently than quarterly.”

The new law is aimed at protecting local newspapers from taxpayer-funded competition.

The council spokeswoman added: “Waltham Forest News is an effective and efficient way to deliver the council’s powers and duties to inform residents about council services and decisions.

“We publish Waltham Forest News fortnightly to ensure we regularly communicate with over 97,000 households as the government insists that we pay to publish statutory notices in a printed newspaper and this is the most cost effective way to publish them to every household in the borough.”

Mr Lewis’ letter stated: “I can see no reason for any council not to comply (with the original guidelines) – non-compliance would, I believe, invariably involve an unacceptable waste of taxpayers’ money and council resources.

“I would suggest therefore that you take steps to ensure that your council is in complete compliance with the provisions of the code.”

Comments (20)

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11:49am Wed 9 Apr 14

NDevoto says...

And was the WF council decision to categorise spitting as "litter" (questioned by Redbridge Council and potentially open to challenge) done formally and correctly in line with the law? Or do they just pick and choose what to do "formally", when it suits them?

http://www.guardian-
series.co.uk/news/wf
news/11117278.Spitti
ng_ban_approach__dub
ious_/
And was the WF council decision to categorise spitting as "litter" (questioned by Redbridge Council and potentially open to challenge) done formally and correctly in line with the law? Or do they just pick and choose what to do "formally", when it suits them? http://www.guardian- series.co.uk/news/wf news/11117278.Spitti ng_ban_approach__dub ious_/ NDevoto
  • Score: 18

12:38pm Wed 9 Apr 14

mdj says...

'“The council is mindful of the statutory guidance for publicity...'

Translation: 'We only obey the laws that suit us, until the rozzers actually come and kick down the door.'
May that day come soon!

Do you call it Anarchy or Nazism when the powers -that- be simply make up the rules as they go along?

Perhaps if we all stick our next copy of WFNews through Chris Robbins' front door he will get the message?
'“The council is mindful of the statutory guidance for publicity...' Translation: 'We only obey the laws that suit us, until the rozzers actually come and kick down the door.' May that day come soon! Do you call it Anarchy or Nazism when the powers -that- be simply make up the rules as they go along? Perhaps if we all stick our next copy of WFNews through Chris Robbins' front door he will get the message? mdj
  • Score: 19

12:55pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Sam Hain says...

According to the Parliament website this Bill was given Royal Assent of 31 January so surely is now an Act., Part 7 - 39 of which gives the Secretary of State power to make such an order in relation to council publicity. This being the case (and I do hope Daniel Fenwick has done his homework to avoid another costly and embarrassing fiasco like the Christian Kitchen saga) he will follow Laby Macbeth's advice, "Stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once."
According to the Parliament website this Bill was given Royal Assent of 31 January so surely is now an Act., Part 7 - 39 of which gives the Secretary of State power to make such an order in relation to council publicity. This being the case (and I do hope Daniel Fenwick has done his homework to avoid another costly and embarrassing fiasco like the Christian Kitchen saga) he will follow Laby Macbeth's advice, "Stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once." Sam Hain
  • Score: 20

1:11pm Wed 9 Apr 14

everoptimistic says...

I don't suppose they will want to wind it down until after the elections or they will not be able to deliver their 'aren't we wonderful' free publicity through every door, every fortnight. Has anyone else noticed that when they have the double page spread of local councillors, in wards where there are two Labour and one Lib Dem the colouring does not reflect the split? There is always a lot more red than green. Ah well, I will keep on sending the dratted thing to Eric Pickles as I have been doing for the last couple of years. Hope he enjoys reading it.
I don't suppose they will want to wind it down until after the elections or they will not be able to deliver their 'aren't we wonderful' free publicity through every door, every fortnight. Has anyone else noticed that when they have the double page spread of local councillors, in wards where there are two Labour and one Lib Dem the colouring does not reflect the split? There is always a lot more red than green. Ah well, I will keep on sending the dratted thing to Eric Pickles as I have been doing for the last couple of years. Hope he enjoys reading it. everoptimistic
  • Score: 17

1:49pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Don't Give Up says...

Rather than keep publishing the WFN every two weeks, the council could spend the money saved on getting an improved and up to date web site that provides all the information it should.
Rather than keep publishing the WFN every two weeks, the council could spend the money saved on getting an improved and up to date web site that provides all the information it should. Don't Give Up
  • Score: 20

1:54pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Reality in WF says...

mdj wrote:
'“The council is mindful of the statutory guidance for publicity...'

Translation: 'We only obey the laws that suit us, until the rozzers actually come and kick down the door.'
May that day come soon!

Do you call it Anarchy or Nazism when the powers -that- be simply make up the rules as they go along?

Perhaps if we all stick our next copy of WFNews through Chris Robbins' front door he will get the message?
It would be better if they were mindful of how better to spend £500,000 a year..........
As for it reaching everyone, where I live, in a small private block, whoever picks them up from the doormat puts them straight in the recycling bin.
I dont know a single person who doesn't think the publication is a biased one. Anyone would think Waltham Forest was Shangri-la if they were totally taken in by it.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: '“The council is mindful of the statutory guidance for publicity...' Translation: 'We only obey the laws that suit us, until the rozzers actually come and kick down the door.' May that day come soon! Do you call it Anarchy or Nazism when the powers -that- be simply make up the rules as they go along? Perhaps if we all stick our next copy of WFNews through Chris Robbins' front door he will get the message?[/p][/quote]It would be better if they were mindful of how better to spend £500,000 a year.......... As for it reaching everyone, where I live, in a small private block, whoever picks them up from the doormat puts them straight in the recycling bin. I dont know a single person who doesn't think the publication is a biased one. Anyone would think Waltham Forest was Shangri-la if they were totally taken in by it. Reality in WF
  • Score: 19

2:22pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Villagecranberry says...

Typical Labour council, wasting money and carrying on regardless because it is not their money they are squandering.
Typical Labour council, wasting money and carrying on regardless because it is not their money they are squandering. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 8

4:54pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Garrow says...

I think everoptimistic has probably got this right, there is no way that Robbins, Loakes and Co will let what they see as a valuable tool go, and when the misguided masses in Leyton, Leytonstone and Walthamstow vote them in again on 22 May, they will be proved right. I do have a real problem with this pointless piece of propaganda and that is its lack of honesty. Just looking at the last issue dated 31 March, under banner headline "creating a better place" in the 2nd paragraph there is a typo, it then goes on to list money apparently invested by the Labour council. However, when you look into this more carefully almost all of the money they have "invested" have been via grants from either the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government or the Conservative Mayor of London. On the back page there is an article about better housing in the borough. The first piece is about Marlowe Road Walthamstow which I think is in Wood Street Ward. What it does not say is whether any of the residents were consulted before it was decided to demolish their homes and nearly triple the number. It also tells us that the developer for the £70 million regeneration has been appointed but this works out to £175,000, my husband says this is quite a lot for this type of building where everything is standardised. It does mention consultation for John Walsh and Fred Wigg towers. but weren't these the towers that burned down? How much consultation needed to take place? So there we have it on two pages, 2 half truths and a half story and all for £500,000 a year, bargain! This ridiculous rag also contains 4 pages of public notices which presumably at one time would have been advertised in the weekly local Guardian something I suspect would have benefited that paper.
I think everoptimistic has probably got this right, there is no way that Robbins, Loakes and Co will let what they see as a valuable tool go, and when the misguided masses in Leyton, Leytonstone and Walthamstow vote them in again on 22 May, they will be proved right. I do have a real problem with this pointless piece of propaganda and that is its lack of honesty. Just looking at the last issue dated 31 March, under banner headline "creating a better place" in the 2nd paragraph there is a typo, it then goes on to list money apparently invested by the Labour council. However, when you look into this more carefully almost all of the money they have "invested" have been via grants from either the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government or the Conservative Mayor of London. On the back page there is an article about better housing in the borough. The first piece is about Marlowe Road Walthamstow which I think is in Wood Street Ward. What it does not say is whether any of the residents were consulted before it was decided to demolish their homes and nearly triple the number. It also tells us that the developer for the £70 million regeneration has been appointed but this works out to £175,000, my husband says this is quite a lot for this type of building where everything is standardised. It does mention consultation for John Walsh and Fred Wigg towers. but weren't these the towers that burned down? How much consultation needed to take place? So there we have it on two pages, 2 half truths and a half story and all for £500,000 a year, bargain! This ridiculous rag also contains 4 pages of public notices which presumably at one time would have been advertised in the weekly local Guardian something I suspect would have benefited that paper. Garrow
  • Score: 13

5:27pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Sam Hain says...

Wikipedia makes the case that propaganda is not impartial but goes on to state: "While the term propaganda has acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most manipulative and jingoistic examples (e.g. Nazi propaganda used to justify the Holocaust), propaganda in its original sense was neutral, and could refer to uses that were generally benign or innocuous, such as public health recommendations, signs encouraging citizens to participate in a census or election, or messages encouraging persons to report crimes to law enforcement, among others." In the main, I incline to this latter more benign reading of the intentions of WF News but I can't see that it's worth going to the barricades over. Once a quarter for a printed version seems reasonable enough, with any additional information being disseminated through the WF Guardian and the council's own website. To resist the inevitable doesn't make the council look brave and plucky in the face of overbearing government bullying, merely rather truculent and intransigent.
Wikipedia makes the case that propaganda is not impartial but goes on to state: "While the term propaganda has acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most manipulative and jingoistic examples (e.g. Nazi propaganda used to justify the Holocaust), propaganda in its original sense was neutral, and could refer to uses that were generally benign or innocuous, such as public health recommendations, signs encouraging citizens to participate in a census or election, or messages encouraging persons to report crimes to law enforcement, among others." In the main, I incline to this latter more benign reading of the intentions of WF News but I can't see that it's worth going to the barricades over. Once a quarter for a printed version seems reasonable enough, with any additional information being disseminated through the WF Guardian and the council's own website. To resist the inevitable doesn't make the council look brave and plucky in the face of overbearing government bullying, merely rather truculent and intransigent. Sam Hain
  • Score: 3

6:10pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Walthamster says...

I will be overjoyed when the council's disgusting and dishonest propaganda sheet is cut down, and I'd rather it was abolished altogether. The new law is probably the first action by this Tory government that I support.
I will be overjoyed when the council's disgusting and dishonest propaganda sheet is cut down, and I'd rather it was abolished altogether. The new law is probably the first action by this Tory government that I support. Walthamster
  • Score: 13

6:42pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Villagecranberry says...

Garrow wrote:
I think everoptimistic has probably got this right, there is no way that Robbins, Loakes and Co will let what they see as a valuable tool go, and when the misguided masses in Leyton, Leytonstone and Walthamstow vote them in again on 22 May, they will be proved right. I do have a real problem with this pointless piece of propaganda and that is its lack of honesty. Just looking at the last issue dated 31 March, under banner headline "creating a better place" in the 2nd paragraph there is a typo, it then goes on to list money apparently invested by the Labour council. However, when you look into this more carefully almost all of the money they have "invested" have been via grants from either the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government or the Conservative Mayor of London. On the back page there is an article about better housing in the borough. The first piece is about Marlowe Road Walthamstow which I think is in Wood Street Ward. What it does not say is whether any of the residents were consulted before it was decided to demolish their homes and nearly triple the number. It also tells us that the developer for the £70 million regeneration has been appointed but this works out to £175,000, my husband says this is quite a lot for this type of building where everything is standardised. It does mention consultation for John Walsh and Fred Wigg towers. but weren't these the towers that burned down? How much consultation needed to take place? So there we have it on two pages, 2 half truths and a half story and all for £500,000 a year, bargain! This ridiculous rag also contains 4 pages of public notices which presumably at one time would have been advertised in the weekly local Guardian something I suspect would have benefited that paper.
Ever heard of a paragraph?
[quote][p][bold]Garrow[/bold] wrote: I think everoptimistic has probably got this right, there is no way that Robbins, Loakes and Co will let what they see as a valuable tool go, and when the misguided masses in Leyton, Leytonstone and Walthamstow vote them in again on 22 May, they will be proved right. I do have a real problem with this pointless piece of propaganda and that is its lack of honesty. Just looking at the last issue dated 31 March, under banner headline "creating a better place" in the 2nd paragraph there is a typo, it then goes on to list money apparently invested by the Labour council. However, when you look into this more carefully almost all of the money they have "invested" have been via grants from either the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government or the Conservative Mayor of London. On the back page there is an article about better housing in the borough. The first piece is about Marlowe Road Walthamstow which I think is in Wood Street Ward. What it does not say is whether any of the residents were consulted before it was decided to demolish their homes and nearly triple the number. It also tells us that the developer for the £70 million regeneration has been appointed but this works out to £175,000, my husband says this is quite a lot for this type of building where everything is standardised. It does mention consultation for John Walsh and Fred Wigg towers. but weren't these the towers that burned down? How much consultation needed to take place? So there we have it on two pages, 2 half truths and a half story and all for £500,000 a year, bargain! This ridiculous rag also contains 4 pages of public notices which presumably at one time would have been advertised in the weekly local Guardian something I suspect would have benefited that paper.[/p][/quote]Ever heard of a paragraph? Villagecranberry
  • Score: -11

10:09pm Wed 9 Apr 14

fabster says...

It's not the first time this council ignores national guidance. They didn't bother with the Dog Control Orders. They didn't bother with the Soup Kitchen eviction, they didn't bother with the Wetlands Scheme.

So basically, what the Council is saying, "We are aware of the change in law. We will carry on regardless. Until we are specifically told to stop"

What fresh hell is this?

Has any of us ever received direct notification we cannot defecate in the Town Hall water feature? No? Let's do it until we receive formal written notification through our letterbox.
It's not the first time this council ignores national guidance. They didn't bother with the Dog Control Orders. They didn't bother with the Soup Kitchen eviction, they didn't bother with the Wetlands Scheme. So basically, what the Council is saying, "We are aware of the change in law. We will carry on regardless. Until we are specifically told to stop" What fresh hell is this? Has any of us ever received direct notification we cannot defecate in the Town Hall water feature? No? Let's do it until we receive formal written notification through our letterbox. fabster
  • Score: 23

7:36am Thu 10 Apr 14

stickmanny says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
Typical Labour council, wasting money and carrying on regardless because it is not their money they are squandering.
So much better than a typical Tory council, taking our money and giving to people who already have too much to count.
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Typical Labour council, wasting money and carrying on regardless because it is not their money they are squandering.[/p][/quote]So much better than a typical Tory council, taking our money and giving to people who already have too much to count. stickmanny
  • Score: -14

11:15am Thu 10 Apr 14

Walthamster says...

stickmanny wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
Typical Labour council, wasting money and carrying on regardless because it is not their money they are squandering.
So much better than a typical Tory council, taking our money and giving to people who already have too much to count.
Are you serious, Stickmanny? Waltham Forest council is notorious for the money that disappears from public funds, unaccounted for. Do you imagine that's been secretly given to the poor? On the contrary. One major 'disappearance' was of several million pounds from the BNI 'poor fund' - as the name suggests, money that was specifically intended for low-income families.

Far from wanting a Tory council, I long for a genuine Labour one, but no chance of that here. Waltham Forest councillors should be ashamed to call themselves Labour, but they don't know the meaning of shame.

Have a look back through the many, many stories about Waltham Forest council's financial scandals in the local Guardian. No wonder the council wanted its own rag to put the free press out of business!
[quote][p][bold]stickmanny[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Typical Labour council, wasting money and carrying on regardless because it is not their money they are squandering.[/p][/quote]So much better than a typical Tory council, taking our money and giving to people who already have too much to count.[/p][/quote]Are you serious, Stickmanny? Waltham Forest council is notorious for the money that disappears from public funds, unaccounted for. Do you imagine that's been secretly given to the poor? On the contrary. One major 'disappearance' was of several million pounds from the BNI 'poor fund' - as the name suggests, money that was specifically intended for low-income families. Far from wanting a Tory council, I long for a genuine Labour one, but no chance of that here. Waltham Forest councillors should be ashamed to call themselves Labour, but they don't know the meaning of shame. Have a look back through the many, many stories about Waltham Forest council's financial scandals in the local Guardian. No wonder the council wanted its own rag to put the free press out of business! Walthamster
  • Score: 18

11:28am Thu 10 Apr 14

mdj says...

'So much better than a typical Tory council, taking our money and giving to people who already have too much to count'

Sadly, Stickmanny, W'ster is right: stand by for emerging details of how the council has given away properties of ours to bodies controlled by wealthy businessmen. Details of the 'consultancy' fees paid by the E11BID Company, which had local councillors as directors at times, will also be worth knowing - if we are ever allowed to know!
'So much better than a typical Tory council, taking our money and giving to people who already have too much to count' Sadly, Stickmanny, W'ster is right: stand by for emerging details of how the council has given away properties of ours to bodies controlled by wealthy businessmen. Details of the 'consultancy' fees paid by the E11BID Company, which had local councillors as directors at times, will also be worth knowing - if we are ever allowed to know! mdj
  • Score: 15

3:27pm Thu 10 Apr 14

the dame says...

There is a lot of talk but very little do in the above comments. I agree that the WFN is very one-sided in its reporting under the direct instructions of the current Council. However, in a democratic society, I do believe that we have a right to know what affects residents in their particular locality and also the right to respond. An online publication is a possibility for those who can receive it and for those who cannot, limited copies at Libraries etc. The content should certainly be closely reviewed and not used as a propaganda machine. I, personally, get rather tired of seeing only images of Cllrs Robbins & Loakes as if no other councillor exists, some of whom may be doing an excellent job but we never hear about it. Perhaps, once the local elections are over, whoever is elected may be persuaded to reconsider this particular publication and what it could offer in its stead
at a more competitive price. What chance on May 15th?
There is a lot of talk but very little do in the above comments. I agree that the WFN is very one-sided in its reporting under the direct instructions of the current Council. However, in a democratic society, I do believe that we have a right to know what affects residents in their particular locality and also the right to respond. An online publication is a possibility for those who can receive it and for those who cannot, limited copies at Libraries etc. The content should certainly be closely reviewed and not used as a propaganda machine. I, personally, get rather tired of seeing only images of Cllrs Robbins & Loakes as if no other councillor exists, some of whom may be doing an excellent job but we never hear about it. Perhaps, once the local elections are over, whoever is elected may be persuaded to reconsider this particular publication and what it could offer in its stead at a more competitive price. What chance on May 15th? the dame
  • Score: 4

3:31pm Thu 10 Apr 14

the dame says...

Please read 'What chance on May 22nd'.
I would have been the only one voting.
Please read 'What chance on May 22nd'. I would have been the only one voting. the dame
  • Score: 2

4:54pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Walthamster says...

the dame wrote:
There is a lot of talk but very little do in the above comments. I agree that the WFN is very one-sided in its reporting under the direct instructions of the current Council. However, in a democratic society, I do believe that we have a right to know what affects residents in their particular locality and also the right to respond. An online publication is a possibility for those who can receive it and for those who cannot, limited copies at Libraries etc. The content should certainly be closely reviewed and not used as a propaganda machine. I, personally, get rather tired of seeing only images of Cllrs Robbins & Loakes as if no other councillor exists, some of whom may be doing an excellent job but we never hear about it. Perhaps, once the local elections are over, whoever is elected may be persuaded to reconsider this particular publication and what it could offer in its stead
at a more competitive price. What chance on May 15th?
I'd love to see WFN online and opened up to comments, as the WF Guardian is. But alas, there's no chance that those comments would be free and open, as they are here. Not a word of genuine criticism would allowed - much less any revelations about the council's offences.

WFN should return to its earlier role, usefully listing events and local groups, along with information about bin collections etc.

Importantly, the council should start obeying the law on planning applications etc, by advertising them in the local paper, not just in WFN. The council knows that most people throw its dire propaganda rag straight in the recycling. By (illegally) advertising important issues in WFN instead of in the local press, the council ensures most people won't hear about them till decisions have been made.

If I sound like a supporter of the local press, I am! Our local newspapers have, over the years, exposed so many of Waltham Forest council's dirty dealings. They have supported campaigns on numerous local issues and given local investigators a place to publish their findings.

Local newspapers and their sites get the news out, in ways that blogs and Facebook and Twitter can't match.
[quote][p][bold]the dame[/bold] wrote: There is a lot of talk but very little do in the above comments. I agree that the WFN is very one-sided in its reporting under the direct instructions of the current Council. However, in a democratic society, I do believe that we have a right to know what affects residents in their particular locality and also the right to respond. An online publication is a possibility for those who can receive it and for those who cannot, limited copies at Libraries etc. The content should certainly be closely reviewed and not used as a propaganda machine. I, personally, get rather tired of seeing only images of Cllrs Robbins & Loakes as if no other councillor exists, some of whom may be doing an excellent job but we never hear about it. Perhaps, once the local elections are over, whoever is elected may be persuaded to reconsider this particular publication and what it could offer in its stead at a more competitive price. What chance on May 15th?[/p][/quote]I'd love to see WFN online and opened up to comments, as the WF Guardian is. But alas, there's no chance that those comments would be free and open, as they are here. Not a word of genuine criticism would allowed - much less any revelations about the council's offences. WFN should return to its earlier role, usefully listing events and local groups, along with information about bin collections etc. Importantly, the council should start obeying the law on planning applications etc, by advertising them in the local paper, not just in WFN. The council knows that most people throw its dire propaganda rag straight in the recycling. By (illegally) advertising important issues in WFN instead of in the local press, the council ensures most people won't hear about them till decisions have been made. If I sound like a supporter of the local press, I am! Our local newspapers have, over the years, exposed so many of Waltham Forest council's dirty dealings. They have supported campaigns on numerous local issues and given local investigators a place to publish their findings. Local newspapers and their sites get the news out, in ways that blogs and Facebook and Twitter can't match. Walthamster
  • Score: 12

12:32pm Mon 14 Apr 14

G Sladden says...

stickmanny wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote: Typical Labour council, wasting money and carrying on regardless because it is not their money they are squandering.
So much better than a typical Tory council, taking our money and giving to people who already have too much to count.
Sitckmanny, do you realise the wealth of the top 10% of this nation more than doubled under Labour? The gap between rich and poor was bigger 2008 than in 1996? Labour has no desire to help the poor, it taxes them then gives them benefits as if to say 'look how wonderful we are'. Labour needs the poor to gain power. Pulling them out of poverty is not one of their priorities. Not to mention being in bed with big business', something they slammed the Tories for doing when in power. Hypocrites. Labour spent 13 years spending more money than we had coming in in taxes. It's also supported by Unions, whose leaders are paid more than the PM.

The Tories don't care about the poor because they will not vote Conservative. Labour pretends to care about the poor, as they are their passport to power: but the reality is that they need the poor to stay poor. Wthout the poor, the chattering classes are finished!

I'm sorry, but I despise Labour more for the deception element.
[quote][p][bold]stickmanny[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Typical Labour council, wasting money and carrying on regardless because it is not their money they are squandering.[/p][/quote]So much better than a typical Tory council, taking our money and giving to people who already have too much to count.[/p][/quote]Sitckmanny, do you realise the wealth of the top 10% of this nation more than doubled under Labour? The gap between rich and poor was bigger 2008 than in 1996? Labour has no desire to help the poor, it taxes them then gives them benefits as if to say 'look how wonderful we are'. Labour needs the poor to gain power. Pulling them out of poverty is not one of their priorities. Not to mention being in bed with big business', something they slammed the Tories for doing when in power. Hypocrites. Labour spent 13 years spending more money than we had coming in in taxes. It's also supported by Unions, whose leaders are paid more than the PM. The Tories don't care about the poor because they will not vote Conservative. Labour pretends to care about the poor, as they are their passport to power: but the reality is that they need the poor to stay poor. Wthout the poor, the chattering classes are finished! I'm sorry, but I despise Labour more for the deception element. G Sladden
  • Score: 8

6:19pm Tue 15 Apr 14

fabster says...

Walthamster wrote:
the dame wrote:
There is a lot of talk but very little do in the above comments. I agree that the WFN is very one-sided in its reporting under the direct instructions of the current Council. However, in a democratic society, I do believe that we have a right to know what affects residents in their particular locality and also the right to respond. An online publication is a possibility for those who can receive it and for those who cannot, limited copies at Libraries etc. The content should certainly be closely reviewed and not used as a propaganda machine. I, personally, get rather tired of seeing only images of Cllrs Robbins & Loakes as if no other councillor exists, some of whom may be doing an excellent job but we never hear about it. Perhaps, once the local elections are over, whoever is elected may be persuaded to reconsider this particular publication and what it could offer in its stead
at a more competitive price. What chance on May 15th?
I'd love to see WFN online and opened up to comments, as the WF Guardian is. But alas, there's no chance that those comments would be free and open, as they are here. Not a word of genuine criticism would allowed - much less any revelations about the council's offences.

WFN should return to its earlier role, usefully listing events and local groups, along with information about bin collections etc.

Importantly, the council should start obeying the law on planning applications etc, by advertising them in the local paper, not just in WFN. The council knows that most people throw its dire propaganda rag straight in the recycling. By (illegally) advertising important issues in WFN instead of in the local press, the council ensures most people won't hear about them till decisions have been made.

If I sound like a supporter of the local press, I am! Our local newspapers have, over the years, exposed so many of Waltham Forest council's dirty dealings. They have supported campaigns on numerous local issues and given local investigators a place to publish their findings.

Local newspapers and their sites get the news out, in ways that blogs and Facebook and Twitter can't match.
A LBWF online forum where comments are open to residents?

Shortly after Cllr Nadeem Ali became Mayor of Waltham Forest, he started his own blog to "keep people up to date with what he was doing". Within a month, the comment section was suspended and all comments were removed. Going forward, all comments had to be 'pre-approved' before they went online.

It pretty much sums it up that there is not one single comment on his blog since.

http://lbwfmayor.blo
gspot.co.uk/2013/05/
becoming-mayor.html
[quote][p][bold]Walthamster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the dame[/bold] wrote: There is a lot of talk but very little do in the above comments. I agree that the WFN is very one-sided in its reporting under the direct instructions of the current Council. However, in a democratic society, I do believe that we have a right to know what affects residents in their particular locality and also the right to respond. An online publication is a possibility for those who can receive it and for those who cannot, limited copies at Libraries etc. The content should certainly be closely reviewed and not used as a propaganda machine. I, personally, get rather tired of seeing only images of Cllrs Robbins & Loakes as if no other councillor exists, some of whom may be doing an excellent job but we never hear about it. Perhaps, once the local elections are over, whoever is elected may be persuaded to reconsider this particular publication and what it could offer in its stead at a more competitive price. What chance on May 15th?[/p][/quote]I'd love to see WFN online and opened up to comments, as the WF Guardian is. But alas, there's no chance that those comments would be free and open, as they are here. Not a word of genuine criticism would allowed - much less any revelations about the council's offences. WFN should return to its earlier role, usefully listing events and local groups, along with information about bin collections etc. Importantly, the council should start obeying the law on planning applications etc, by advertising them in the local paper, not just in WFN. The council knows that most people throw its dire propaganda rag straight in the recycling. By (illegally) advertising important issues in WFN instead of in the local press, the council ensures most people won't hear about them till decisions have been made. If I sound like a supporter of the local press, I am! Our local newspapers have, over the years, exposed so many of Waltham Forest council's dirty dealings. They have supported campaigns on numerous local issues and given local investigators a place to publish their findings. Local newspapers and their sites get the news out, in ways that blogs and Facebook and Twitter can't match.[/p][/quote]A LBWF online forum where comments are open to residents? Shortly after Cllr Nadeem Ali became Mayor of Waltham Forest, he started his own blog to "keep people up to date with what he was doing". Within a month, the comment section was suspended and all comments were removed. Going forward, all comments had to be 'pre-approved' before they went online. It pretty much sums it up that there is not one single comment on his blog since. http://lbwfmayor.blo gspot.co.uk/2013/05/ becoming-mayor.html fabster
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