Government investigates Tower Hamlets again

Apparently people like Sylvia Pankhurst and Danny Boyle are among a high-profile string of supporters of the Raine’s Foundation Trust and Steering Group and the many grateful parents and pupils who happily attend the school.

This new investigation is mainly concentrating around the illegal attempt by Tower Hamlets council, trying to close Raine’s Foundation, Church of England Secondary school and Sixth Form prior to a consultation.

Tower Hamlets Council made an application to the Government Schools Adjudicators in May for a zero published admission number (PAN), cutting the future pipeline of the school. A final decision on this application was due for February 2020. Yet the council already and illegally informed all new year 7 pupils, who had been given confirmed places for the year 2019/20 at Raine’s, that they had to leave Raine’s and be placed in other schools, mainly Oaklands.

Whilst the council told parents at meetings that there were only 29 viable applications for a year 7 place at Raine’s, for 2019/20, further evidence suggests that there were actually 70 – 100 pupils applying for places.

Incidentally all year 9s were also told by the council they could not progress to year 10 within the Raine’s Foundation school and should continue their education at Oaklands school.

Raines Foundation Interim Executive Board (IEB)

Whilst the previous board of governors were dismissed, acussed of being unable to run the school, an Interim Executive Board was put into place.

The school advertised a position of parent governor but we were told at the last meeting with the borough that no suitable person could be found to fill the post. I had applied for it. As a former LEA school governor, I should be more than qualified. But I suppose they didn’t want anybody on the board who would want to put a spanner in the works of their devious plans.

In the interests of ‘transparency and openness’it might be interesting to see what the Interim Executive Board (IEB) of Raines Foundation secondary school have been getting up to and you can download all ten documents here.

Raine’s Foundation hired Irwin Mitchell Solicitors who went to the High Court and obtained a judgement including directions to Tower Hamlets Council that they have to write to all parents and pupils who were originally told that they cannot continue their education at Raine’s that they now can continue their education there.

Yet, the council, to date, has not followed that order of the judge.

There are now new applications in preparation to again go to the court for further orders by the solicitors Irwin Mitchell.

It seems very strange that the council tries every trick in the book to dismantle the only traditional school with a 300 year history in the borough.

Please also see a good article from  Wapping Mole though I would not want to go so far as to call for a return of Lutfur Rahman.

It is just really sad that our current Labour council under John Biggs, makes such dreadful decisions. John Biggs. It was a seriously political and administrative mistake to illegale incite the closure of a traditional Church of England school in Tower Hamlets. It will cost the Labour Party a lot of votes.

Yet in Tower Hamlets

Whilst I am positive about the Labour win in Peterborough for tactial Brexit reasons, I must say that the Labour council here in my home borough of Tower Hamlets has caused a lot of concern to local parents, pupils, teachers and school staff for wanting to close down a Christian Secondary school to amalgamate it with a non Christian council run school, which mainly caters for Muslim pupils.

Please sign an online petition against the closure.

The way the council goes about this is illegal. Also the Council has published a petition against the closure on its website without telling anybody in writing that it was there. So nobody signed the petition on the Council’s website but thousands of people signed the petition on as aboe.

The closure was announced to parents and pupils at a highly stressful time. Just prior to year 11 pupils sitting their GCSE exams they received a letter from the council’s Corporate Director for Children and Culture Debbie Jones stating that the school is to close.

This caused immense stressed to the pupils who didn’t know anything about this.

What is also worth mentioning that the letter was addressed to pupils directly and not to the parent or carer of the pupil.

The new term to start in September 2019 has pupils who have applied for year 7 places and the Cabinet member for Children, Schools and Young People, Labour Councillor Danny Hassell has written to me defending his decision to cancel all year 7 places because the school is undersubscribed and because the school was visited by Ofsted and found to be in need of improvement. Also our local Labour Councillor Sirajul Islam supports the closure of this Christian school in Tower Hamlets.

It is obvious that there are many other solutions rather than close the school. The council refused to finance another Church of England headmaster financially who was drafted in to help.

At the same time the council has decided to close the school and disperse and transfer current pupils to the nearby Oaklands school or other schools by 2020.

Yet, yesterday on Facebook, the Council’s post, which promoted healthy air in the borough stated that no decision about the closure of the school has been taken yet and the decision is put off because of a pending public consultation.

The Council’s website lists the process here

The consultation is now open till 24. July 2019.

I think that the council has acted unlawfully and already decided about the closure of the school prior to even running the public consultation, which is not open yet.

Parents were invited to a meeting 7. May 2019. which was very badly conducted. In fact the council officer running the meeting, kept on grinning and smirking at parents.

There is now a public demonstration planned outside the school on

14. June 2019 between 3 – 5 pm. Approach Road, London E2

It has to be said that Raine’s Foundation has a brand new state of the art building, which cost millions to erect and is only about 4 years old. The school is in a lovely location, near Victoria Park and has a great quality of location to it.

Unfortunately only 1 Conservative councillor and 1 Liberal Councillor are prepared to support the school staying open. It is very sad that the Labour Council sees it as an easy option to close a Church of England run school with Christian values.

It seems that only a Judicial Review will help this problem. Please get in touch if you can help. And please we do not want a radical atmosphere during the demonstration.

The school has found support by other publications.

Further reference from East London Lines.

East London Advertiser 


Greens want pollution masks for school children

I completely agree with the Greens, that children need protection from pollution. London can become a bit of a dangerous place healthwise for growing children as they are in danger of getting serious lung disease, not only from pollution but also from TB.


Leanne Minick plunged from her towerblock bedroom window in Tower Hamlets

I want to extend my most sincere condolences to this family who lost an 8-year old daughter after she fell from her 8th floor bedroom window in a property owned by Old Ford Housing Association.

There are a number of housing management related concerns that I immediately find important to discuss.

As a long-standing social tenant in Tower Hamlets I spent years on trying to improve housing related issues through individual conplaints that were then taken up by the local housing officer and the results of which could have an improving impact on housing management through the whole of Tower Hamlets because social housing then was handled throughout the borough by Tower Hamlets council who owned and managed all the social housing properties throughout this borough.

Since social housing was split up onto housing associations and social housing landlords the situation has drastically changed. I am now restricted to acting within Tower Hamlets Homes because whatever I achieve within Tower Hamlets Homes, in one of their panels stays within Tower Hamlets Homes.

You can see in the about-me section of this site how I, and a group of local residents complaint about the change in housing organisation to no avail.

I distinctly remember having asked at one of the very recent meetings, this year in fact, how well calls to the housing centre are logged because I am not happy about this and that is one of the most disturbing features of the story about that poor 8-year old child, that the neighbour told the East London Advertiser that the mother of the girl nailed the window shut because it was faulty and that the mother was then ordered by Old Ford Housing to remove the nails, as they posed a danger and that Leanne’s mother, Claire Sieberras tells the paper how often she complaint to Old Ford Housing without any result and that Old Ford Housing outright deny that such negotiations took place.

The police have now gotten involved and it must be evident if that window had ever been nailed shut or not and also through phone records whether calls had been made to Old Ford Housing. All we read is that Old Ford Housing made a statement saying that there are ‘no safety flaws’.  One cannot disregard the comments of  Leanne’s mother, her family or the neighbour because Old Ford Housing’s official story is that they have no evidence of any concerns logged with them.

To continue with the housing maintenance threat at the beginning of this post, when we had the old, Tower Hamlets wide housing management system, the local housing office had a duty to log all callers with a hard copy, visitors book, into which housing officers duly registered each and every visitor, that came to the office and they wrote into this very evident visitors book, when and why callers came to the office, so that it was not possible to deny that complaints had been made.

It was with this in mind that I raised a query with Tower Hamlets Homes to ask how calls are logged now because it is one of the most outstanding features of complaints that people ring up, and get hung up on and nobody knows why they called. Electronic call handling in itself and the logging of those calls is not fool proof if whole strains of calls can be removed from a database because there is no system of numbering those calls consecutively.

However so far not too much importance has been placed into my concerns. The fact is that most people when they are speaking to housing officers they do not care whether they have obtained proof of their conversations, they just trust the officer to do their job.

I know for certain that Mr John Gray, my opponent in a libel matter works for Old Ford Housing. He used to be a senior housing officer for Tower Hamlets Council and then moved to Old Ford Housing shortly after I had complained to Tower Hamlets Council that a senior housing officer is writing material about a tenant under his care.  Old Ford Housing has attracted a few complaints that were featured in the local paper over the last 2 years. Mr Gray of course is known for his view on portraying machine gun wielding heroes on his webblog, he is a councillor in Newham now and a known union activist.

It is not exactly the best calling card for a local housing officer, or indeed the housing association he works for, who is in charge of residents that such mentality is prevalent in him. It is certainly not often happening that such incidents as this death of an 8-year old is happening under such controversial circumstances. That a mother should tell of countless contacts with a landlord over a faulty window and the landlord completely denies that such contacts took place, that windows were nailed shut and nails ordered to be removed, but the landlord completely denies that such incidences took place as well.

I have never heard Mr Gray or any other unionist take up my fears over call logging on housing issues, about the accountability on logging repairs requests. It is very, very sad and of great concern that such issues are an apparent feature in the death of an 8-year old child.  This child should not have died and be alive and happy among us and I miss promises by social housing landlords to improve the call logging of both personal contacts with housing officers and phone calls that are made with a fool proof system.

The Tower Hamlets website for example has a complaints procedure whereby each complaint is allocated a consecutive number when it is made on the site but only 15% of Tower Hamlets residents have computers and many still prefer personal contact or are encouraged to make phone contact with the landlord. I have no knowledge of how Old Ford Housing’s procedures are but think that if a family had reported a problem and such reports being affirmed by the local community, then the landlord Old Housing cannot simply deny those calls for help. Old Ford Housing says they have a clear record sheet, they deny such reports took place. There should be an investigation by Old Ford Housing into why it is possible that staff had not made any records of those complaints and the result of that investigation should be made available to the public.

Old Ford Housing should have promised such an investigation publicly. Yet this lack of desire to be publicly accountable and having to justify their procedures, is quite common among service providers in Tower Hamlets.

Local News

The East London Advertiser has caught up with the news and reported about this as well now. East London Advertiser – Bethnal Green activist loses libel case against blogger.

The East London Advertiser was always very vocal and reported about my various party allegiances a lot. So hope they are happy now that one of theirs has won the case.

Proposed BBC cuts

I agree that the BBC budget be cut and services reduced. The BBC website is now so big, it’s almost impossible to find anything. There are a few good gimmicks on there, e.g. the household calculators but do we need the BBC to do that for us? I think not.

The BBC needed very little money to continue important world service functionality during World War II and what it is doing now is becoming a state sponsored entertainment service. Many of those services can be provided better by private and independent companies.

During the last few years the BBC has become a Labour mouth piece, so much so that people got removed from positions for the most innocent personal remarks in back rooms. The organisation itself has become over controlled ideologically and turned in on itself.

Apart from this, the general users can ill afford to pay for services, which are not essential to all that use it. The BBC should stay an essential service and run on a budget as small as possible and not become a world-wide encyclopedia, entertainment and library service.

I think its very hard to find anything on the BBC website nowadays as most news get lost in its archives and are very hard to retrieve.

The BBC must  stay affordable for all who pay the obligatory TV license and all other services provided for by private enterprise paid for by demand of those who can afford to pay for it.
We are now having a turned around economy where private enterprise is in decline because the state machinery has started to swallow it up in the best Communist fashion, which is exactly what this Labour government wanted to do.

We have a very similar situation here in Tower Hamlets, New Labour’s  stronghold in Greater London. They produce their own Council funded weekly paper and the commercial newspaper in the area has to fight to survive. Of course the council run newspaper only prints what suits the ruling Labour council. This is not free expression and free speech it is repressing freedom and choice.

I used to work for the German Service in Bush House and that was closed because the political situation had changed. And that is what the BBC is all about, bring essential message services to those who suffer from repression and not to influence our ideology in Britain the Labour way.

Pawns on a chess board

I love chess, well at least I like it a lot but chess is a game to be played on a board with figures being moved around in tactical moves to disable the other side’s King. Tower Hamlets is not a chess board though but the Labour Party treats it as such, moving and shoving, placing candidates out of their natural habitat to other locations as to manipulate the electorate.

I am more than pleased to read that Dr. Anwara Ali had enough of this and decided to join the Conservative Party to be able to stand in her home area of Bow West. Especially as Dr Anwara Ali also knows people there, this usually comes with being a local GP.

From the skill’s side of things Dr. Anwara Ali is a highly respected professional and those type of people simply cannot help but become Conservatives as good practise and good thinking is a Conservative trait that always attracts the best minds.  There is nothing wrong with being able is there?

Yippie and three cheers to Dr. Anwara Ali.

I read this story in the East London Advertiser and recommend this paper for the best and detailed local news, the paper in which Lutfur Rahman is reported to have said that Dr Ali is out of touch. How can Mr Rahman possibly make such a remark about an East London GP who is devoted to help poor local residents achieve better health care and does so each day in her doctor’s surgery. How can he call her out of touch?

Farewell to Alex Heslop

Of all the Labour councillors in Tower Hamlets, I think Alex Heslop is the best dressed and always smart one. Each time I see Alex the King’s song “He is a dedicated follower of fashion” comes into my mind, a well-known ear worm from the good old days.  Alex definitely stands out for style and sense of fashion in Tower Hamlets.

As much as one can like a political opponent Alex Heslop is likeable and is always well-behaved and friendly. So why Labour failed to re-select him as Councillor candidate shows that Tower Hamlets Labour doesn’t give us much choice from the point of individual’s and character of their councillor candidates.

I also think Alex was a candidate approved by the Co-operative party. I just read this in the East London Advertiser and thought I remark about it as I went canvassing with Alex when I was still a member of the Labour Party and he struck me as very efficient. I am sure Alex could find a big welcome with the Conservatives. We like well presented young men. I can only speak for myself on this one, but its a good guess, I hope.

On that note I always wondered why Denise Jones (New Labour), when she was leader of the council, wore black clothes and I now have a suspicion it was as not to upset some Islamic members of the council. When we look at the House of Commons female MP, many there wear gay and bright clothes to their own and the entertainment of other MPs and in any case it brightens up the place. I think that fashion or anti-fashion seems to play a big part in Tower Hamlets council these days.

Alex is probably one of those young men wanting to go into politics who chose Labour because it was the only party that had a lot of weight in the area, but that is changing now. I think the Conservatives have very good prospects at the next elections in Tower Hamlets.

Looking at the other three rejected ones, I think they might all be steaming, but don’t join Respect, come to the Conservatives instead, who are a growing might in Tower Hamlets with real prospects for the right candidates.

Equal opportunities in Tower Hamlets?

I just browsed the online E=edition of the East London Advertiser to see whether the ELA reported about our CCTV petition for Parkview estate that I delivered to the full council meeting Wednesday a week ago, just one day before the ELA comes out on the Thursday.

Unfortunately I could not find an article about our petition that asks for CCTV on our estate to bring us the same standard of safety and security that private housing residents can enjoy, in the East London Advertiser. Social residents run a much higher risk of becoming a victim of crime than residents in private housing developments do. The council’s argument is that they would only put it in if the level of crime would justify such a measure but private housing developers do not want to expose their residents to the risk in the first place and put in CCTV as a preventative measure, which is taking good care of those residing in such blocks. Tower Hamlets council obviously wants to see victims of crime first before they would consider CCTV as standard in local housing estates. This just shows that residents are not valued as much by social housing landlords Tower Hamlets Homes and ultimately by Tower Hamlets council who still own the freehold of the property that Tower Hamlets Homes now administers as ALMO.

When I browsed through the online version of the East London Advertiser issue 4/2/2010 that people who took part in the “You Decide” event and voted for CCTV on their estates are still waiting for them 1 year on.

Yet this criticism “has to be” expressed in the East London Advertiser rather than the flagship paper “East End Life” because East End Life doesn’t allow any free discussion in their paper, they repress any type of criticism by refusing to publish reader’s letters and comments that would be critical of the Tower Hamlets Labour Council’s policies and decision. I think that it is against the law and contradicts Freedom of Speech and Expression that a local authority can publish a borough wide newspaper and not allow reader’s comments. East End Life promotes Council events like “You Decide” each week with the promises made but fails to face its own failures by also allowing the criticism that follows their own inability to keep the promises made. One reader calls East End Life Soviet Style propaganda, which is not far from the Hitler style propaganda, painting everything glossy, saying we do this, we win that but never delivered on those promises made and knowing that they are not able to deliver on those promises.

The dilemma about East End Life has now also become a point in my Defamation Proceedings against John Gray who actually complains in his Defence that I dare to criticise the Labour Party in a reader’s letter to the East London Advertiser.

Another reader’s letter in the East London Advertiser comments on the rise of Labour Party employees within the Labour Party council. One of the latest appointments apparently is a person called Takki Sulaiman who previously worked at Haringey council and who appointed Sharon Shoesmith as head of Children’s Services there. I understand Sharon Shoesmith still fights her dismissal from Haringey council over the Baby P affair.

I have been laughed at for failing shortlisting by the local Labour Party for nomination as Bethnal Green and Bow parliamentary candidate and for having joined the Conservative Party. Labour proves here that they look after their own, even if they fail with parliamentary elections they get a job in a town hall if all else fails.

I think the job selection processes in the Town Hall right now should be objected to detailed scrutiny for each applcation and each applicant failing to be appointed, that is not a member of the Labour Party should ask a detailed explanation why they have been refused.

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