E11Bid Debacle This page is being updated  

Waltham Forest Council
The E11Bid Debacle


Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things - Peter Drucker

“There is a need to develop an organisational culture where there is greater accountability by senior and other managers for the performance of the council overall.” -  Independent Panel Report Appendix B, 2009.
 
wfcwTo BID or not 2 BID: Council under fire over Leytonstone's controversial business levy
12 April 2015
read …  
Waltham Forest Council has been collecting an annual business levy on behalf of the publically funded E11 Business Improvement District 2 (BID) since April 2015.
A Companies House check on E11 BID2 confirms the company is dormant and was incorporated on June 30, 2015.
But more than two months before its incorporated date, rate payers throughout Leytonstone received a levy bill on April 28, 2015.
E11 BID2 replaced the controversial E11 BID company, which racked up debts rising to £80,000 forcing a police investigation into possible fraud in 2014.
Rate payer and restaurant owner Shah Ahmed is disputing the bid levy over the uncertainty and is demanding to know “what is going on?”
He said: “I was quite excited at first with the bid concept, and was very much involved setting up the first bid company as a shareholder.
wfcwThe E11 BID Co. heads towards being struck off
Nick Tiratsoo
June 10, 2016
read ...
According to a document made public at Companies House, reproduced below, the E11 BID Co. is now threatened with being compulsorily struck off and dissolved.
This blog has covered the troubled and troubling E11 BID Co. before
The issue now seems to be that the company missed the deadline for filing its 2014-15 accounts, which was 31 March 2016.
It really does seem extraordinary that directors who are entirely dependent on other people’s money cannot manage the elementary step of filing properly. Little wonder that those traders in Leytonstone who are forced to financed the E11 BID Co. via a levy are so disenchanted.
One wonders what Michael Polledri’s Waltham Forest Business Board, which was charged with supervising the E11 BID Co., and LBWF, which collects the levy, make of all this. The E11 BID Co. just never seems to learn. That it promotes itself as some kind of beacon of enlightenment adds an element of farce.
wfcwThe E11 BID Co. apparently set to close, but big questions remain
- Nick Tiratsoo
June 2, 2017
read … 
If true, this is good news, for although the E11 BID Co. claims to have put its disaterous past behind it, there are still enough flaws in its functioning to give grave cause for concern.
wfcwLabour party confirms councillor's suspension
2 November 2015
read ...
Markhouse Ward councillor Johar Khan is currently under investigation, the party said today.
A Labour Party spokesman said: “We can confirm Cllr Khan has been suspended pending the result of an investigation.”
wfcwCllr. Khan and the E11 BID Co
Nick Tiratsoo
29 September, 2015
read ...
During his relatively short time in the public eye, Cllr. Johar Khan has attracted a fair amount of publicity. James O’Rourke: Cllr. Khan was not only much involved in the machinations that prefaced the implosion of the local Liberal Democrats, but also then jumped ship to Labour.
wfcw'I don't like free riders'- E11 Bid director after sending bailiffs to collect controversial levy
11 August 2015
read ...
Shah Ahmed, owner of the Star of India in High Road, Leytonstone said he was intimidated by the bailiff action on July 29 where he was forced to hand over £835, after he refused to pay the annual fee in May.
E11 Bid director Fawaad Shaikh hit back at the criticism for enforcing the collection saying ‘I don’t like free riders who think they can get away with it, thinking they are above the law and relevant regulations.’ 
The director pointed to the services the E11 Bid were looking to provide to Leytonstone with the levy collection.   The business development company has been found to be around £80,000 in debt despite collecting a levy totalling £65,000 a year from 300 businesses since 2008 and receiving public funds from the council.
wfcwE11 Bid bailiff collection a 'last resort', claim council
31 July 2015
read ...
An attempt to take furniture from a popular Indian restaurant to retrieve funds for a controversial business levy has been defended ‘as a last resort’ by Waltham Forest council.
Bailiffs contracted by the council were successful in retrieving £835 from Shah Ahmed, owner of the Star of India in High Road, Leytonstone who had refused to pay the E11 Bid Company until Wednesday morning.
Mr Ahmed was one of 33 traders who were handed liability orders, forcing them to pay the private company at Waltham Forest Magistrates Court in May.
A council spokesman insisted the council was ‘only a collection agency’ for the private company and all payments are passed on to E11 Bid.
Comment
mdj says... 1:05pm Fri 31 Jul 15
Can the 'spokesman' (come out, Mr Loakes) confirm whether at the last renewal round for the BID levy the shareholders were not informed that all their new payments would need to go to pay previously-accrued debts in relation to unpaid bills?
If so, the company was trading while insolvent - a criminal offence - and the levy-payers were being misled as to the use of their money - another criminal offence.
Let us remember that Cllr Loakes and Cllr Gray were directors of the BID at times when it was already known that tax and NI payments were in arrears, and funds could not be accounted for.
What does the 'spokesman' have to say about their deafening silence over their failures to raise the alarm? For the Council to go to court to enforce payments to a company that may yet be convicted on criminal charges is a dangerous path to tread. Are they ready for the consequences?

Little_Australian says... 2:00pm Fri 31 Jul 15
The council is completely off it's rocker. So it's now only a collection agency, at the whim of a private company it set up which has been funnelling taxpayers money who-knows-where for years. Please can this borough find the courage to vote this administration out of office. Under Labour the council has plunged the depths of absurdity.

 
wfcwStar of India Restaurant, Leytonstone
Shah Ahmed tries to prevent bailiffs from removing chairs and tables from the Star of India restaurant over E11 Bid fees
29 July 215
read ...
Bailiffs employed by the council attempted to take the tables and chairs out of a restaurant which had refused to pay a controversial business levy.
Shah Ahmed, owner of the Star of India in High Road, Leytonstone was one of 33 traders who refused to hand over cash to E11 Bid Company despite being handed liability orders, ordering them to pay up at Waltham Forest Magistrates Court in May.
Waltham Forest council is responsible for collecting the levy but Mr Ahmed hit back at them for ‘hiding’ behind the private company.
The levy cost Mr Ahmed £90 a year.   He said: “It was really intimidating and we have no choice but to pay up, even though the E11 Bid are not giving us the services for our money.
wfcwStar of India Restaurant
Leytonstone

29 July 215
The restaurateur is also the chairman of the Leytonstone Festival.   The community-led celebration was unsuccessful in gaining council funding for the first time this year and faces a £15,000 shortfall.
Mr Ahmed said: “The E11 Bid could have stepped in and offered £5,000 towards it, it is exactly the kind of event they should be promoting. It brought loads of people into the area but we had to fundraise the difference ourselves."
The company has been plagued by financial mismanagement over a number of years but is said to be back on track by chairman Fawad Sheikh
Comment
mdj says... 11:42pm Wed 29 Jul 15
Shocking, but not surprising; the level of personal vindictiveness that this council can display when somebody refuses to toe the line is proudly on show here. This may well be why the Council encouraged the Leytonstone Festival organisers to bid for far more money than they had intended - and then refused them any funds at all. Let's hope that as many people as possible turn up to the next Ward Forum to ask Clyde Loakes and Jenny Gray, who were both directors of the BID at a time when they had to have known it was in breach of its legal obligations to pay, taxes and NI, to ask why they did nothing, and what their involvement was with this thuggish act of bullying today.
 
wfcwE11Bid companies in court to challenge company levy over financial failings
20 May 2015
read ...
A total of 41 businesses in Leytonstone decided no to handover the latest annual payment to E11Bid Company, which has been plagued by financial mismanagement over a number of years.
In 2014 it was found to be around £80,000 in debt despite collecting a levy totalling £65,000 a year from 300 businesses since 2008 and receiving public funds from the council. Evidence also emerged that income tax contributions for E11Bid staff had not been paid.
wfcwE11 Bid Company traders lose battle in court
22 May 2015
read ...
The director of the business improvement company has spoken out about a court ruling which he said proves the 'validity' of a business improvement company after 33 traders lost their battle in court.  
Yesterday, deputy district judge Tom King handed out 33 liability orders to business owners in Leytonstone, ordering them to pay the annual levy to the E11 Bid Company, formed in 2008.  
The main arguments set out by the group were they were treated unfairly and had no proof of where their money had been spent due to financial mismanagement and debts rising to £80,000.   They also questioned the validity of the company and the ballot which saw it voted in for a second term.
wfcwE11 Bid board minutes show covert surveillance form allowed to use CCTV for own purposes
20 November 2014
read ...
Fawad Sheikh, second from left, denies a deal was done with security firm
There is fresh controversy over a business improvement company criticised for financial mis-management after minutes of a board meeting appear to show a private company operating high street CCTV was allowed to use the system for private surveillance.
E11 BID in Leytonstone, which was found to be poorly managed and riddle with debt over a number of years, is currently in dispute with a number of businesses who are refusing to pay a levy due to the way it has been run.
In October 2010 documents show the company paid Cardinal Security Ltd £23,485.90 to manage CCTV in High Road.
However, minutes of a board meeting in January 2011 state that the firm, which carries out covert surveillance for clients, was allowed to use the cameras for its own private use.
 
wfcwLeytonstone traders taken to court over refusal to pay a levy to the E11 Bid
10 October 2014
read ...
A number of small business owners have been given until January before further legal action is taken against them for non-payment to the E11 Bid Company.
Traders say are taking a ‘moral stand’ against the Business Improvement District set up in Leytonstone in 2008 by refusing to pay its levy.
However, the company is mired in controversy over mismanagement, with evidence of serious financial problems for a number of years and a failure to pay taxes.
Businesses say they have lost faith in the company, which was set up to promote the economy in upper Leytonstone in 2008.
But some businesses are refusing to pay the fee, claiming the Bid is poorly run under chairman Fawad Shaikh.
nutshellLeytonstoneTraders taken to court - Comments!
Comments read ...
LaurainLeyton
says...
According to their own website the E11 Bid represent fewer than 300 businesses. They claim to have collected 90% of the levy, yet almost a third of their levy-payers were summonsed on one day for non payment. With maths like that no wonder there's been financial trouble!
mdj says...
'The Bid company insists it would not had fallen into financial problems had the council collected fees in 2013. '
Since the company had apparently never paid VAT, Income Tax and NI from its inception, this cannot be true.
We are not told who initiated this action, the BID or the Council.
The payment of past debts does not necessarily render the BID viable, or even legal.
There is much more to emerge from this story, not least the payment of funds to an apparently fictitious organisation, and large payments for which invoices, explaining what was provided in return, cannot be supplied.
Cllr Loakes and Grey were at times directors of this company; suddenly they seem unusually hard to reach for a comment!
Presumably the aggrieved non-payers of the levy cannot be forced by a court to pay funds to an organisation that has been acting illegally, and can move to wind it up.
This is an issue that concerns us all, since sums in the area of £500k have passed from the Council to the BID.
That's our money, and we need answers.
NTiratsoo says...
Great news, and congratulations to the refuseniks. The E11 BID Co. did not pay its taxes until recently; was run chaotically; and now appears to be spending the hard-earned money of traders on paying off historic debts.
Cllrs. Gray, Khan, and Loakes served on the Board of this embarrassment at one time or another, and its about time they came out from behind their hands and explained what they did to justify their involvement, because the impression given by the company minutes is that they barely cared.
Though that said, Cllr Khan does at least appear to have had a sense of humor, because he presented a financial report to the E11 Board in January 2011 that asserted ‘all VAT, PAYE and tax matters had now been brought up to date’, something that amusingly contrasts with Wilkins Kennedy’s forensic conclusions of earlier this year that ‘The Company appears never to have submitted a VAT return, which represents more than twenty VAT quarters since registration…in 2008’ and ‘For the period to the end of 2011 the Company failed properly to operate its payroll and discharge its PAYE and NI liabilities…Penalt
ies and interest continue to accrue’.
 
 
Renew Waltham Forest: LBWF and the E11 BID Company
Background summary by Renew Waltham Forest:
read ...
(pdf)
 
wfcwE11 BID company claims it has fended off winding up order.
Blames Waltham Forest Council for tax debt

18th July 2014
read ...
E11 Bid chairman Fawad Shaikh said the company successfully argued that Waltham Forest Council failed to collect the annual levy from businesses, as it is required to do under an agreement made in 2007.
The company received a levy from businesses to promote commerce in Leytonstone, faced a winding up order from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over an unpaid tax bill.   It is understood the debt, believed to be around £80,000, relates to the non-payment of staff income tax and national insurance.  
More than £150,000 of public money had been paid into the scheme.
A report commissioned by the council, previously blamed the company’s management for the financial failings.
Mr Shaikh said: “Of course, mistakes have been made in the first two years of operations but we have a strong structure in place to avoid making those errors again.”
He criticised business owners who have begun a petition to end the BID over perceived failings and financial mismanagement, saying:  “For every £1 businesses have invested, we have raised an additional £3 from external sources.   Directors of the company, which in the past included deputy council leader Clyde Loakes, were criticised for failing to maintain proper accounts for years.
 
wfcwPetition calls for halt to payments to the Leytonstone E11 BID Company
22nd June 2014
read ...
Business owners in Leytonstone have called on fellow traders to stop payments to a company which was set up to look after their interests. Gym owner Dean Hyams signs Suja Khaled's petition against the E11 (BID) company.
In 2007 business premises in E11 opted to pay a levy to a private company rather than the usual business rates to the council. The company, the E11 Business Improvement District (BID) Company, would then listen to businesses and spend the cash on improving the look of the area to attract more trade.
However, the company, run by Fawaad Sheikh, fell into financial chaos and latest figures put it at around £87,000 in debt. Now, former board member Suja Khaled, who owns the Luna Lounge in Church Lane, has launched a petition to close the E11 BID.
 
wfcwE11 BID will continue until 2018, despite debts
04 Apr 14
read ...
The E11 Business Improvement District (E11 BID) Company, which charges some Leytonstone businesses a levy in return for its services, will continue operating until 2018, despite being over £86,000 in debt.
Managing director Fawaad Shaikh said: “The first term operations of the BID exceeded the expectations of many people. I believe that with a strong and even more disciplined management board in place for the second term we will go further to champion the economic revival of Leytonstone and again exceed all expectations.”Last month the company came under scrutiny for failing to maintain proper accounts for years. Over £150,000 of public money has been paid into the scheme and police are carrying out a fraud investigation.
 
wfcwThe E11 Business Improvement District company is more than £80k in debt and under police investigation
9th April 2014
read ...
Public excluded from scrutiny meeting of troubled business improvement company. A large slice of the debt is owed on unpaid tax regarded BID employees.
The organisation, set up in 2007 to promote the interests of businesses in Leytonstone, collects a levy from businesses and has received more than £150,000 of public funding. Councillors, including deputy leadeer of the council, Clyde Loakes, have been members of the company's board while financial mismanagement was taking place.
nutshellPublic excluded from scrutiny of failing company
 9th April 2014
read ...
A public meeting to discuss the future of a heavily indebted, publicly-funded company set up to boost businesses in Leytonstone was suddenly closed to the public and press last night.
The E11 Business Improvement District (BID) Company has fallen into almost £87,000 of debt, prompting a police investigation and questions over its future.
A large slice of the debt is owed on unpaid tax regarded BID employees.
The organisation, set up in 2007 to promote the interests of businesses in Leytonstone, collects a levy from businesses and has received more than £150,000 of public funding.
Councillors, including deputy leadeer of the council, Clyde Loakes, have been members of the company's board while financial mismanagement was taking place.
A block of Conservative councillors called in several decisions made last month for scrutiny, including the resumption of levy collection backdated to the beginning of the year and the waiving of the levy collection charge until March 2015.
At the meeting, chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, councillor Peter Herrington, said it would be inappropriate to make public a restricted document entitled Litigation and Advice.
“I’m sure it is of interest to the people outside. However, I have to state that the legal advice is to discuss it in full, not to dip our toes,” he said.
“To discuss it in full we go in to a private and confidential session.”
In requesting the meeting the Tory councillors, including group leader Matt Davis, said in December independent auditors and council officers agreed that the company would be unable to pay its debts, raising serious concerns about its financial viability.
But they claimed the cabinet arrived at the opposite conclusion last month, despite little evidence.
“No evidence is presented in the report or in the decision to suggest why officers have performed a volte face and now, given the decision, must believe that the BID will have sufficient funds to pay off its liabilities,” they said.
“The E11 BID has a record of financial mismanagement and poor record keeping, it is therefore surprising the decision was also taken to ‘waive up until end March 2015 the charge to the E11 BID company for the collection of the levy by the council’.”
“Why does it appear that we are rewarding the BID company with taxpayer’s money for their poor performance?”
Selected comments
NTiratsoo says...
Legal advice?
Let me see.
The team that delivered the legal advice last night, led by Mr. Fenwick, is the same team that has just lost ignominiously in the case of the Christian Kitchen (see story below).
Given that it lost largely because of an elementary set of mistakes, I wonder if its constituent members have the quite the degree of expertise that they obviously think they have.
It is noteworthy too that before the curtain came down the sage Cllr. Sullivan claimed that there was nothing in the restricted document that was not 'common knowledge'.
To mere residents such as myself, what last night's maneuverings resembled more than anything else was an attempt to protect certain Labour members from flack.
It that was indeed the case the maneuverings have already failed, because the E11 BID Co. story now has gained a momentum all of its own.

   
   
Comment
NTiratsoo says... Legal advice? Let me see.
The team that delivered the legal advice last night, led by Mr. Fenwick, is the same team that has just lost ignominiously in the case of the Christian Kitchen (see story below).
Given that it lost largely because of an elementary set of mistakes, I wonder if its constituent members have the quite the degree of expertise that they obviously think they have.
It is noteworthy too that before the curtain came down the sage Cllr. Sullivan claimed that there was nothing in the restricted document that was not 'common knowledge'.
To mere residents such as myself, what last night's maneuverings resembled more than anything else was an attempt to protect certain Labour members from flack.
It that was indeed the case the maneuverings have already failed, because the E11 BID Co. story now has gained a momentum all of its own.
 
wfcwThe E11 Business Improvement District company is slammed in independent report
Directors of a publicly funded company set up to boost business in Leytonstone but which soon fell into financial chaos have been criticised.
An independent report, commissioned by Waltham Forest Council, criticised the E11 Business Improvement District (BID) Company for failing to maintain proper accounts for years and putting the organisation’s future at risk. Cllr Clyde Loakes, the current deputy leader of the council, sat on the board of the company between November 2010 and August 2011.
NutshellCouncil handles large sums of public money without safeguards
21st March 2014
read ...
Many businesses in Leytonstone High Road pay the levy.
Directors of a publicly funded company set up to boost business in Leytonstone but which soon fell into financial chaos have been criticised.
An independent report, commissioned by Waltham Forest Council, criticised the E11 Business Improvement District (BID) Company for failing to maintain proper accounts for years and putting the organisation’s future at risk.
The organisation was set up in June 2007 to promote the interests of businesses in Leytonstone.
In return the businesses were charged a levy. Public bodies have also paid more than £150,000 into the scheme.
But the company has fallen into almost £87,000 of debt - forcing police to launch an investigation into possible fraud.
The report read: "The available evidence suggests that the company and its directors failed in their duty to maintain proper accounting records and systems for the first three/four years of the first BID term and it was only towards the end of 2011 and into 2012 that some level of control was imposed and records brought partially up to date."
“The structure is very unusual for a BID as these companies are usually registered as companies limited by guarantee, but the E11 BID is limited by shares, with two shareholders, Mohammed Ahmed and Fawaad Shaikh, each holding one share.”
Related links

Cllr Clyde Loakes, the current deputy leader of the council, sat on the board of the company between November 2010 and August 2011.
If the BID fails it is thought it would be the first in the UK to do so.
The council says it has not collected the levy since January because directors refused to agree to costs involved in collecting the levy, and the report stated there “must now be a significant doubt over the recoverability of outstanding income from some of those businesses”.
Estimates predict an investment of around £80,000 is needed to keep the company moving forward, which would mean around 18 months of further levy collection.
The debt figure is more than double what Fawaad Shaikh had previously estimated, and the figure continues to rise from penalties incurred for failing to pay PAYE and national insurance – an issue revealed in audit reports from 2010 and 2011.
The report also found that the first statutory accounts filed on time were those for June 30, 2012 – five years after the firm's first accountancy year.
It was noted, however, that the company had recently improved by appointing auditors, an external accountant and a full-time administrator.

Comments
2:23pm Fri 21 Mar 14
Villagecranberry says...
Is this a surprise? Most things that Labour get involved with in the Council ends in disaster or funds disappearing like a magic trick on the David Nixon show.
2:31pm Fri 21 Mar 14
Dave mp says...
How very true.
3:00pm Fri 21 Mar 14
NTiratsoo says...
This report is certainly damning of all involved, and particularly the Council which by law was supposed to be regularly checking on how the E11 BID Co. was faring.
And other information is emerging week by week which points in exactly the same direction.
For instance, in a letter to me of 23 January 2014, Shifa Mustafa (Deputy Chief Executive Environment and Regeneration) stated unequivocally of money handed by LBWF to the E11 BID Co. that: 'All payments were monitored to ensure that the services agreed to were delivered'.
However, when subsequently questioned under the Freedom of Information Act, the Council has been unable to produce a single document or other piece of written material which substantiates that claim.
Put in a nutshell, it seems that for several years now, the Council has been handing large sums of public money to a variety of business bodies without any of the usual processes and safeguards, in stark contrast to the way it has treated the local voluntary sector.
One rule for business cronies and one rule for the rest, indeed.
6:31pm Fri 21 Mar 14
mdj says...
Worknet;
O-Regen;
The Better Neighbourhoods Initiative;
The Arcade Site decade of stagnation;
All abortive, mismanaged and failed schemes that have cost this Borough tens of millions of pounds.
Nobody dismissed. nobody admonished, definitely nobody prosecuted!
Here we are again: a company, of which Cllr Loakes and Cllr Gray were directors, that has received many thousands of our money, but has never paid VAT over its entire existence! Did they ever read the accounts? Did they never ask any questions?
HMRC could put the BID company into liquidation at any moment, and yet the Council is still seeking to raise the levy from the long-suffering business members, to throw into this black hole.
And none of this would have been public knowledge had the councillors and officials had anything to do with it!
We all owe Nick Tiratsoo an enormous debt for his work in scrutinising our public life - the job one might have thought opposition councillors would do.
Can Cllr Loakes seriously aspire to lead this Council again, given his deplorable record of loss and waste?
What has he to say this time?
10:19pm Fri 21 Mar 14
livedheretoolong says...
It would be interesting to know what the opposition councillors think about this sorry state of affairs. After all there is a local election coming up in a few weeks time.
People living in the south of the borough who are bothered to read up about local affairs might be reconsidering who they should be voting for this time.
Or is it going to be silence as usual and and another easy win for Labour?


Comment
Worknet; O-Regen; The Better Neighbourhoods Initiative; The Arcade Site decade of stagnation; All abortive, mismanaged and failed schemes that have cost this Borough tens of millions of pounds.
Here we are again: a company, of which Cllr Loakes and Cllr Gray were directors, that has received many thousands of our money, but has never paid VAT over its entire existence! Did they ever read the accounts? Did they never ask any questions?
HMRC could put the BID company into liquidation at any moment, and yet the Council is still seeking to raise the levy from the long-suffering business members, to throw into this black hole.
And none of this would have been public knowledge had the councillors and officials had anything to do with it!
Nutshell Comments!
Comments

2:23pm Fri 21 Mar 14
Villagecranberry says..
.
Is this a surprise? Most things that Labour get involved with in the Council ends in disaster or funds disappearing like a magic trick on the David Nixon show.

2:31pm Fri 21 Mar 14
Dave mp says...

How very true.

3:00pm Fri 21 Mar 14
NTiratsoo says...

This report is certainly damning of all involved, and particularly the Council which by law was supposed to be regularly checking on how the E11 BID Co. was faring.
And other information is emerging week by week which points in exactly the same direction.
For instance, in a letter to me of 23 January 2014, Shifa Mustafa (Deputy Chief Executive Environment and Regeneration) stated unequivocally of money handed by LBWF to the E11 BID Co. that: 'All payments were monitored to ensure that the services agreed to were delivered'.
However, when subsequently questioned under the Freedom of Information Act, the Council has been unable to produce a single document or other piece of written material which substantiates that claim.
Put in a nutshell, it seems that for several years now, the Council has been handing large sums of public money to a variety of business bodies without any of the usual processes and safeguards, in stark contrast to the way it has treated the local voluntary sector.
One rule for business cronies and one rule for the rest, indeed.

6:31pm Fri 21 Mar 14
mdj says...

Worknet;
O-Regen;
The Better Neighbourhoods Initiative;
The Arcade Site decade of stagnation;
All abortive, mismanaged and failed schemes that have cost this Borough tens of millions of pounds.
Nobody dismissed. nobody admonished, definitely nobody prosecuted!
Here we are again: a company, of which Cllr Loakes and Cllr Gray were directors, that has received many thousands of our money, but has never paid VAT over its entire existence! Did they ever read the accounts? Did they never ask any questions?
HMRC could put the BID company into liquidation at any moment, and yet the Council is still seeking to raise the levy from the long-suffering business members, to throw into this black hole.
And none of this would have been public knowledge had the councillors and officials had anything to do with it!
We all owe Nick Tiratsoo an enormous debt for his work in scrutinising our public life - the job one might have thought opposition councillors would do.
Can Cllr Loakes seriously aspire to lead this Council again, given his deplorable record of loss and waste?
What has he to say this time?

10:19pm Fri 21 Mar 14
livedheretoolong says...

It would be interesting to know what the opposition councillors think about this sorry state of affairs. After all there is a local election coming up in a few weeks time.
People living in the south of the borough who are bothered to read up about local affairs might be reconsidering who they should be voting for this time.
Or is it going to be silence as usual and and another easy win for Labour?

 
e11 bid6 Nov 2013 - E11BID. A series of audit reports from the financial years 2010 and 2011 show debts had accumulated as a result of a failure to pass on national insurance and PAYE employee payments to Revenue & Customs.
A council spokesman said: “The worrying financial predicament the E11 BID company has got itself into makes it very difficult for the E11 BID to meet the expectations of local businesses.”
6th November 2013
read ...
Claims the council is to blame for a business improvement company’s £40,000 debt have been rejected by the authority.

Fawaad Shaikh, chairman of Leytonstone’s E11 Business Improvement District (BID) Company, claimed last week the council had acted improperly in ceasing collection of a levy from around 300 businesses participating in the BID.

He says the council should have collected the money from January 1 this year despite the fact he had not signed a baseline agreement.

But the council has stood by its decision which was made as part of its leadership role of overseeing the private company which was established in partnership with the authority to promote trade in Leytonstone.

“The reason the levy has not been collected this year is because the E11 BID company refused to sign the draft baseline and operating agreements on the basis that they were not prepared to pay towards the costs of the collection of the levy,” a council spokesman said.

“The draft agreements remain unsigned and accordingly the council is confident that it has acted both legally and properly.”

But last week Mr Shaikh said he refused to sign the agreement because it had offered a poor deal for businesses.

He claims it contained insufficient information about services such as town centre management and street cleaners.

Despite this, he says the council should have continued to collect the levy and claims that if the authority had done so the company would now be debt free.

Mr Shaikh says he was advised by British BID, the so-called “voice for BIDs”, that the council should have continued to collect the money, however the group declined to make a comment to the Guardian.

The council says its decision to stop the levy collection abides by BID regulation 18(a), which allows a local authority to intervene when the financial well-being of the BID is called into question.

The spokesman added: “The worrying financial predicament the E11 BID company has got itself into makes it very difficult for the E11 BID to meet the expectations of local businesses.”

A series of audit reports from the financial years 2010 and 2011, seen by the Guardian, show debts had accumulated as a result of a failure to pass on national insurance and PAYE employee payments to Revenue & Customs.

Waltham Forest police have launched a fraud investigation into the company.

The alleged offences took place from November 1 2011 onwards.

 
wfcw31 Oct 2013 - The E11 Business Improvement District Company is over £40,000 in debt Council blamed council for the debt. The deputy leader of the council, Clyde Loakes, was an E11Bidd Company board member between November 2010 and August 2011.  Former director Shah Ahmed, who runs the Star of India restaurant in Leytonstone High Road, said: “My opinion, and the opinion of the directors that have resigned recently, that information has been witheld from directors.”
31 Oct 13, NTiratsoo says...
No doubt Clyde Loakes will have been fully conversant with his responsibilities under the Companies Acts, and will be shown to have been a regular attender at Board meetings, who acted with alacrity to ensure that the E11 BID Co fully carried out its statutory responsibilities in relation to auditing, and returns to Companies House and HMRC.

October 29, 2013 - The E11 Bid company failed to disclose debts a
nd found issues relating to it’s governance.   Johar Khan was the Finance Director of the E11 Bid. truthwilloutinwalthamforest
NutshellEvidence of financial mismanagement at E11 Bid Company
31st October 2013
read ...
Waltham Forest Council has been dragged into a dispute over the finances of a business improvement company.  The E11 Business Improvement District (BID) Company, which collects a levy from around 300 companies in Leytonstone and also receives public funds, is over £40,000 in debt and faces an uncertain future.
But evidence has emerged of financial mismanagement and the Guardian understands a criminal complaint has been made relating to the company's finances and the City of London police have launched a fraud investigation.   

But E11 BID managing director, Fawaad Sheikh, claims the debt has accumulated because the council has acted improperly.  “Billing didn’t start as legally obliged on the first of January,” he said.  “I was instructed last week by British BID that the council has acted improperly in not billing businesses.”  He claims the BID’s running costs put the company in debt and if the council had collected this year’s levy all debt would be cleared.
At a meeting on Wednesday council officers said the authority had ceased collecting the levy because it would be irresponsible to do so due to evidence of financial mismanagement.
They said they fear the money would be used to pay debts rather than provide mandated services. 

However, it has been revealed in a series of audit reports from the financial years 2010 and 2011, which have been seen by the Guardian, that debts had accumulated as a result of a failure to pass on national insurance and PAYE employee payments to Revenue & Customs.  Some business owners blame Mr Sheikh and the board, claiming the BID has been run irresponsibly, prompting the resignation of three board members.
The deputy leader of the council, Clyde Loakes, was an E11Bidd Company board member between November 2010 and August 2011.  Former director Shah Ahmed, who runs the Star of India restaurant in Leytonstone High Road, said: “My opinion, and the opinion of the directors that have resigned recently, that information has been witheld from directors.”
He added that the council was supposed to receive an audit report from the BID every year, but that it had never done so.  “The idea of the BID is brilliant,” he said.  “This is a unique opportunity of raising money and putting it back into the community. The problem is the management.”

Comment 31 Oct 2013, NTiratsoo says...
No doubt Clyde Loakes will have been fully conversant with his responsibilities under the Companies Acts, and will be shown to have been a regular attender at Board meetings, who acted with alacrity to ensure that the E11 BID Co fully carried out its statutory responsibilities in relation to auditing, and returns to Companies House and HMRC.
 
e11bid2Background: Traders to decide Business Improvement District's future
2nd October 2012
read ...
 
Top

 

 

 

 

 

Tooltip content goes here.