Mayor Lufur, the shredded documents and the mystery canvassers

It’s been a quiet week in Wapping and in Tower Hamlets in general.

Apart from the BBC 1 Panorama documentary into Mayor Lutfur of course.

Oh and the coverage in the national press.

And the investigation by the MPS into some canvassing issue.

And the distinct possibility that the DCLG Communities Secretary Mr Pickles may decide to send inspectors in to the Council.

And that seagull eating a crab for breakfast! Yeuk!

A sorry saga

Wapping residents are of course well used to this level of media coverage but the Love Wapping Data Protection Act (South Wapping) Team have been worried that all the national media attention has diverted us all from the sorry saga that is known as ‘Greenbankgate’.

We should all remember that there is no connection between any of the allegations made by Panorama that Mayor Lutfur has been trying to buy influence with charitable grants and the recent disclosure by Love Wapping that someone the Mayor knows may be handy with a paper shredder.

Voting and voting

Although on reflection Panorama was looking into issues surrounding votes. And Greenbankgate is about… votes.

Apart from the voting thing there is no connection whatsoever.

So let’s not worry about these sort of trumped up similarities between words for the moment.

All four readers of Love Wapping will know that last weeka reply was received to a Data Protection Act disclosure request which stated that the original handwritten enquiries made by the three mystery women ‘canvassers of Greenbankgate had been shredded.

But not before those same enquiry details had been entered into the Council’s IT system.

It was nice to find out about the shredding thing but this raised the question of who shredded the original documents and why?

So today I sent a formal complaint to the Directorate of Law, Probity and Governance at Tower Hamlets Town Hall which essentially said ‘thanks but I still want answers’. You can read this below:

Data Protection Act 1998 Subject Access Request 9862

Dear Mr Wingate

Thank you very much for your reply of the 26 March 2014.

However I do not consider that the responses you have managed to gather provide adequate answers to my original questions.  Specifically:

Further Query 1

Your response to my query to ascertain ‘The identity of the person or persons who gave Bushra Hussain, Sadia Uddin or their colleagues details of my enquiry’ is ‘The Mayor’.

  1. Does this mean that the Mayor personally handed these details over?
  2. If so who gave these details to the Mayor?
  3. The Mayor did not accompany the three women ‘canvassers’ who knocked on my door on 07th November 2013 but I have since received letters from the Mayor in response to the queries I raised with the three women. I wish to know the identities of the three women and the identities of all persons who handled my personal information from it being collected by the three women to it being handed to Mayor Lutfur Rahman.

Further Query 2

Your response to my query to ascertain “On behalf of what organisation were these details collected” is ‘The Mayor’

4. The Mayor is not an organisation. If these details were collected for an organisation that Mayor Lutfur has an association with please can you disclose the identity of this organisation.

Further Query 3

Your response to my query to ascertain “The purpose of the collection of my details” is “Your details were given to the Council for the purpose of addressing the issues raised and communicating with you how the issues have been addressed.”

 5. I do not understand how a query raised by three women who said they were from Tower Hamlets Homes ends up in the Mayor’s office. I think the answer to this may be resolved if you can provide an adequate answer to point 3 above.

Further Query 4

Your response to my query to obtain “Disclosure of any and all details gathered by the women who visited me, including copies of their original handwritten notes, and any and all details entered into any computer system” is “Original handwritten notes given to the Council have been shredded. Please see attached details entered on the Council’s computer system.” 

Can you tell me:

6. How you know that these original handwritten notes were shredded.
7. Who told you that these notes were shredded.
8. The identity of the organisation that held these original notes.
9. On whose authority were these notes shredded.
10. The time, date and location that the shredding took place.
11. The reason these notes were shredded.
12. Is it standard practise for these notes to be shredded?

Further Query 5

Your response to my query to ascertain “Details, including ownership, management and location, of any and all computer system(s) that my details and those relating to my enquiry were entered into” is “Your details as attached are held on the Council’s computer system which is owned and managed by the Council and located in Council premises.”

13.Please provide me with the identity of the person who entered the handwritten notes and my personal details into the Council’s computer system.

14.Please provide me with the identity of the organisation that this person belonged to.

15.The earliest entry in the computer log you sent me is 20th November. Can you find out where my personal details were before being collected on 7th November and being input into this system on the 20th please?

In summary there is a break in the sequence of events between my personal details and queries being collected by the still unidentified three women ‘canvassers’ and Mayor Lutfur obtaining these details.

I understand that before reporting my concern to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) I should give you the chance to deal with it.

If, when I receive your response, I would still like to report my concern to the ICO, I will give them a copy of it to consider.

You can find guidance on your obligations under information rights legislation on the ICO’s website ( as well as information on their regulatory powers and the action they can take.

Please send a full response within 28 working days. If you cannot respond within that timescale, please tell me when you will be able to respond.

As you may be aware I have made a formal complaint regarding the original issue of the three women ‘canvassers’ to the Metropolitan Police Service and will be forwarding a copy of these further queries to the them for information.

If there is anything you would like to discuss, please contact me via email or telephone as above.

Yours sincerely,
Mark Baynes

Really tricky

Sorry it’s a bit long. But it does seem really tricky to get a simple answer to a simple question:

Who were the three mystery women ‘canvassers’ and who did they work for?

So a more complex question, or series of questions, is in order. While we wait for a response I think some nice photos of birdies might be in order. 



%d bloggers like this: