Clyde Loakes has presided over yet another monumental waste of public money. When he was called on it by the Crown Court, with the arrogance and contempt for the rule of law that only a Waltham Forest Councillor can muster, he has called the judge's ruling 'disappointing'. Clyde Loake's department had just been publically criticised in court after a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court acquitted a busineswoman on charges brought against her by Waltham Forest council. The judge called the case “a monumental waste of public time and money”.

The waste of money this time has involved racking up £15000 of taxpayer's money in pointless legal bills on a single doomed prosecution, by bringing a wholly pointless prosecution against a local businesswoman for allowing her company's cardboard boxes to be re-used - yes, that is 'recycled' for people who want to read about it in the green mumbo-jumbo the council usually uses itself and urges on the public.

Directing the jury, the Alex Milne QC said: “This company is charged with failing to take reasonable measures to ensure that the transfer of controlled waste from its premises was only to an authorised person." Calling for "an outbreak of common sense" he said: "The first question is therefore were the cardboard boxes in question waste?

“Packaging such as boxes received by a company like Electrosigns is not waste when it is delivered to the company. Nor do boxes become waste as soon as the contents are removed.

“If a company chooses to keep and re-use boxes, they remain the property of the company and an asset. If the company keeps boxes for its own use but then chooses to give or sell boxes to another party that is not discarding them,” the judge said.

The 'crime' which Waltham Forest council had spent huge sums of public money trying to convict the businesswoman of had been giving her used boxes away to someone else to use. Mrs Bracey gave the boxes to a passer-by who had said he could use them. After one was later found among some fly-tipped rubbish, after being used by God knows how many other people in the meantime, her signage firm, Electrosigns, was taken to court for 'illegal disposal of business waste' by Waltham Forest council.

Mrs Bracey said: “A cardboard box with our name on it was found on some rubbish. The rubbish had nothing to do with us at all. The council realised the rubbish had nothing to do with us, but then tried to prosecute us because we had given a cardboard box to someone for their own use, and they were not licensed to carry trade waste.”

“Not only are the council, as the judge said, wasting taxpayers’ money, but also preventing the re-using of a cardboard box, since the company that gives a person a box could be facing prosecution. The world’s gone mad,” she said. Incidentally, her company is one of the decreasing number of companies still left in Walthamstow actually manufacturing things and creating the wealth that pays for the parasitic Clyde Loakes' fat allowances and drone-like lifestyle.

Even if the prosecution had cost a couple of hundred quid it would have been a waste of money, but I am also curious to know what exactly it is the council claims it spends £15,000 on when they mount these kinds of prosecutions. How many pen-pushers and pointless non-job managers did the council actually deploy on this activity? How much time did anyone in the council spend on this case without stopping to think for one second whether there was any merit at all in what they were up to? I sincerely hope the council reimburses Mrs Bracey for all the costs, and inconvenience they have put her to in defending this ridiculous case. It would be good to learn that they will be docking the costs of this catastrophe from the salaries and any bonuses of the fools who have been involved in this nonsense. That won't happen of course. In Waltham Forest, they will probably get promoted.

Sadly, it is not possible for local residents and businesses to consign the useless Councillor Loakes to the rubbish bin of history, where he deserves to be buried. He is supposed to protect the public interest from such stupidity and waste, but thoughts about making sure we get value for money for our taxes never seem to enter the man's head. He seems only ever to be after headlines. (I bet even clippings of this fiasco will end up filed squarely in his egomaniacal brain under "all publicity is good publicity"). Despite being a monumental waste of time and public money, and continually making the borough into a national laughing-stock, the Labour Party keeps recycling him.

I must also congratulate Mrs Bracey for standing up to the bully. Sadly, he still has not learned his lesson. The incredible Loakes is quoted in the Daily Telegraph saying in effect that he will ignore the judge's sensible advice and continue to waste taxpayers' money trying to prosecute kind businesses who recycle their cardboard boxes by letting members of the public use them. He still wants to bring expensive charges if sometime later such a box just happens to turn up discarded somewhere else. It shall be interesting to see if he picks on Lidl next time, as, because the greens have pursuaded them to over-charge their customers for plastic carrier bags, their customers routinely use the wholesalers' biodegradable cardboard packaging to take their groceries home in.

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