Former Council leader Clare Coghill broke Waltham Forest Borough’s Code of Conduct by not declaring her work for Labour MP Barry Sheerman, an investigation has found. Coghill worked as office manager for Sheerman from 2014-18, but failed to declare this despite a clear requirement to do so.
Yet Waltham Forest’s Director of Governance and Law, Mark Hynes, who carried out the investigation and branded Coghill’s omission a ‘failure’, will not be taking any disciplinary action. Local Liberal Democrat spokesperson Naomi McCarthy said: ‘It seems that Clare Coghill thinks she is above the rules – it’s extremely disappointing that there are no consequences for this kind of behaviour.’
Coghill is also reported to have moved to Devon, to set up home with her partner Simon Blackburn. We wonder how much work she can be doing for local residents from hundreds of miles away.
Coghill attracted recent criticism for taking a senior position with housing providers Square Roots, a subsidiary of developer London Square, which is Waltham Forest’s ‘delivery partner’ for a major building development in Lea Bridge – yet another example of the revolving door between local government officials and the companies they have built close relationships with during their time in office.
Perhaps it’s just as well that Coghill is not standing for re-election in this May’s local elections.