Peter Leighton
Peter Leighton was Dorothy Punshon's son in law and a former Forest Branch member. I once accidentally tried to steal his brief case. He'd left it by a bar and for some crazy reason I thought it was mine, though it didn't look like mine, and went to grab it. It is said that he was behind the Liberal Party's disastrous legal action over Danecourt, the Liberal Club off Church Hill. Although the Labour Group was lucky to escape legal actions over the 62% rate increase, interest rate swaps and Larkswood Pool, it was not so lucky when it came to Peter Leighton. He started a ludicrous action over advertising in the TES, via the District Auditor. We lost and each Labour group member had to pay a small amount, I think it was £10. I guess if it had not been for Leighton I could not say I had been surcharged!

Leighton, I understand, fell out with Forest branch over corporal punishment. I think he must have chaired the council's Education Committee at the time. He is proof of the old political saw that your opponents are in the rival political parties, your enemies are in your own ranks.

THE ratepayers' fight against Waltham Forest Council has not endedWaltham Forest Guardian
May 12, 1989
Ban these people from the Town HallWaltham Forest Guardian
October 27, 1989
Councillors guilty of 'misconduct' over banWaltham Forest Guardian
Feb 23, 1990
press index


'Rates appeals may topple Council'

A PROMINENT Alliance spokesman believes ratepayers' appeals to the district auditor could topple the present Labour-dominated Waltham Forest Council.

Peter Leighton, a General Election candidate in Mayfor Walthamstow, has added his name to the list ofobjectors applying for the surcharge and disqualification of a number of councillors.

He claims they misspent public money when theybanned advertising in the Times Educational Supplement during last year's print dispute at Wapping.

As a barrister and former chairman of theeducation committee, Mr Leighton headed a campaign to force the council to reinstate the advertisements.

His grounds were that teacher recruitment wasbeing damaged and using other publications was causing a vast overspend on the education committee budget.

It was Mr Leighton, who advised the Ratepayers' Action Group to object to the District Brian Skinner at the time of the 62 per cent rate increase.

Mr Leighton commented this week: "I always believed the legal challenge to the rate in the High Court was a long shot and carried a risk for the objectors.

"This procedure has excellent prospects of success, carries no risk for the objectors and maximum risk for the councillors concerned."

He added "Some of us believe that the time for cleaning up local governmentin Waltham Forest is long overdue.

"Before the district auditor I am sure a number of chickens will be coming home to roost."

Alliance spokesman Peter Leighton.
Waltham Forest Guardian, January 15, 1988.