City of London Planning Committee Roll of Shame

An application to build a huge luxury apartment block on the site of Bernard Morgan House – until now key worker social housing – in Golden Lane was approved by the City of London Planning and Transportation Committee on 23 May 2017. Thirteen of those present voted in favour and ten against. This development will steal light and sunshine from local homes, a park and three local schools. We don’t currently know the identities of all those who voted in favour of this application but we will add them to our role of shame as and when we can. In the meantime, we understand these members of the committee voted for the proposal, so this is our initial role of shame:

Christopher Michael Hayward, Chairman.
Michael David Bear Committee Member.
Mark Boleat Committee Member.
Andrew Paul Mayer Committee Member.
Brian Desmond Francis Mooney, Deputy Committee Member.
James Michael Douglas Thomson, Deputy Committee Member.

Perhaps those who voted against the proposal or didn’t vote might like to identify themselves in the comments below, so that electors don’t punish them at the next opportunity over this planning decision. Hopefully a more detailed picture will emerge in the coming weeks and we’ll know exactly who voted for and against this application, as well as who either didn’t vote or found themselves prevented from voting. It is worth mentioning here that the council in the City of London is run on a different basis to those in the rest of the UK, and the green lighting of this obnoxious application is simply one of many things indicating this discrepancy requires scrutiny and rectification.

It seems useful to throw a light on the backgrounds of those who backed the proposal, so that ‘voters’ – in short supply in some City of London ‘wards’ – might come to better understand what colours their ‘elected’ representatives thinking on these matters. For now we will simply use information from the local council website – – apart from in one instance where the detail provided there is clearly deficient, and so it was necessary to expand it from other sources,. Should anyone have further relevant information about the six men we’ve listed – or anyone else who voted in favour of this proposal – we would be glad to receive it, and publicise it if it is relevant.

It is also worth noting that we are aware of more connections to construction and property development than appear in the source chosen for reproduction below; needless to say such interests appear to be over-represented among those who backed Taylor Wimpey’s planning application for the redevelopment of the site at Bernard Morgan House. The lesson being that voters wanting to prevent overdevelopment shouldn’t back candidates with this type of background. Michael Bear’s vote of approval for this scheme is just one of a number of things that may lead students at Sheffield University and others to question whether he was a suitable choice for the post of Professor for Sustainable Urbanisation there.

Christopher Michael Hayward


Chris is married to Alexandra. They have two young children and live in Sarratt, Hertfordshire and the City of London. He is a Member of Hertfordshire County Council.

In the City, Chris has been Churchwarden at St Margaret Pattens and the Chairman of the Trustees of the Friends of St Margaret Pattens. Chris is a Past Chairman of the Broad Street Ward Club, a member of the Candlewick and Coleman Street Ward Clubs; Life Member and serves on the Council of the City Branch of the Royal Society of Saint George and the Court of the Guild of Freemen.

Chris is a member of the Carlton and Bucks Clubs in London and is a member of the Leander Club in Henley-on-Thames. He is also a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers and a member of the Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks.

Michael David Bear


Michael D Bear has held senior positions in both the property and construction industries. Over the last 40 years he has worked first in the international construction industry, including the US, Europe, China, the Far East, West Africa and South Africa latterly for Balfour Beatty, where he also worked on their development and private finance initiative (PFI) and public-private partnerships (PPP) projects. In the City he was responsible for bringing the regeneration at Spitalfields to a successful conclusion as Chief Executive of the Spitalfields Development Group. He was Regeneration Director at Hammerson plc until December 2012 and a Non-Executive Director of Arup between 2009-2015. He has assisted a number of major UK and global companies relocate and expand their businesses in the City and City Fringe.

More recently Bear was a member of Lord Green’s Ministerial Strategic Advisory Group and worked for UKTI setting up the Regeneration Investment Organisation attracting over £8bn of FDI into property opportunities throughout the UK and held the role of Chairman until March 2016. Bear Co-Chaired the CEO Forum for UK/China Infrastructure and was Chairman of the UKTI High Value Opportunities Supervisory Board. He was appointed as UK Special Envoy for Sustainable Urbanisation – China by the Chancellor in September 2014 -2016 and is currently a Non-Executive Director of Future Cities Catapult. Bear has recently been appointed as Professor for Sustainable Urbanisation at Sheffield University.

In the Charity sector he served as President of Coram, is a Vice President of RedR and he served as Chairman of the public/private City Challenge Programme in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and as a Director of its successor body, Cityside Regeneration.

City involvements: served on the Court of Common Council as Common Councilman, Deputy and Alderman for the ward of Portsoken; he is currently Chairman of the Privileges Committee of the Corporation of London’s Court of Aldermen and has served on many committees of the City of London Corporation; a keen supporter of the Livery movements – Master of the Paviors’ Company 2012/13; Court Member of the Engineers’ Company and member of the Chartered Surveyors Company; Honorary Freeman of the Security Professionals and Honorary Liveryman of the Environmental Cleaners.

Bear served as Sheriff of the City of London in 2007/08 and was Lord Mayor of the City of London in 2010/11.

Married to Barbara (Musicians’ Liveryman), a qualified teacher, musician, artist and therapist in complimentary medicine, with children Amy and Marc.

Mark Boleat


Mark Boleat holds a portfolio of public sector, commercial and voluntary positions. He is Chairman of Link Scheme Holdings Ltd and Deputy Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee, having been Chairman from May 2012 to May 2017. He has previously been Director General of the Building Societies Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Association of British Insurers and Chairman of the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities and the Jersey Development Company.

Andrew Paul Mayer


Andy Mayer was elected to the ward of Bishopsgate in 2017. He works in the ward as the UK Head of Public Affairs for a global manufacturing company. He has a background in public engagement with a number of blue chip firms and SMEs in the energy and technology sectors. He’s been a school governor in Bermondsey for 12 years, a Trustee of a small charity, and is a published author. He is part of the Better Bishopsgate project to improve the quality of life, services, and contribution of the ward to the life of the City. Note: the unnamed ‘global manufacturing company’ Mayer works at is the chemical giant BASF.

Brian Desmond Francis Mooney


“Mr Mooney is a Member of the Worshipful Company of Freemen.” That is all the additional profile information available about Mooney on the local government site used here aside from his Register of Interests which lists him as being a member of Lloyd’s of London and owning a property in London, one of two, the other would seem to be a first home in Essex.

According to an article in The Baron (“The essential source of information for Reuters people past and present”) On Foot To Rome (30 August 2010): “Brian Mooney was with Reuters from 1971-2000 as a reporter and chief correspondent and in various business and management roles. In 2003, together with the late Barry Simpson, he wrote what turned out to be the last book on Reuters as an independent company – Breaking News.” The main body of the same piece includes the following: “I spent three wonderful years in Rome as a Reuters correspondent from 1977-1980 and, although I have returned to Italy many times since then, this summer I decided to make a slower, more reflective journey back to the Eternal City – on foot. It took me 75 days to walk there via London from my home in Coggeshall in Essex – a total of 2,200 km…. I have a passion for long walks. In 2000 I walked a similar distance from Walsingham in Norfolk to Santiago de Compostela,.. Part of the attraction was following in the footsteps of the pilgrims who have walked that way over the centuries…”

Mooney is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and is a member of BDM Enterprises LLP, and a former director of Top Trucks Transport Ltd.

James Michael Douglas Thomson


James is Executive Chairman of Keepmoat (formerly CFO and Deputy CEO), the UK’s largest builder of affordable housing.

He trained as an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and spent 10 years in investment banking at HSBC and Deutsche Bank. At HSBC, he spent three years in South Africa advising the ANC led transitional Government. After banking, James worked for Smiths Group, the UK FTSE listed international engineering company and more recently was Group Finance Director at DTZ.

James was a Special Constable with the City of London Police for 12 years.

Note: Many are highly critical of the unaffordability of the ‘affordable housing’ Thomson’s company Keepmoat ‘provides’. This applies to both “affordable’ buying and renting. “The government definition of affordable housing states it must be provided at a level at which the mortgage payments on the property should be more than would be paid in rent on council housing, but below market levels. That is clearly a very broad range.” Reality Check: What is affordable housing (online BBC News, 23 November 2016).

“In a move worthy of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, affordable rent will be higher than before, set at up to 80% of the local market rent. Across whole swathes of southern England affordable rented properties will simply not be affordable to people on low incomes… The background to the affordable rent policy is a desire to build more homes for less public money. Councils and housing associations bidding for funding to develop new affordable homes will have to show that they are bringing in other resources to fund housebuilding. That means selling off valuable properties… but also converting social rent houses to affordable rent houses when they become empty. For every affordable rent property that is built, one or more existing social housing property will be lost… the consequence of this policy is the creation of thousands of new benefit-dependent tenants while the £24bn housing benefit bill will continue to soar. The government has rendered the word affordable meaningless.” Affordable housing does not mean what you think it means (Guardian, 3 February 2014):

Pippa Henslowe.

11 thoughts on “City of London Planning Committee Roll of Shame

  1. This sickening roll call of self-serving rich white men — who apparently put on aprons to perform ritual ceremonies but never to cook dinner — is evidence of the systemic sexism which is shaping our urban centers in the interests of white patriarchy. If Taylor Wimpey’s horrendous plan for the Bernard Morgan House site goes ahead its negative impact will be felt overwhelmingly by women and children in the area. Many of the women living in proximity to the site work from home as carers for children, grandchildren and family members whose mobility is restricted. Others walk children to and from school and socialize with each other in the park on a daily basis. How can we all grow and heal if you steal our sunlight?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is also a massive racism and sexism issue with the fact the overwhelming majority of housing blocks in Golden Lane and on the Barbican are named after rich white men. The names urgently need to be changed to be more representative of our community – starting of course with Cromwell Tower, named after a butcher who murdered so many in Ireland, seemingly the City doesn’t care about the feelings of the huge local Irish community and the many more of Irish descent who live around here. So the first thing they need to do is rename Cromwell Tower as Devlin Tower after the wonderful female Irish politician Bernadette Devlin.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Slapping over-privileged men across the face being something Bernadette Devlin is rightly celebrated for; and specifically Reginald Maudling, the Home Secretary in the Conservative government, when he made the outrageous lie in the House of Commons that paratroopers had fired in self-defence on Bloody Sunday.


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