Chris Hayward Still Out To Lunch on Public Perceptions of Probity!

We’re still waiting for the potential conflicts of interests involving planning permission being granted to Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen development in Golden Lane to be properly addressed by the City of London council (as reported in The Guardian, Daily Mail and elsewhere); these involved Chris Hayward, ‘Sir’ Michael Bear and James Thomson. Meanwhile, this issue just keeps popping up in new guises. While it was heartening to see Bear step down as a councillor late last year (although we don’t know why he did so), the City’s awarding of contracts to Thomson’s Keepmoat continues to rankle Cripplegate residents, and Chris Hayward has strayed back into the probity spotlight for a variety of reasons.

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The Corporation of London rules by plutocratic diktat!

The City of London has an entirely different system of local government to the rest of the UK; and one that is completely undemocratic. This is unfair to the residents of the borough and requires immediate rectification. The decision of the Corporation’s Planning Committee to approve the demolition of the architecturally significant Bernard Morgan House, and to allow Taylor Wimpey to build an over-scaled luxury apartment block on the site is indicative of all that’s wrong with this council. We have addressed potential conflict of interest issues and the vote rigging implications of this decision elsewhere. What we wish to underline here is that neither the Planning Committee nor the council has a mandate from local people and therefore their decisions are illegitimate. The City of London is the only place in the UK to retain the business vote, and there are roughly twice as many of these as residential votes. The ward boundaries and Alderman system also favour big business over people.

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6 Members of the City of London Planning Committee

We’re fairly sure we’ve identified the ten people who voted against Taylor Wimpey’s Gerrymander Mansions development, which leaves those who either didn’t vote or voted in favour of it. So here is some background business and political information about six members of the Planning Committee who we suspect didn’t vote against the application. There are three aristocrats, a butcher, an IT professional and a barrister: Graeme Martyn Smith, Henry Nicholas Almroth Colthurst, James de Sausmarez, Paul Nicholas Martinelli, Robert Picton Seymour Howard and William Upton.

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