The Crossrail deal struck between the Corporation of London when it saw headed by ‘Sir’ Michael Snyder and the 2007 Labour government highlights the blurring between the corporation’s two roles, that of a local authority with public funds and a lobbying body with even larger private funds. An internal corporation document presented to councillors in October 2007 stated that, “there would be a number of pre-conditions to be satisfied before funding was released”. One of these was “a net real terms improvement in government funding of the City Corporation”. The corporation wanted the government to reinstate a fund known as the “City Offset” “The City Offset was re-instated… in 2007 following representations from the City of London Corporation,” said a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government… This means the corporation could end up recouping all of the money it is contributing to Crossrail. As the internal corporation document states, if the extra government funding to the corporation continued for fifteen years, “the eventual adverse impact on our asset base would be £15m or less”. Given that Crossrail inflates the value of lands owned by the corporation adjacent to it and the extra funding could continue for more than 15 years, the City potentially stood to make a great deal of money from this deal.
Anyone who cares to do a web search will find that a number of conspiracy sites list ‘Sir’ Michael Bear as the 683rd Lord Mayor of London and a Freemason belonging to the Guildhall Lodge #3116. That said, for those concerned with social justice, the speculative masonry of City of London councillors is of little interest; we are much more concerned about operative masonry – the connections between these men and urban ‘regeneration’ schemes, as well as the building and construction industry.Read more "Is ‘Sir’ Michael Bear’s Declaration Of Interests On The Square?"