In the absence of democratic accountability, conflicts of interest are inevitable. What is the connection between Michael Bear, head of a local authority in the heart of our capital, and Michael Bear, property developer for Hammerson? This question is especially difficult to answer when the local authority and Hammerson are working together on multi-million pound projects. It’s high time a clear light was shone on this murky world.
There is nothing peculiar about the fact that the City of London council are lending a private school more than £15million – subject to the same local authority granting planning permission for the scheme it already backs – while simultaneously seeking £30million in cuts from its parks and other budgets, and when it has just secured £450million in external loans for unwanted vanity/legacy projects such as the proposed Centre For Music. This rotten borough lobbies globally for neo-liberal policies that benefit the super-rich at the expense of everyone else, so its willingness to underwrite the expansion of an elitist school – to the detriment of London’s architectural heritage and against the interests of the local community – reflects perfectly its aims and priorities.Read more "Ongoing Fiasco Over City of London School For Girls Expansion"
The City of London has never been embarrassed to disproportionately over-represent not just men but freemasons in its top posts, so it came as little surprise when the council’s website announced on 24 June 2019 that lodge members Chris Hayward and Michael Mainelli had been elected City of London sheriffs. The post of sheriff is one down from Lord Mayor and to get that top job one must first be a aldermanic sheriff, the post won by Mainelli, who as we have already discussed is a member of the Guildhall Lodge of freemasons like more than two-thirds of Lord Mayor’s of London since this organisation was established in 1905. Given such a massive over-representation of freemasons in top posts at the City of London, the fact the men only Guildhall Lodge and others are allow to meet for free and/or at subsidised rates on council premises is an equality issue, as we’ve discussed in numerous previous posts, since these ‘fraternities’ play a key role in maintaining a glass ceiling at the City of London council that prevents women getting a shot at top roles.Read more "Top Jobs for the Lodge Boys as Chris Hayward and Michael Mainelli are ‘Elected’ City of London Sheriffs"
The City of London has been playing a confidence trick on people in the UK and across the world for years with its claims of generating wealth for everyone when it actually impoverishes most of us. Should the City’s financial power dry up it will no longer be able to keep up the charade of pretending to benefit anyone beyond a tiny rich elite, nor fund its glossy and expensive PR campaigns on behalf of the wealthy few. It’s high time the City of London as we know it became history and this local authority was replaced with democratic institutions. Right now everything is coming together very nicely to make such change not just possible but likely.Read more "History Is Against The City Of London & Will Judge It Harshly"
Two City of London police officers face disciplinary action after the collapse of a fraud trial amid claims that expert witnesses, one of whom was not of “suitable calibre”, were coached. The City of London detectives investigated an alleged £3.5m cold-calling scam. In it eight men were accused of duping 72 people into making bad investments in carbon credits and diamonds. Andrew Ager gave evidence as an expert witness. But the case was thrown out after he admitted under cross-examination that he had never read a book on carbon credits. Now two unamed police officers will face an internal investigation. It follows the disclosure of emails that appear to show one detective constable, Stewart Walker, telling Ager what to write in a statement.Read more "City of London Police Accused Of Coaching Witnesses"
London’s skyline is in danger of being dominated by a forest of derelict residential towers (such as Taylor Wimpey’s under construction The Denizen) in 100 years’ time if apartment owners are unable to fund essential refurbishment work, a former leading planner warned this week. Peter Rees, previously chief planning officer for the City of London, said there was a danger funds set aside within apartment service charges for major renovation work on the new breed of private residential blocks would be insufficient to cover what was required. “If future refurbishment cycles cannot be funded by the apartment owners, their investments will become unsellable long before the expiry of their 125-year lease,” Rees said. “In 80, 90, 100 years’ time, I fear we’ll have the Thames lined with derelict towers.”Read more "Upkeep Costs May Cause Ghost Home Investors To Lose Their Shirts On Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen Development"
Those living around Golden Lane who opposed Taylor Wimpey’s demolition of 110 social housing units to build 99 investment flats for ghost home investors (with no on site social or affordable housing), weren’t too surprised by the latest billboards to go up around this developer’s Denizen site. These claim the sales office for The Denizen AKA The Turd is up the road in Golden ‘Street’ (sic) despite the fact it’s in Golden Lane where Taylor Wimpey’s luxury flats are being built on the corner with Fann Street. The hoarding is illustrative of how little the developer knows about the area or indeed cares about it. Just as Taylor Wimpey doesn’t care about the up to 70% loss of light those living in neighbouring council flats have seen disappear from their homes as a result of this building. Or the impact on the park and schools The Turd also overshadows.Read more "Another Denizen Howler From Taylor Wimpey"