Tag Archives: Mowlem

Hammersmith & Fulham and the Tory money-go-round

It has the dubious distinction of being Private Eye’s Rotten Borough a record 13 times. But Hammersmith & Fulham Tories aren’t bothered; they revel in their bad guy role.

Recently a council property was sold at auction and was featured in BBC1’s awful Homes Under the Hammer. It was sold because the council claims that it didn’t have the money to refurbish it. But the money that it’s made on the sale will go where exactly? On council housing? No. This will become a second home for someone. Which reminds me, why would anyone want a second home in Hammersmith? It’s not Cornwall or Wales.

Shepherds Bush blog also has the story

I found this Telegraph article that appeared on 9 September 2011 about big construction companies funding the Conservative Party. The party has what it calls “donor clubs”  one of which is The Property Forum, which exists to bring together party bigwigs and property and construction moguls.

Mr Slade, who has donated more than £300,000 to the Conservatives individually and through Helical Bar, has claimed that the club plays a key role in shaping the party’s planning policy.

The Cowan Report also has the story.

Helical Bar, along with Grainger plc, are involved in the King Street development, which aims to transform the area around the Town Hall into a London version of Basingstoke.

Slade is also the Chairman of The Property Forum . Annual membership costs a mere £2,500, which presumably grants the donor access to a bag-carrier rather than a minister. Access to someone like that will doubtlessly cost more.

For key players within the property industry to meet senior Members of Parliament over breakfast, discuss current topics and learn about related issues.

I found this on the same page.

Unlike Labour, we are not funded by the Trade Unions. Instead, we rely on the generosity of our committed members. We want to build a broad network of donors, who pay regularly by direct debit which allows us to plan our campaigning activities with greater certainty.

Party Patrons will help us to campaign more effectively in a number of ways:

  • Transmitting our message right across the country to gain support – for the Conservative Party, there’s no such thing as a no-go area.
  • Encouraging existing Conservative voters to join the Party
  • Millions of people vote Conservative, but we want to attract more members who will champion our cause at local level.

This is shameless stuff. The Tories admit that they’re supported by unaccountable and undemocratic bodies which will then dictate policy to the party but, at the same time, attack Labour because of its links with the trade unions, which are democratically elected and accountable institutions – unlike millionaires and corporations.

Slade has been less than flattering about Housing Minister, Grant Shapps

 “He’s just a kid – why should he know what goes on in local authorities?”

Not only is Shapps “just a kid”, he’s a pretty dimwitted kid who regurgitates soundbites on command.

Slade also has a close relationship with Emperor Boris.

He is a close ally of Boris Johnson and donated £20,000 to his campaign to become Mayor of London.

He has previously claimed to have helped shape Mr Johnson’s plan to see 50,000 new affordable homes built in London.

Asked by a newspaper interviewer whether his donations were intended to influence the Mayor’s building policy, he reportedly said: “You do run the thin line of someone saying, ‘I’m only doing this to have access and influence’, but that was what politics was always about. It’s a little unfair, but there must be 20 per cent truth in it.”

“Affordable homes”? Those aren’t council houses, by the way.

Property Week carried this story in 2008.

Mike Slade, chief executive of Helical, said: ‘Despite the current market difficulties, this is an outstanding opportunity for a mixed use regeneration scheme in a borough close to home, where we enjoy other substantial interests.’

Yes, they “enjoy other substantial interests” in the borough. Might these interests have something to do with forcing people out of their homes under the pretense of making “improvements”? Remember this story from HF Conwatch?

Here’s the cabinet document relating to the disposal of Edith Summerskill House.

Nowhere Towers does not have any further information pertaining to the sale of Edith Summerskill House but we suspect that it will be sold to one of the council’s construction ‘partners’.

As we can see, the same companies that fund the Tory Party also do business with Cameron’s favourite asset-stripping council. There’s an old saying: “one had washes the other” and there is no better example if this than the connection between the construction industry and the Tory party.

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More shady happenings in Hammersmith & Fulham

The Tories who run Hammersmith & Fulham Council are not a democratic bunch. This was amply demonstrated earlier this year when they bulldozed through their plans to close community centres and mass evict over 20 local charities from Palingswick House, which they have given the Hon Tobes West London Free School. These Tories talk about liberty and democratic values but it is nothing but lip service. They work in the interests of themselves and their business partners. They dole out favours to their favourite construction business who, in return, make vast profits for themselves and their shareholders, who are Tories.

The Cowan Report says that

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the Conservative Party set up a property speculators forum that “raises around £150,000 a year for the Tory party and charges members £2,500 to meet senior MPs to discuss policy and planning issues.”  It is chaired by Mr. Mike Slade, of Helical Bar Plc. That firm is one of Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s preferred partners behind the highly controversial new Town Hall office plans.
The Telegraph tells how Mr Slade has been a key influence on the Conservative Party’s developing planning policies and how he has also generously “given more than £300,000 over the past decade, individually and through his property firm, Helical Bar.”

You can read the rest of the blog here

Naturally, this should come as no surprise especially when one considers the companies that were given contracts to build private prisons, McAlpine and Mowlem, are massive contributors to the Tory Party. You can read more about those two companies here.

In the aftermath of the worst rioting seen for a generation, it’s surprising that some junior minister or barking mad Tory backbencher didn’t call for the expansion of private prisons. Here’s Moonie Nile Gardiner in the Telegraph calling for more private prisons to be built.

The prime minister should make it clear that no effort will be spared in hunting down the looters/rioters, who must face lengthy prison terms for their crimes. He should also be prepared to build new prisons if necessary to hold them. This is no time for Cameron to go wobbly. Britain is on the precipice of unprecedented levels of public disorder which must be decisively met with a firm determination to quell the riots and bring every one of these violent thugs to justice .

Justice, in Gardiner’s Moonie universe, is for those who can afford it.

The Tories who run Hammersmith & Fulham suffer from the same afflictions as Gardiner: narrow-mindedness, greed and class disgust. Recently, Edith Summerskill House in West Kensington was decanted of its tenants who were told that the block had to be emptied in order for improvements to be carried out. The tenants were not allowed to return and the block was sold off to a private developer. I suspect that this developer has close links to the ruling Tory group, if not the national party. HF Conwatch has the story here. Commenting on the blog, Caroline Ffiske, former Tory councillor, spouse of Foghorn Phibbs and member of the West London Free School steering committee, wrote.

I think its is a wonderful scheme. Apparently it would have cost thousands to bring each of the existing flats up to Decent Homes standards. I think mixed developments are great for the whole community.

Well, she would think that. But, hang on, don’t the funds for the Decent Homes Scheme come from central government? Furthermore, haven’t these funds been allocated for this purpose? By the way, the council also intends to dispose of the Clement Atlee Estate.

Finally, The Cowan Report notes that H&F Council has marked its thirteenth appearance in Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs column.

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