Friday, December 29, 2006

Livingstone makes accusation of corruption at Hammersmith and Fulham Council?

The London mayor, Ken Livingstone, yesterday made a veiled accusation that Hammersmith and Fulham Council was corrupt. Hammersmith and Fulham had requested as part of their new building projects that there be a reduction in the number of new affordable homes built in a particular ward on the grounds that the overall number of affordable homes in the ward already far exceeded the 35% requirement for low rent affordable homes under the London Plan.

However, in response to this, Mayor Livingstone rejected the proposal and implied that the Council was trying to buy votes in the ward as a part of an orchestrated act of corruption similar to that of Westminster Council in the 1980s. In his press statement on the the GLA website he said,
"Hammersmith's actions have the stench of Shirley Porters regime at Westminster Council in the 1980s."
The 35% requirement that Livingstone cites as his reason is important here. If Livingstone really cares about it that much why is he not acting in the same manner with Greenwich Council in South-East London who are also not meeting that requirement? Especially given that the per capita wealth in Greenwich is far lower than in Hammersmith and Fulham. You'd think that he would be all over Greenwich Council like a rash yet he isn't.

This couldn't be because Hammersmith and Fulham is a Tory Council whilst Greenwich Council remains one of the last bastions of Labour strength in the capital could it? Is it right that the Mayor of London should behave with such blatant party political hypocrisy? What's more, is it befitting of his office to makes utterly unfounded implication of deliberate corruption at a time when the party he represents is under investigation by Scotland Yard for the very same?

1 comment:

Mark Loveday said...

This is complete tripe by Livingstone.

The development in Hammersmith was approved by his planning advisers who said it met the Mayor's own planning criteria. The scheme was approved by the Housing Corporation and the developer is a not-for-profit Housing Association.

The new homes he is cancelling are dozens of shared ownership properties offering low cost starter flats - a scheme supposedly backed by Labour nationally. Instead this site is going to remain empty and unused.