Monday, 24 June 2013

West Ken: Lobbying scandal hits

Our Council routinely dismisses opponents of the West Ken estate demolition plan as "leftists" or stooges of the former Mayor Ken Livingstone. As if to prove them right the Mail on Sunday, that well known lefty rag, reports that the lobbyists behind the scheme which has been so bitterly opposed by residents who want to save their community, but which stands to make our Council millions, have been actively trying to remove any obligation to provide affordable homes as part of the scheme.

The Mail on Sunday claims that secret documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Capco, the developers, persuaded Sir Edward Lister, Boris Johnson's deputy, to get councils to drop a periodic review of affordability if the scheme proved more profitable than expected.

Our Council dutifully concluded such a review of affordability would "not be appropriate".

When those dyed in the wool socialists at the Mail on Sunday last did a bit of digging on this murky deal Councillor Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing, claimed that there would be 20% provision of affordable homes, which he argued was plenty. He said: ‘
Twenty per cent of new homes in the development will be affordable for local people, the highest figure that can reasonably be reached without any taxpayer subsidy while keeping the scheme commercially viable".
So that's OK then.

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