Thursday, July 06, 2006

Prescott, the Dome, a Casino and Greenwich Council

We've been holding off writing anything on the problems facing the Deputy Prime Minister and what the implications may, or may not, be for Greenwich's bid for the the super-casino. After blogs came under fire last night on Newsnight we thought we'd leave it a little longer before we commented.

However, we just found out that the Opposition Spokesman for Culture on the Council, Nigel Fletcher has written to the leader Chris Roberts on precisely this subject. Cllr Fletcher has asked the Council leader "what contacts or discussions [he] or Council officers have had with Mr Prescott or his officials on the specific subject of the Anschutz bid."

In his letter, Cllr Fletcher's goes on to point out that should Greenwich win the bid for the casino license it will be tainted by suspicions of "private influence" by the Deputy Prime Minister, unless the Council shows it is "more forthcoming than Mr Prescott has been in volunteering such information willingly".

We certainly agree with Cllr Fletcher's concerns about the potential impact the Deputy Prime Minister's situation may have on the casino bid. Is it even possible for Greenwich to win the bid now? We'll just have to wait and see.


Blogger outsider20 said...

I wonder if that was the reason why Cllr Chris Roberts surpressed the publication of the report into the casino plans? Perhaps the DPM was the "commercial interest" that they want to keep secret.

4:01 pm  
Anonymous Nigel Fletcher said...

If so, I shall soon know. I am due finally to view the report tomorrow at the Council offices, although I am still banned from disclosing its contents. If there is a public interest in disclosure I will of course start making a lot of noise about it not being published.

6:02 pm  
Blogger Inspector Sands said...

Make a lot of noise anyway, Nigel. There's a principle here, and the council should know better than to hush things up.

7:28 pm  
Anonymous nairobi said...

I'm glad that Prescott interfered. Because, as you say, this would seem to make Greenwich less likely to win. We don't want the casino. We have enough deprivation in the borough already - this will bring us nothing but misery.

11:28 am  

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