Thursday, October 12, 2006

Council Leader spins line on Dome to Councillor

Greenwich Council's leader, Chris Robert has been caught out spinning about the Dome to a local councillor. Back in May, Cllr Nigel Fletcher made a request to see a PriceWaterhouse Cooper report into the Dome casino bid. As we originally reported, Cllr Fletcher was told at the time that a "decision has been made by the Leader of the Council, in consultation with the Chief Executive, not to release the report".

Then, in later correspondence with the Council, Cllr Fletcher was told by the Chief Executive, Mary Ney, that decisions would "not taken by the Leader but would be dealt with by [the Head of Legal Services] and myself".

However, emails obtained by Cllr Fletcher under the Freedom of Information Act show that his original request was sent directly to the Council Leader Chris Roberts by an officer stating: "Could you let me know if you want Cllr. Fletcher to be sent a copy of the draft report?".

In further emails, the officers discussed with Chris Roberts how they should handle media requests and asked. "Would it be fair to say it's not the property of the Leader and that it's not simply up to you Chris to release it?"

This revelation yet again brings into question the Council's claims that it is unable to release the report into the Dome. It's pretty clear the entire Dome project is destined to be mired in controversy. Perhaps at the next Council meeting someone will ask questions about it, assuming the Council bother having a meeting of course.

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Blogger Indigo said...

How these people (Leader, Chief Executive and the rest) sleep at night, I will never ever know. If the Dome comes to Greenwich, then so does an enormous increase in new (not displaced) crime - do the research for yourselves, you Town Hall time-servers - since when has it been in the brief of Labour Councillors and Council officers to do anything that would have the direct result of increasing the incidence of crime in the Borough? I bet that that's what is in the PWC report: prostitution, loan sharks, huge increase in every kind of crime apart from murder. Your name will be mud and your career prospects will vanish, when the owners of the gracious £1m properties in Greenwich get to hear about this.

9:59 pm  
Blogger said...

I've been told by Indigo that the above should say "If the supercasino comes to Greenwich" rather than "If the Dome comes to Greenwich". Unfortunately there is no edit feature on comments - even on Beta Blogger.

6:39 am  
Blogger Indigo said...

Ooh, look, the Daily Mail has got hold of the PWC report (via its sister paper, the Evening Standard).

the proposed gambling complex is likely to lead to more problem gambling which could fuel a rise in crime, suicide, illness and bankruptcy.

Young people, the poorly educated, pensioners and people who start betting on slot machines are among high-risk groups more likely to become addicts.

Isn't that what I was saying? Remember, you read it here - on Greenwich Watch - first.

11:51 am  
Anonymous Rothko said...

You should check out Chris Roberts little moan in the Bexley Times about how people at Charlton Athletic are being mean to him

3:55 pm  
Anonymous andrew said...

Tsk, Indigo, you know it's Council policy not to comment on leaked documents!

But, like you say, it's depressing that we've been making these sorts of comments for months now, and our councillors - both Labour and Conservative - have done f--- all about it. Useless, every single last one of them.

4:33 pm  
Anonymous lowestoftjohn said...

Well, here you go: the Local Government Standards Board and its Code of Conduct, which has been breached several times if this blog is anything to go by.

The site is here and anyone can make a complaint:

The Code states:

Behaviour covered by the Code of Conduct:
unlawfully discriminating against someone
failing to treat people with respect
doing something to prevent those who work for the authority from being unbiased
revealing information that was given to them in confidence, or stopping someone getting information they are entitled to by law
damaging the reputation of their office or authority
using their position improperly, to their own or someone else's advantage or disadvantage
misusing their authority's resources
allowing their authority's resources to be misused for the activities of a registered political party
failing to report another member's misconduct to us
failing to register financial or other interests
failing to reveal a personal interest at a meeting;
taking part in a meeting or making a decision where they have an interest that is so significant that it is likely to affect their judgement
failing to register any gifts or hospitality that they have received in their role as a member worth over £25

3:34 pm  

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