Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tories blame Labour for "tainted" Casino bid

The local Tories have been quick to put out a press release blaming Labour directly for the Dome's casino bid becoming "tainted" by sleaze. Cllr Nigel Fletcher said
"I’m angry that Greenwich has paid such a high price today for Labour’s clumsy mishandling of this process. Our bid was badly tainted by suspicions that not everything was above-board or that it was a done deal. John Prescott and other ministers must take a large part of the blame for that, along with the Labour council.”

“We now need to work with AEG as the developers to salvage as much of the jobs and investment as we can from this sorry mess."
As we've already said in our previous post, we don't believe that this is it for the Dome, and frankly, we are positive that it will still get a license.

As we've already noted, the Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell made it evidently clear some months ago that she was able to issue three licenses if she chose to do so. This statement occured not long after the scandals which have mired the Dome in the past year.

We also draw our readers attention to the press release that the Council leader Chris Roberts has issued which simply states
The Council has responded to the Casino Advisory Panel's recommendations to the Government regarding the location of the first regional casino in Manchester. The Casino Advisory Panel made the recommendation today to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport over the casino location.

The Leader of Greenwich Council, Councillor Chris Roberts said: "I would like to congratulate Manchester on the success of their bid and wish them every success for the future." I would also like to pay tribute to the Casino Advisory Panel for their hard work and commitment
to the process."
We have it on good authority that the Council is very much of the mind that the decision is only "advisory" (hence the name of the Panel), so we doubt very much that this tale is over.

At some point in the not too distant future expect an announcement about Greeniwch and Blacpool licenses, but expect it to be buried somewhere in the back pages by a bigger, more important story, for example, "Prime Minister resigns"?


Anonymous andrew said...

Tessa will only issue one licence today. To Manchester.

It might technically be within her power to issue more, but I simply don't believe they'll try their luck by going beyond the CAP's remit. The press comment around casinos has been significantly negative in recent weeks and there would be a public furore were they to make the entire process pointless.

Also, remember that the CAP specifically rejected Greenwich because its regeneration case was undermined by the Olympics and its existing infrastructure*. It would be very odd for that advice to be overruled now.

* Never thought I'd be cheering the Olympic win. Just goes to show, I suppose, that occasionally you will find a diamond in pigshit.

1:30 pm  
Blogger Roger Thomas said...

Hello Andrew again, was the reply OK on my site.

Cllr Fletcher uses a strange phrase a 'done deal', I have actually heard this phrase before. When I was in the Millennium Dome Bid, I had a telephone conversation with a 'global consultant' from Jones Lang LaSalle. He sounded embarrassed and apologetic. He said something like, there was big money involved and the deal had already been done. I assume everybody else had to wait for Lord Falconer to announce AEG the bid winner in Dec 2001. I didn't know who had won but I knew before the media announced it there was a 'done deal'.

I have sent the one page synopsis of 2001 proposal the consultants wanted to back by email to Greenwich Watch. Perhaps if there is a demand from the community they might publish it on this site. Some of the format might be lost in the emailing but at least the content will show what Greenwich could have had if a proper competition had been run.

Oh and the few £ billions of sustainable investment which would have come into Greenwich.

2:42 pm  
Blogger Indigo said...

And it's even more tainted than the Tories know. The Chaplaincy message of support was not the only one faked. Yes, looking at you, Andrew Parry and Frances Dolan.

7:26 pm  
Blogger Roger Thomas said...

So Greenwich can see which proposal the Government's consultants Jones Lang LaSalle wanted to support in the 2001 competition for the Millennium Dome, I have posted the one page synopsis on my site.


As you can see Greenwich got a specific mention straight away. This is just the brief overview. To get to the point that it was shortlisted, there is enough material to 'write a book'.

9:10 pm  
Blogger Inspector Sands said...

Rather than using today's decision to score a party political point, why weren't the opposition councillors putting this under more scrutiny in the first place?

And if they knew it stank, why did they back it?

10:33 pm  

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