MIPIM the property trade show is taking place in Olympia. Many local authorities, of all parties, regard attending as an effective way to find partners to regenerate areas providing new homes and jobs. It fosters competition – it is possible to shop around for the best deals available.
Speakers this year include the Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds. However another Shadow Minister – the Labour MP for Hammersmith Andrew Slaughter was demonstrating outside with the far left group Radical Housing Network. It’s “network” includes London Left Unity – a new Communist political party set up by Ken Loach. Also in the Network is Unite the Union – who wrote to Hammersmith and Fulham Council urging them not to take part.
The council said thay had already paid £9,000 for a stall and thought that getting a refund might be tricky. Did they ask? Even if it was refused could they not have offered it a “mates rates” to another Labour council such as Southwark, Newham, Ealing or Hounslow? If the logic is that no conversations should take place with property developers then why go along at all? Yet the Labour council leader Cllr Stephen Cowan got inside to find out what the fat cats had to offer.
While Mr Slaughter was outside jeering with Cllr Vivienne Lukey.
Who is in charge of the clattering train?
There is certainly a challenge to come up with financially viable regeneration schemes that our attractive and provide a benefit for the existing inhabitants of our borough. Meeting that challenge involves talking to developers.
Refusing to contemplate any regeneration schemes means not talking to them.
Labour have got themselves into a muddle and risk leaving Hammersmith and Fulham Council a laughing stock.