The Grenfell Action Group have recently exposed the unpalatable fact that the previous and current Leader’s of RBKC and the current Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regeneration have all attended a notoriously extravagant property fair known as MIPIM:
We do not believe that any good can come of the association between the Council and MIPIM and that the interests of the residents of North Kensington are certainly not represented at an event that seeks to carve up our communities and sell our land to the highest bidder. To get an idea of the kind of deals done between Council’s and property developers our readers may be interested to click on the following link:
A member of the Grenfell Action Group has now written to RBKC under Freedom of Information legislation to try to establish more details about the exact relationship between the Council and MIPIM. We have published this correspondence in full below:
I am writing to you following an email that I received from Cllr Paget Brown confirming that a number of current and ex RBKC Ruling Party Councillors attended a property developer’s fair called MIPIM.
Using the legislation contained within the Freedom of Information Act 2006 I would like RBKC to provide me with the answer to the following questions:
1, Cllr Paget Brown has confirmed that ex-Cllr Cockell attended MIPIM in 2014 but that he was not representing the Council when he did so. Using Council records please can you inform me who ex-Cllr Cockell was claiming to be representing when he attended MIPIM in 2014 and who paid for his entrance fee? Please can you inform me whether ex-Cllr Cockell recorded his visit to MIPIM in his list of Councillor interests as required to do so by Council protocol. Please can you inform me of the reason ex-Cllr Cockell gave for attending MIPIM, who he had meetings with, what was discussed at these meetings and whether he recorded the minutes of these meetings with the Council? Finally, please can you inform me whether ex-Cllr Cockell received any material benefits from his attendance at MIPIM and, if so, did he record these with the Council?
2, From information we have received from Cllr Paget Brown we have learnt that he attended a MIPIM dinner in 2015. Please can you inform me if the Leader of RBKC was attending this MIPIM dinner as a representative of the Council and who paid for his ticket (ie was his dinner paid for out of Council funds or was it paid for by a property developer)? Please can you inform me whether Cllr Paget Brown declared his attendance at this dinner in his list of Councillor interests as he is required to do so by Council protocol? Please can you inform me the reason the Leader of the Council gave for attending this dinner, who he had talks with, what matters of Council business (or private business if Cllr Paget Brown claims not to have been representing the RBKC) where discussed at the dinner, whether these discussions were later minuted and recorded with the Council? Finally, please can you inform me whether Cllr Paget Brown received any material benefits as a result of his attendance at this MIPIM dinner and, if so, did he record these with the Council?
3, Cllr Paget Brown has confirmed that the Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Property and Regeneration, Cllr Feilding Mellen, attended MIPIM in Cannes, France earlier this year. Cllr Paget Brown stated that “Cllr Feilding Mellen attended MIPIM at his own expense to explore matters of relevance to his own company”. Please can you confirm that Cllr Feilding Mellen declared his attendance at MIPIM in his list of Councillor interests as he is required to do so? As Cllr Feilding Mellen is claiming that he acting independently from the RBKC while attending MIPIM I am unsure of what information the Deputy Leader of the Council is required to disclose but I would like to request that the Council provide me with any information they hold with regards to Cllr Feilding Mellen and MIPIM?
4, In my recent correspondence with Cllr Paget Brown I requested that he inform me whether any RBKC Councillors or Officers were attending the MIPIM property fair that commenced on the 19th October and took place at Olympia in London. Cllr Paget Brown failed to answer this entirely legitimate question to my satisfaction. So, I will try again. Using Freedom of Information legislation I would like you to inform me whether any RBKC Councillors, any RBKC Officers or anyone connected to the Council attended MIPIM? If so, please can you provide me with a list of the names of attendees, inform me who paid for their entrance fee to MIPIM, what business they were involved with while attending MIPIM, who they had meetings with, what was discussed at these meetings and whether the contents of these discussions were recorded and minuted with the Council?
Thank you for your assistance with this matter and I shall look forward to hearing back from you with the information that I have requested in due course.
The Grenfell Action Group do not believe that the RBKC will furnish us with the information that we have requested and we fully expect that we will have to refer this matter to the Information Commissioner to get to the bottom of this sordid affair. However, the Council can rest assured that we will keep digging until the facts behind why senior RBKC Councillors think it is okay to sup with international property developers are revealed. The likes of Cockell, Paget Brown and Feilding Mellen were elected to safeguard the interests of all residents of the RBKC and we believe that their attendance at MIPIM is a betrayal of this ethos and is nothing short of scandalous!