OpinioN8

Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

All three of them Labour despite the popular vote at the last local elections.

They've published an update designed to allay our concerns over the sale of Hornsey Town Hall to a Hong Kong firm based in the Cayman Islands. 

They include the sentence - "However, it is beyond the remit of the Council or the procurement process to solve global tax issues." It's just a throwaway line in a throwaway proposal. It's true but with sloppy thinking like that no wonder they reach the wrong conclusion.

On the question of the viability of the hotel they say [FEC] " appears to have included a sufficient allowance within their business plan to cover the likely on-going costs."  Jason Arthur has denied on Facebook that this means costs will exceed income but that's not how I read it.

So, that's me calmed down then.

Tags: dorsett, far east consortium, hornsey town hall, ojeu, tax haven

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You give due prominence to the fact that the preferred bidder is domiciled in the Cayman Islands for tax purposes. I would also point out that the other bidder, Tishman Speyer, is a private American company whose tax affairs are a complete secret. For all we know they too could be based in the Cayman Islands or any other tax haven - there is no transparency at all.

True, but:

1) what I have said about FEC domicile is accurate - perhaps I am being as selective about the truth as the Cllrs. Whether or no, my wrong does not make theirs right. 

2) I hold no particular brief for Tishman Speyer, only for a better bid

3) If Tishman Speyer were the preferred bidder their suitability would also be under scrutiny. We know little detail of either bid but I believe TS would raise the money in the UK by means of instruments such as REIT, which would be subject to the full scrutiny of UK regulators and tax authorities. 

4) Tishman Speyer are involved only for the short term -once the build is complete responsibility for running the Town hall would be handed over to the Ethical Property Company - a UK entity. FEC would hand over to Dorsett Hospitality, also based in Kong Kong and domiciled in the Cayman islands

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