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#HDV | quiet contact with Lendlease: Cabinet Member and the Shadow Board

BEFORE the key Meeting of 3 July—that gave Cabinet go-ahead for the HDV—there had been repeated contact with Lendlease.

A Freedom of Information question by a resident, discloses that Haringey’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families (Doctor Elin Weston), met with Lendlease as early as 24 April 2017. 

The meetings mainly concerned HDV-branding (strategy or pitch), but there were also three “Shadow Board” meetings, including one Shadow Board Dinner. 

The value of the dinner is not disclosed [update: see below]; however it may not have been as lavish the famous Peter Bingle/Terrapin meals for other Cabinet Members (Meals on Deals?).

This is the first time at least some Councillors (certainly me) have heard of the HDV Shadow Board. These contacts took place at the same time as a Council Scrutiny Panel was considering risk and Governance arrangements for the Development Vehicle.

I am not aware that Doctor Weston attended any of the Council's Scrutiny Panel meetings, including the illuminating evidence-gathering sessions. I'm not sure the Scrutiny Committee was aware of the HDV Shadow Board meetings.

Board-in-the-shadows might be an accurate description.

In the correspondence disclosed, we know that on one occasion, a LendLease representative apologised for the lack of biscuits (sic; see link above). New-Labour Haringey Council is placing approximately £3,000,000,000 [three billion pounds] worth of business with this one company (i.e. the HDV plus the recently announced, £1bn “High Road West”). That takes the biscuit.

I recently attended the Cabinet Member Signing where the Council Leader nominated Ms. Weston and others to the HDV Board. In terms of elected nominees, a sole Councillor will represent the Borough's interests on the Board that would meet four times a year.

Extracted from the FoI answer:

________________________________

  1. There has been no meetings or luncheons between Cllr Weston and Peter Bingle / Christian Klapp / Terrapin since January 2014 and the present day.
  2. No minutes are available as such.
  3. There has been no correspondence between Cllr Weston and Peter Bingle / Christian Klapp / Terrapin since January 2014 and the present day.
  4. Cllr Weston met with Lendlease on the following dates:

________________

  1. 24/04/2017:  HDV Away Day - Wider Group Wallacespace, St Pancras, 22 Dukes Rd, London WC1H 9PN
  2. 24/04/2017:  HDV Shadow Board Dinner [update below] (Haringey & Lendlease),
                         Grain Store, Granary Square, 1-3 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB
  3. 11/05/2017:  HDV Brand Strategy - The Clearing, Lendlease Offices, 20 Triton Street,
                         London NW1 3BF | Meeting Room 3
  4. 11/05/2017:  HDV Brand Strategy - Hunter Design, Lendlease Offices,
                         20 Triton Street, London NW1 3BF | Meeting Room 3                              
  5. 11/05/2017:  HDV Brand Strategy - The Caffeine Agency, Meeting Room 3              
  6. 18/05/2017:  HDV Branding Strategy - The Team , Lendlease Offices - Meeting Room 5        
  7. 18/05/2017:  HDV Branding Strategy - I AM, 20 Triton Street, Regent's Place, NW1 3BF (Meeting Room 5)           
  8. 18/05/2017:  HDV Shadow Board, Committee Room 1 - 1st Floor Civic Centre - 255 High Road, Wood Green, N22 8LE
  9. 07/06/2017:  HDV Branding Pitch - Grain Creative, 20 Triton Street, London, NW1 3BF - Church corner A            
  10. 07/06/2017:  HDV Branding Pitch – Heavenly - 20 Triton Street, Regent's Place, London, NW1 3BF - Church Corner A 
  11. 07/06/2017:  HDV Branding pitch - The Purpose, 20 Triton Street, London, NW1 3BF - Church Corner A                           
  12. 22/06/2017:  HDV Shadow Board, Level 2, 20 Triton Street, Regent's Place, London, NW1 3BF - Board Room                 
  13. 26/06/2017:  HDV Joint Venture Branding, Coldfall Wood room, Podium level,
                         River park House, 225 High Road, Wood Green, London N22 8HQ 
  14. 15/08/2017:  HDV Brand Strategy Meeting, 20 Triton Street, Regent’s Place, London, NW1 3BF  

________________

5. No minutes were circulated following these meetings.

6. A list of all correspondence between Cllr Weston and Lendlease has been attached.

(the Hornsey Ward Councillor
sometimes pictures herself in

selfies on exam-results day)

Tags: Doctor Weston, HDV, HDV Shadow Board, Lendlease, Shadow Board, biscuits, £3,000,000,000

Views: 355

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Replies to This Discussion

Here's my latest variation on Haringey Council's Joego logo.
My free gift to the Council. No payment sought or received by me. No dinners, lunches, free flights or even biscuits involved. Attached to my graphic file is one of the notorious emails from Lendlease about the secret "Shadow Board"

The biscuits shown are "Jammie Dodgers". I used them purely to illustrate a popular biscuit. I've no idea about the actual items on the repast offered at different times to our "leading" councillors.

The are made from shortbread with a raspberry or strawberry flavoured jam filling. They are currently produced by Burton's.

MORE on the Shadow Board, courtesy of another Member's Enquiry that was forwarded to me. Doctor Weston is the Council's nominee to the HDV Board and—as part of the three person LBH side—would represent the interests of the Council and Borough in that Board as a whole.

The other side comprises the multi-national developer LendLease. Even though this (below) appears to have been a particularly convivial dinner, Lendlease are likely to eat New-Labour representatives for breakfast.

The obvious interests of Lendlease and the supposed and claimed interests of New Labou reps. (never mind their proper interests of serving the Borough), would appear to be opposed.

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Dear Councillor
 

Your enquiry: Why was the meal with developers covered by the Council / list occasions since May 2014 where Cabinet members meals were covered by the Council. Our Reference Number: LBH/6650717

Thank you for your enquiry, which is set below. For clarification, your enquiry is in response to my confirmation that the Council covered the cost of the shadow HDV board dinner for its attendees, being Lyn Garner, Richard Grice and Cllr Weston.

Is this normal practice. Does the council normally cover the cost of Cllr's participating in meals with developers? My understanding is that our member allowance and SRA are intended for that purpose. What were the special circumstances in this case that allowed Cllr Weston to claim for the meal.

Can I receive a copy of the relevant entry, the cost and the breakdown of what was covered by the council. Did it include alcohol?

Bernie can you advise me whether under our procedures this is an appropriate use of council resources.

Can I also receive a list of all other occasions since May 2014 where Cabinet members meals within the M25 have been covered by the council and the reasons.

How was it paid? Was it a subsequent claim ? Who approved the claim. Did someone take petty cash ( which I doubt) was it invoiced by Lendlease?

I would request a full and proper investigation in to this incident.

I am responding to your enquiry on behalf of the Council’s Monitoring Officer, Mr Ryan. Mr Ryan has approved the content of this response.

For ease of reference, I have broken down your enquiry into the 5 questions posed as follows:

  1. Is this normal practice. Does the council normally cover the cost of Cllr's participating in meals with developers? My understanding is that our member allowance and SRA are intended for that purpose. What were the special circumstances in this case that allowed Cllr Weston to claim for the meal.
  2. Can I receive a copy of the relevant entry, the cost and the breakdown of what was covered by the council. Did it include alcohol?
  3. Bernie can you advise me whether under our procedures this is an appropriate use of council resources.
  4. Can I also receive a list of all other occasions since May 2014 where Cabinet members meals within the M25 have been covered by the council and the reasons.
  5. How was it paid? Was it a subsequent claim ? Who approved the claim. Did someone take petty cash ( which I doubt) was it invoiced by Lendlease?

 

In response to your enquiry, and to use the same numbering:

  1. Cllr Weston did not claim personally for the meal. In this case, Cllr Weston was part of a Council delegation and as such her meal was covered by the Council. The Members’ Allowances Scheme provides for Travel and Subsistence Allowance in other cases.
  2. The total cost claimed was for £450.  £209.50 of this was for room hire.  Alcohol was included.
  3. The expenses claim was submitted under the Council’s general expenses policy. However this was not the most appropriate method of payment. A corporate credit card is a more appropriate mechanism for payment in these circumstances, however none was available at the time. I can confirm that the expenses policy does not provide for the reimbursement of alcohol. Nevertheless, in my view the expenditure is likely to have been permissible in these circumstances under the terms of use of a corporate credit card.  Notwithstanding, the officer has reimbursed the Council the total costs in relation to the alcohol.  
  4. As stated in my email of 4 October 2017, this is being dealt with under a separate Member Enquiry, ‘Council covering the cost of Cabinet Member meals’  -ref. LBH/6658017.
  5. This was paid via a subsequent expenses claim.  The Chief Executive approved the claim.  No petty cash was taken, and Lendlease were not involved in any payment process.

I hope that you are satisfied with my response to your enquiry.  If you have any follow-up queries or need more information, please contact Member Enquiries in the first instance.

 

Yours sincerely

 

[Named Haringey Council officer] 

Haringey Council

Corporate Legal Services, Alexandra House, 10 Station Road, London N22 7TR

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