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WHY DID THEY DINE OUT 13 TIMES WITH PROPERTY PR FIRM?

“TWO weeks ago the Ham&High asked why senior Haringey councillors had met with a top property PR firm for 13 free lunches or dinners since July 2014.

Today we can reveal the company that hosted the freebies, Terrapin Communications, lists two of the three shortlisted bidders for the huge Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) deal – Lendlease and Starwood – as clients on its website

Despite repeated requests Terrapin has not responded to our questions about whether it has worked on the HDV bid on behalf of these two companies.

But we did ask Haringey Council if the £2bn deal had ever been discussed at Terrapin-hosted lunches.

A spokesman said: “It is impossible to account for all of the conversations that took place at these events which involved a large number of people who are not from Haringey including London borough leaders and GLA representatives.”

The free hospitality, worth £770, included a dinner at the exclusive MIPIM property conference in Cannes, France.

The councillors who attended the meals were council leader Claire Kober, housing and regeneration boss Alan Strickland and finance boss Jason Arthur.

Lendlease did not respond to our request for comment and Starwood had no comment.”

Here

From today's

Ham & High Broadway

Tags: Councillors, Dinner, Ham and High, Haringey, Le conseiller Jogee et l'affaire des Terrapin, Lunch, L’affaire des tortues terrestres, Meals, Peter Bingle, The Terrapin Affair, More…conflict of interest, terrapin

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Not answering questions is becoming quite a habit. The Ham and High lists Terrapin, Lendlease and Starwood as companies not answering questions. Read the Haringey reply in the quote above to a question which requires the answer 'Yes' or 'No'. It doesn't seem to be wither of those things. I'm inclined to draw the inference that the answer is not 'No' and the the subject might have cropped up.

Finding a circumlocution to avoid answering a question is a much practised art in the field of politics, and in Haringey council officers have to back up the elected politicians by exercising this skill. In response to a Freedom of Information request about the income arising from Hornsey Town Hall (another notable property disposal by Haringey) council officer Jon McGrath, Assistant Director Corporate Property and Major Projects, offers:

"We are currently liaising with a 3^rd party in respect of your request so we are not yet in a position to provide a full reply."

I'd be ill advised to hold my breath until Haringey spontaneously offer the full reply. I'd have been happy with a partial reply. But what I get is a circumlocution. The inference her is that they (the London Borough of Haringey , elected councillors, and appointed officers alike) don't want me to know the answer. Which is a pity, because what I am trying to demonstrate is the accuracy of Cllr Strickland's statement to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, when he said, in respect of Hornsey Town Hall "It costs 350 grand a year just to keep the doors open".

Haringey plainly failed to answer your question about the current finances of the Town Hall on time, but their excuse may tell us something else about the current situation -

If one assumes that the '3rd party' may be a certain arts centre related group, the alternative explanation is that both they and Haringey don't actually know the answer to your question, and that the dog days of the old regime has left the Town Hall with insufficient control and stewardship.

Where are the official 'buildings preservation trust', the HTH Creative Trust, while all this is going on?

What're the odds of original fixtures and fittings going walkabout as a chaotic and rushed handover to new owners takes place?

The Ham&High's Special Report, attached.

(The cover story is missing from the PDF as it appeared only for the Broadway print version).

Attachments:

HERE is Guido Fawkes note from May, last year:

Bingle muses on Losing Friends and Alienating People

(Click on the image to link to Mr. Bingle's Tweet.)

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IS it wise for any Local Authority to have extensive personal relations with any firm that is a tiny, privately held company?

(this, before we get to the point of questions of conflict of interest arising as well.)

The deep, long and personal relations were uncovered by the Christian Klapp Tweet of 2011 that mysteriously disappeared from Twitter, but that are preserved elsewhere on this site.

"Tweet of 2011 that mysteriously disappeared from Twitter, but that are preserved elsewhere on this site".

Link please Clive? Always good to let sunshine and fresh air in!

Alan:

Dave Wightman posted a screen shot of Mr. Klapp's tweet of 19 November 2011 here, in the thread titled, It does not feel right, by Adrian.

This is the only evidence I've seen of a connection between Messrs. Klapp, Strickland and Jogee that pre-dates the formation of Terrapin Communications Ltd., the property company PR firm co-owned by Peter Bingle. 

good to catch up suggests a connection already existed at that point, itself six months before Terrapin was incorporated and about two and a half years before Mr. Jogee was elected as a Councillor to serve the residents of Hornsey.

And some four years before Mr. Jogee was employed by Terrapin as a Consultant.

Terrapin lists Political Audits and Political Campaigning amongst the services it undertakes.

I would imagine that by now, the relevant Twitter accounts are fully backed up in case of any further technical glitches and hitches.

Ham&High Broadway: Cover Story from the 

Archant Investigation Unit: Thursday, 22 December 2016

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