Part 3 of our “London Trilogy”
Peter Bingle (pictured as the terrapin “on top”) the property lobbyist and his firm Terrapin Communications are no strangers to this blog, or indeed no strangers to some former RBKC Tory councillors.
We posted about Terrapin Communications before:
And about their dealings with former RBKC councillor Daniel Moylan who was former deputy chairman of Transport for London, former chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation and was chief aviation advisor to Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London
In fact, hearing of Peter Bingle’s meetings with RBKC councillors opened THINKers’ eyes to some of the goings on behind the scenes over property developers and regeneration . But as some have seen from our previous two posts we are becoming increasingly concerned as to what property dealings are going on at the GLA, who is influencing them and the dreadful consequences of frankly letting moneyed property development companies who do not have Londoners’ best interest at heart and their lobbyists pull the strings here.
So let’s have another look at the GLA register of gifts and hospitality and go Terrapin spotting at the City Hall………
Juliemma McLoughlin (pictured as the other Terrapin in our main picture) is the Chief Planner, Development, Enterprise and Environment at the GLA. She had dinner with Terrapin Communications on the 22nd June 2017, attended a concert at the Barbican with Terrapin Communications on the 19th October 2017, and this year she was at a Terrapin and Greystar dinner on the 26th March and on the 2nd of May she attended a concert performance of Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony – tickets provided by Terrapin.
Ms McLoughlin has featured on our previous post about the GLA before. Well many residents and local businesses are very worried as to whose plans she could possibly favour here.
David Lunts above) is the Interim Head of Paid Service and Executive Director Housing and Land and the GLA’s Mr Creosote (as people can see from our previous post. David “Lunch” had dinner with Terrapin Communications at Quo Acadia on the 16th June 2015, attended a Mahler concert at the Barbican and had dinner at Smith’s of Smithfield with Terrapin Communications on the 19th of May 2016, had lunch with Peter Bingle at the Blueprint Café on the 7th June 2016 and lunch with Peter Bingle at Kai Restaurant on the 24th January 2017.
Len Duvall is the leader of the Labour Group on the GLA and represents Greenwich and Lewisham. He is also Deputy Chair of the Budget and Performance Committee, Deputy Chair of the Budget and Performance Sub-Committee, Deputy Chair of the GLA Oversight Committee, Member of the Confirmation Hearings Committee and a Member of the Police and Crime Committee.
Len Duvall had dinner with Bingle’s former firm Bell Pottinger on the 13th May 2009, and the 14th of September 2009, Dinner with Peter Bingle at Roux Restaurant on the 17th January 2012, received a ticket for a performance of Iolanthe at Greenwich Theatre from and had dinner with Terrapin Communications on the 26th July this year and received dinner and tickets to the Proms on the 28th August this year from Terrapin Communications.
Tom Copley is a Londonwide Labour GLA member and is Deputy Chair of the Housing Committee a Member of the Confirmation Hearings Committee, a Member of the GLA Oversight Committee, a Member of the Planning Committee and a Member of the Transport Committee.
Tom Copley goes on Twitter a lot and tweets largely about housing. We thought he was a member who appeared to show a good understanding of social housing.
But impressions can be deceiving, as he had lunch with Peter Bingle at Magdalen in Tooley Street on the 10th February 2014, lunch with Peter Bingle at Le Pont De La Tour in the 9th July 2014, lunch with Bingle at Magdalen again on the 28th October 2014 and attended a regeneration dinner provided by Terrapin Communications on the 12tv November 2014.
We have also noted that he has dined with Pocket Living too (clients of Cratus) and no, Tom we do not think that offering Londoners cupboards to live in provides a good solution to the housing problem. The people you are dining with are making the housing crisis worse,
THINK have come across Leonie Cooper before here
She is a Labour GLA member for Merton and Wandsworth and a Deputy Chair of the Environment Committee a Member of the Budget and Performance Committee a Member of the Environment Committee, Member of the Fire, Resilience and Emergency Planning Committee and a Member of the Housing Committee
Leonie Cooper impressed us when she spoke at the Rap23 Let’s Clear Some Air public meeting in Acklam Village last year .
What we are less than impressed with is the fact that she has had lunch with Terrapin Communications on the 18th of May 2017, received a ticket to the Proms from Terrapin on the 6th September 2017, had lunch with Terrapin on the 27th September 2017, had dinner and a concert from Terrapin Communications on the 19th October 2017, lunch with them again on the 13th December 2017, dinner with Terrapin on the 11th of May 2018 and a ticket to the Proms again and dinner from them on the 20th July 2018.
And here, are a couple of Terrapins who have since left the murky depths of the London City Hall tank:
Richard Blakeway was Deputy Mayor and in charge of Housing, Land and Property at the GLA from 2008-2016. He was a Board Trustee at the Chartered Institute of Housing from 2011-16, a board member of the London Enterprise Panel from 2013-16, a commissioner of Crossrail 2 Growth Commission at TFL from 2015-16 and a special adviser to the Prime Minister’s policy unit in 2016.
Richard Blakeway was provided with an “evening of hospitality” ; dinner and a trip to the Proms by Bell Pottinger on the 10th September 2009, lunch with Bell Pottinger on the 21st May 2010, a ticket to a Mahler concert provided by Terrapin Communications on the 24th September 2015 and dinner with Terrapin Communications on the 26th January 2016.
In fact Mr Blakeway’s entry in this register is as exhaustive as that of David Lunch!It includes engagements with Capco, LendLease, Delancey, and Wilmott Dixon – who he is now a “Strategic Advisor to – we’re not exactly surprised.
He is also an advisor to EcoWorld Ltd, chair of BexleyCo the developers owned by the London Borough of Bexley (residents there in social housing might be concerned about this) , an advisor to JLL and chief adviser to the Housing and Urban Regeneration Unit at Policy Exchange and a Board Director of Homes England. With all those jobs and treats on the side you can bet Mr Blakeway never has to worry about his home!
Here is his entry in the GLA register (So many lunches and dinners, THINK have got indigestion just from reading it!):
Stephen Greenhalgh will be a familiar face to many as he was Boris Johnson’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime from 2012-2016. Before that, he was Conservative Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham. The Tories may no longer be in power there and Greenhalgh left ages ago but he remains a controversial figure there largely because of regeneration plans for West Ken and Gibbs Green Estates under the Earl’s Court Masterplan there. See this from Get West London seven years ago :
And this from SW Londoner:
Residents on the West Ken and Gibbs Green Estates have fought a strong campaign against this. See their website here:
The Conservatives lost control of Hammersmith & Fulham in 2014 and Greenhalgh left City Hall along with Boris Johnson. We would still be concerned as it appears (as some can see on our previous post) that some in the GLA still have strong links to Capco and Sadiq Khan has not called for a review of the Earl’s Court Masterplan.
Stephen Greenhalgh is not immune to Peter Bingle’s “charm” because on the 5th March 2013 he also had lunch with him.
Oh dear, so it seems there will be no “brandy and cigars” afterwards for many Londoners who had hoped that when Sadiq Khan became Mayor of London, we would see some real positive change here.
Perhaps some of these people can try to offer us a perfectly innocent explanation for their meetings with Bingle? Maybe some just can’t resist the lure of an all expenses paid slap-up meal in a fancy restaurant or something? PR Week said of Bingle ten years ago: “What is for certain is that Bingle is a not a man who is accustomed to spending lunchtimes slumped over his desk with a sandwich and a copy of the FT”.
Some may like to portray Peter Bingle as some sort of fun bon viveur with lots of stories and anecdotes but there are other concerns and it is not just his involvement with controversial regeneration projects which rings alarm bells here, below is an article in The Drum by director of SpinWatch and campaigner for the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency, Tamasin Cave about Bingle’s former company Bell Pottinger and some of their “work” in South Africa:
And back to London , with this from The Guardian about Bingle’s work in Wandsworth – we certainly don’t think he is entertaining the GLA just for fun :
We’ll finish with a short video which is a trip down memory lane for us – or rather a “March to Frestonia” in Bramley Road North Kensington, outside Rock Feilding-Mellen’s House where local Save Our Silchester campaigners against the (now thankfully cancelled) regeneration plans for the Silchester Estate were protesting – many of the residents there were instrumental in inspiring us to start this blog – so we will end with going back to the beginning. Who will be dining with Peter Bingle next ?
This is the final instalment of our “London Trilogy”, but we don’t happen to think it will be the last time some of these people make an appearance in this blog. Business at City Hall done by an elected authority and by an elected Mayor should be accountable and transparent to the electorate, conducted in a way that is fair to all and important decisions over planning and development of our city should not be made behind closed doors or over lavish meals with property developers and their clients. Londoners deserve better.