Search

Report finds Haringey council’s luxury yacht trip actually cost taxpayers £9k

07:00 27 March 2014

Councillor Alan Strickland was one of the three-strong team who attended the property conference in Cannes.

Councillor Alan Strickland was one of the three-strong team who attended the property conference in Cannes.

Archant

Haringey Council’s ability to count has been thrown into question after it transpired the amount spent sending staff to Cannes cost the taxpayer triple the amount it originally claimed.

Last week, the council insisted only £3,000 of public money was used to fund the three-day trip to property conference MIPIM, hosted on a luxury yacht in the French Riviera.

But an investigation, called for by the Liberal Democrats, has revealed taxpayers will in fact be footing a £9,000 bill – with the total cost for the trip coming in at £22,000.

Indeed, the original £3,000 figure is only just enough to cover travel and accommodation expenses for cabinet member Cllr Alan Strickland and the director of regeneration Lyn Garner.

Lib Dem group leader Cllr Richard Wilson said: “Regeneration should be about improving the lives of ordinary local residents, not hobnobbing with wealthy developers on a luxury yacht in Cannes. This scandal shows just how out of touch Haringey’s Labour councillors are with local people.”

In a breakdown of the figures, the report shows the council received £13,000 in sponsorship from various private companies to send Cllr Alan Strickland and Ms Garner to Cannes.

Some £1,731 was spent on accommodation for two nights and £1,541 on travel in addition to the £18,800 price tag for attending the conference.

Haringey’s chief executive Nick Walkley covered his own expenses. Eyebrows have also been raised about the trip as it was not discussed with the council’s cabinet. The report put this down to a “genuine misunderstanding” of council protocol.

But the council has continued to defend its actions – pointing out the event, hosted by Arup, which has worked with them to develop regeneration plans in Tottenham, was attended by 43 authorities around the country.

At Monday’s full council meeting, council leader Cllr Claire Kober reiterated it was an important opportunity for them to meet with developers and investors.

She said: “I would argue that it is right that we were there and it is right that we are transparent about what we do. We are committed to publishing decisions and costs associated with them.”

Lee Valley Estates has backed up the council’s decision, saying it is “vital” Tottenham is represented at major evens like MIPIM to be taken seriously with major investors.

Neale Coleman, mayoral advisor on Tottenham, added: “MIPIM is a unique opportunity for public authorities to speak to potential investors about building new homes, bringing new jobs and supporting transport and social investment in areas like Tottenham.”

“It must make sense for Haringey to be taking advantage of that.”

The council was unwilling to be drawn on why it did not chose to attend the London conference later this year instead.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Sunday, June 28, 2015
Beatie Wolfe on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Stu Nicholls

A singer-songwriter has helped dementia patients reconnect with the world as part of a groundbreaking experiment into the powerful effect music can have on sufferers’ lives.

18:19
Christopher White has been jailed for his part in the kidnap and torture of two men

A gang member who blackmailed £30,000 from a torture victim’s mother by threatening to cut off her son’s finger was jailed for 20 years yesterday (Wednesday).

13:13
Jeremiah Duggan, pictured with his sister Louisa, died on an autobahn in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 2003

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has called on foreign secretary Philip Hammond to intervene as a “matter of urgency” to ensure a new independent investigation into Jeremiah Duggan’s death in Germany.

17:10
The attack happened on Saturday on the canal towpath between Camden High Street and Kentish Town Road. Picture: GoogleStreetview

A homeless man suffered a fractured skull and loss of hearing after being beaten by a man wielding a log.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder