Conservative Councillors Open Cannes of Worms

Tories allege hypocrisy over Councillor's trip to South of France


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Conservative councilors on Hounslow Council have reacted with anger at what they claim is the hypocrisy of their Labour opponents. They say that Cllr. Ruth Cadbury is attending MIPIM a major real estate summit, in Cannes despite having previously criticised them for doing the same thing.

In March 2009 Cllr Peter Thompson (then Leader of Hounslow Council) and Cllr Barbara Reid (then Lead Member for the Environment) were criticised for attending MIPIM by Hounslow Labour Group.

At the time Labour leader Jagdish Sharma said, “The Conservative Party nationally preach prudence and spending restraints – but at home it’s a completely different story. At a time when residents are tightening their belts, I am sure that there are better things to spend council tax money on. Just the registration fee costs well over £1000 for each person there. Add flights, hotels and food and the cost will be horrendous”.

Deputy leader Ruth Cadbury added “Perhaps the Tories should worry about things a little closer to home. They have failed to improve either Hounslow or Brentford town centre in three years and now Chiswick is suffering. Residents will want to know why they are enjoying themselves in the sunshine whilst council tax payers are fearing for their jobs."

Cllr Peter Thompson commented, “At the time I defended going to MIPIM as it was an excellent opportunity for us to meet the people who could help us regenerate our town centres after years of Labour neglect.  I guess that I ought to be flattered that now that Labour are in power they have seen the value in what we did.  Yet if saying one thing and doing another is a succinct description of hypocrisy, then Ruth Cadbury’s actions certainly qualify! I will be interested to see how see spins herself out of this one! Cllr Sharma also has questions to answer for giving the green light to this one in light of his early comments! It’s no wonder that people hold politicians in such low regard when you consider the behaviour of these two!”

Cllr Ruth Cadbury said: “Under the Conservatives there was no plan for our town centres. Under Labour, we have a town centre master plan for Hounslow, and a plan to make much better use of our assets.
“Who wouldn’t put the highest priority on regenerating Hounslow town centre and attracting investment to towns like Brentford after the years of Conservative neglect? MIPIM is the key event in the world for talking to the people who can make that regeneration and investment happen. That is why I attended. Being there this year was the right thing to do and will help turn our plans into a reality. Four years ago it wasn’t the right thing to do.
“Over three days I have met representatives from 50 organisations who are interested in working with us and bringing much needed investment, jobs and homes to Hounslow. The return on our relatively small investment in going to MIPIM is clear.”
Frank Wingate, Chief Executive of West London Business, said: "We're very pleased that some of our West London boroughs are attending the MIPIM property fair. This is Europe's major event for property development and regeneration and anyone serious about encouraging inward investment and economic growth can't afford to miss the business opportunities to gain contacts and promote our attractions that are offered there. West London has a great deal to offer, but we must be active in face of international competition."


March 9, 2012

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