Exempt information

Council has been in secret negotiations with Tesco for a supermarket in Cronwell Avenue for months.

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Attending the public open meeting on 2nd September to debate the proposed St James Investment/Tesco development, Cllr Greg Hands revealed the existence of documents leaked from the Town Hall which suggested that the Labour Council has been in secret negotiations with Tesco since at least 2nd April, and that the Council had as recently as 11th August appointed consultants to consider the detailed proposals from Tesco.

The document itself cannot be released, as the Council has chosen to label it “exempt information“, but its existence can be made public information.

Cllr Greg Hands further stated that he was shocked that he and the Conservative Councillors first learned the news of the Tesco proposal from the press at the end of June, and the Council had still not seen fit to brief its own members on the supposed merits of the scheme.

Cllr. Hands remains wholly opposed to the scheme, fearing the consequences of a new turn off from the A4 into Hammersmith, the loss of the local cinema and has cast doubt on the need for more Council office space.

Cllr Greg Hands said: “The Labour Council has claimed to be a neutral party in all this. The reality is, however, that Labour has been in negotiation with Tesco for five months now.

My fear is that the Council is selling local residents down the river in return for a grubby deal with Tesco to build more office space for the Council.“

September 12, 2004