Former Hammersmith & Fulham leader cleared of criminal wrongdoing


Allegations were made about his connection with the Earl’s Court regeneration


 By SWLondoner staff

The former leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, Stephen Greenhalgh, has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing over the regeneration of Earls Court.

Allegations were made last September that the council had drawn up a ‘VIP’ list containing the names of residents who had been promised new council homes if they signed their support for the Earl’s Court redevelopment.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has announced that it will not be launching an investigation, after carrying out an assessment of the complaint with police and lawyers.

“The IPCC undertook an assessment of the complaint in order to establish whether it was necessary to conduct a criminal investigation into Mr Greenhalgh,” it said in a statement.

“This involved consideration of material submitted by the complainant, examination of an investigation report compiled by Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s auditors, consultation with officers from the Metropolitan Police Service who assessed criminal allegations made against the council officials, obtaining specialist legal advice and inquiries with one resident who was said to have information which referred directly to Mr Greenhalgh.”

Mr Greenhalgh stood down as leader of the council in May 2012 to become the Deputy Mayor of London for Police and Crime.

Current leader, Cllr Nicholas Botterill, said that the allegations against him were wholly politically motivated and had no merit or substance whatsoever.

“Stephen Greenhalgh was both an inspirational and transformational council leader and the residents of Hammersmith & Fulham have much to thank him for,” he said.

“No homes have been built, let alone been allocated, and nobody has received preferential treatment. As is normal on a regeneration scheme of this size, the council talked to all affected residents about their housing needs and requirements during a two-year consultation,” he said.

“We can now get on with the important work of ensuring that estate residents, together with those living in the wider area are the major beneficiaries of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to comprehensively regenerate this part of London.”

Earl’s Court resident’s spokesman Jonathan Rosenberg said there had been a determined cover-up by the council.

He said: “Everyone knows what happened here, there are a lot of tenants who say the council offered them preferential treatment,” he told the Evening Standard.

“Neither the police nor the IPPC have interviewed these tenants, I find that strange to say the least. These are organisations who should be dealing with evidence.

The regeneration of Earls Court will inject billions of pounds worth of private investment into the area and create up to 9,500 new permanent jobs. It will also include 7,583 new homes, new shops, offices, leisure facilities, public open space, a new school, new transport links, healthcare centre and community centre.

Photo courtesy of hammersmithandfulham, with thanks.

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