Tuesday 9 December 2008

H&F Council’s £10,000.00 Misuse Of Public Funds To Scare Residents In ‘Super Sewer' Scam

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has so far spent £10,000.00 of council tax payers’ money to spread scare stories to local residents about the Thames Tideway Tunnel. Nearly everything the Council told local people has now been proved to be completely untrue – as previously reported here. The Council itself has now admitted the scaremongering it published was based on no more than "speculation."

Senior local Tories plotted with council officials to spread a story that “Ravenscourt Park and Furnival Gardens [were] threatened” with “eight years” of works to cut “giant bore holes” for a “Septic", "Stink Pipe” in the two local parks. None of this was true.

These scare tactics were similar to those used to generate votes in 2005 by H&F Conservatives . Then, they falsely claimed Charing Cross Hospital was set to close in a move designed to generate false anger at the Labour government prior to the last general election.

Last July, the Conservative Administration even tried (unsuccessfully) to control the Opposition's access to an independent briefing on the 'Super Sewer' from Thames Water. Instead they insisted that the Opposition would only be allowed briefings to come exclusively from H&F Council officials - many of whom had been party to spreading the untruths about the sewer plans in the first place. We met with Thames Water and it immediately became obvious why H&F Council officials had been nervous of what we would find out.

The Opposition is seeking an independent investigation into these goings on. Those involved should face the full consequenses for their roles in this misuse of public funds.

The Council’s currently admits that it spent £7,758.48 of tax payers’ money on letters to residents, leaflets, posters and other cost including laptop hire and bottles of water - all attributed to this ruse. But, this figure doesn’t include all of the full cost, such as officials' time in preparing their misinformation programme.

It’s now clear that the only possible works would involve a two year project to sink the Stamford Brook open sewer at Furnival Gardens (click on attached pic) so that it goes into the Thames Tideway Tunnel instead of the river - and that’s only if the project gets the go-ahead in the next decade.

I’ll let you know how things develop but please email me here if you require further information.

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