Open Letter to Peter Mason
Publishing this as it’s in the public interest and I’ve had no reply to my original email sent on 1st July (Mason has, as far as I know, several personal assistants who read and respond to his emails, even if it’s just a holding acknowledgement response - I’ve had one before, as well as a next day reply, and a ‘no reply at all’).
In your open letter to Angela Fonso and CASH dated 12 July 2021, you pledged that:
“[t]he Council will not take any further sponsorship from Berkeley Group.”
I was shocked, therefore, to see the new Mayor of Ealing tweet to thank Berkeley Group for their sponsorship of an event he organised and hosted.
In your letter mentioned above, you also stated:
“I am determined to ensure that the Council’s future dealings with developers are transparent, arms-length and do not give rise to concerns that it is privileging the relationship with developers above that with residents.”
I was dismayed, therefore, to discover (from Berkeley marketing material, hand delivered, photo attached) that a Southall councillor (Cllr Jassal) and a council officer (Evelyn Gloyn, Ealing’s Community Engagement Manager) are members of Berkeley Group’s new “community engagement” steering group. This clear conflict of interest with the health and wellbeing of residents who Cllr Jassal is elected to represent does not appear on Cllr Jassal’s declaration of interests on the council website. Cllr Jassal and Evelyn Gloyn are literally standing shoulder to shoulder with Berkeley Group, not at “arms-length”, as you pledged two years ago.
I note also that various councillors have continued to attend Berkeley Group’s marketing events (sold as “community events”).
I know you have a very strong commitment to leading an open and transparent administration, and so, therefore, I ask you to tell me:
the monetary value of “sponsorship” Ealing Council (councillors, officers, Mayor) has accepted from Berkeley Group since your letter of 12 July 2021, and for which events?
the Ealing Council policy for councillors, officers, Mayor, for accepting sponsorship, hospitality and gifts from developers, and to ensure that the Council will not take any further sponsorship from Berkeley Group?
the action you will take to prevent councillors, officers, Mayor accepting sponsorship, hospitality and gifts from developers in future, and publicly returning sponsorship already received from Berkeley Group.
the Ealing Council policy for councillors, officers, Mayor, to ensure future dealings with developers are transparent, arms-length and do not give rise to concerns that it is privileging the relationship with developers above that with residents?
the action you will take to prevent councillors, officers, Mayor privileging the relationship with developers above that with residents, and publicly disengaging from Berkeley Group’s profit-driven marketing schemes dressed up as “community engagement”?