"The Society of London Treasurers consists of the 33 Section 151 officers of the London boroughs and the City of London, together with representatives of the functional bodies of the GLA family. [Ah, nice.]
"The Society advocates on technical financial matters effecting [sic] London and its residents. The view represented by the Society reflects the professional views of its members and not the political views of any or all of their employing authorities.
"This report has been written by Chris Naylor, chief operating officer and director of finance at the London Borough of Barnet [now Chief Executive of LB of Barking and Dagenham - their loss is our gain], with support from member colleagues of SLT."
'Patron saint of lost causes and desperate cases'
"RE (Regional Enterprise) Ltd, or Re, is the new joint venture between London Borough of Barnet and Capita plc [cobbled together at the last minute, by the way]. Re provides a range of development and regulatory services to residents in Barnet and the south east of England.
"The following services are provided by Re:
- Planning and development management
- Building control
- Land charges
- Environmental health
- Trading standards and licensing
- Cemetery and crematorium
- Strategic planning
- Nervously facing the media inside the London MIPIM property exhibition
- 'Enjoying' the south of France at the Cannes MIPIM property exhibition, flogging Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent concept."
[We've added those last two items.]
"Brent Cross and a new Thames Link [sic] Station"
"The London Borough of Barnet is currently working with the GLA and HM treasury to conclude a TIF type arrangement [Gawd help us] to ensure that the area surrounding Brent Cross shopping centre in the south west corner of the borough benefits from the forthcoming redevelopment of the retail site.
Land to the south of the current shopping centre, in Barnet, but on the border with the London Borough of Camden, has capacity for at least 7,000 new homes. However, due to poor transport links it is currently economically unviable to develop. Less than a mile away is the Thames Link railway line. [Less than a mile away from what?]
"A new station on this line, on a site in Barnet, but this time on the border with the London Borough of Brent' would provide sufficient additional transport capacity to increase local land values, unlocking the development potential and enabling the rapid building of thousands of much needed new homes.
In this example, the London Borough of Barnet is proposing to carry the financial risk, by borrowing the money to fund the new station and agreeing with government the retention of all new additional business from Brent Cross to fund and repay the loan. In this way the borough has governance oversight of both the debt and the income. [We're doomed.]
Imagine for a moment if, by quirk of history, the borough boundaries of Barnet, Camden and Brent were moved north and east respectively, such that the economically sub-viable land was in Camden, the location of the new station was in Brent, and the shopping centre was in Barnet. In this scenario the borrowing, funding, benefits and risk proposition would become instantly more complex [although to be fair, there could actually be some community based consultation, and sustainable development planning, avoiding your authority's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent, currently being cherry-picked by Hammerson. Just saying, Chris. Still, this is supposed to be your paragraph, so carry on wittering ...] unless the three boroughs in question were able to somehow pool and share risk through some form of shared financial governance. As with Nine Elms, currently the only realistic option in such situations would be for the GLA to step in to both borrow the money and service the debt. [Can we stop imagining now? Is it all a bad dream?]
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