Tom Brake is getting very upset with Guido for sniffing around the decision by LibDem-controlled Sutton council to award a million pound discount to a company of which he is a director. As readers will remember, Brake is an unpaid director and trustee of EcoLocal, which was curiously awarded the Lodge property despite its bid being a million pounds below the council’s valuation. Even more curiously, two members of Sutton council are employed by Brake, a fact they failed to disclose at the council meeting which signed off the deal. Brake claims his critics are smearing him.
“I am disappointed, but not surprised at… efforts to smear me. They must be desperate if they have to pretend that a charity and not-for-profit company I am a Trustee of, and have no pecuniary interest in, is ‘my company’. I am however surprised that they have decided to oppose plans supported by a wide range of local groups to keep the Lodge partly as a community asset”
For the record, Guido has never said that Brake has any pecuniary interest in the firm. Guido has asked Brake’s office several times for an explanation, but he will not come to the phone. Instead he is throwing around claims of “smears” without addressing the substance of the story.
These are the three questions Guido has asked Brake:
1. Why was Ecolocal’s bid accepted despite the council valuing the property at £1 million more?
2. Why were no other options considered other than Ecolocal?
3. Why did the two councillors in your employ fail to declare the massive conflict of interest at the meeting which finalised the deal?
At the time of going to pixel we have yet to receive a response…