HS2 continues to be the black hole that can’t stop sucking taxpayers’ money in, with Old Oak Common station in North-West London proving to be the standout white elephant in a project boasting herds of them. International construction firms are even resorting to lawsuits to try to get their hands on the billion-pound contract….
Numerous quangos have inevitably sprung up to feed off the HS2 dosh, in this case it’s the Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), which has already been responsible for resounding successes like cocking up a £5 billion housing development. Not that this stopped the OPDC Board – rammed with the usual Labour local authority types and GLA quangocrats – from trousering tens of thousands of pounds for attending tiny handful of meetings, according to their latest accounts:
- Julian Bell pocketed £15,000 for 6 meetings. Labour Leader of Ealing Council.
- Muhammad Butt pocketed £15,000 for 6 meetings. Labour Leader of Brent Council.
- Stephen Cowan pocketed £15,000 for 3 meetings. Labour Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
- William McKee pocketed £22,000 for 6 meetings. Also chairs Sadiq Khan’s London Industry and Logistics Sounding Board.
- Liz Peace CBE, the chair, pocketed £27,000 for 7 meetings. Also sits on Sadiq Khan’s Homes for Londoners Board.
- Eric Sorensen pocketed £21,000 for 7 meetings. Former CEO of development quangos which advised Ken Livingstone in the 2000s.
- Amanda Souter pocketed £15,000 for 6 meetings. Green Party/FBPE activist sitting on the Board as a ‘local resident’.
On average that’s £3,170 per meeting – more than the median worker takes home in the UK per month. You’ll never guess who was directly responsible for appointing the Board to their lucrative positions. Sadiq Khan…
The Taxpayers’ Alliance’s James Roberts blasts:
“What a joke. When you look at the names involved, it’s a rogue’s gallery of Khan’s old local authority mates, all raking it in at the London taxpayer’s expense. The Old Oak Common Cock-up gets worse by the day, not least given the ongoing shambles of HS2, but Khan’s cronies carried on claiming their cushy allowances. Shameful.”
Enough cash to fight knife crime? No. Enough cash for cronies on quango boards? Absolutely…