LBWF in Private Eye, again, this time over Fred Wigg and John Walsh Towers

To no-one’s real surprise, the current edition of Private Eye once again features LBWF, with a fairly long piece tracing the Fred Wigg and John Walsh Towers’ fiasco (see below, from No.1403, 16 October to 29 October 2015), also covered in previous posts here. 

This is further embarrassment for local councillor and Liberal turncoat Keith Rayner, who despite claiming to have lived in one of the Towers sometime in the hazy past, and being given to lachrymose descriptions of Tory-induced poverty, now parrots his new senior Labour colleagues’ line that the planned privatisation, and the resulting re-location of many existing tenants, whatever their wishes, must go ahead come hell or high water.

However, the story clearly has legs far beyond the likes of small fry like Rayner.  One particularly intriguing issue that has escaped much attention so far is the role played by AECOM Design+Planning (formerly EDAW AECOM) and BNP Paribas Real Estate (formally Atisreal). For while both are very big businesses indeed, with international portfolios, it was they who – rather surprisingly – were engaged by LBWF to complete an estates review in 2010, and in their final report then recommended almost exactly the kind of redevelopment that is now being contemplated. I doubt that either company is motivated solely by altruism. It will be interesting to see what else about their involvement now emerges.

PE on Tower Blocks

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