Friday 16 December 2011

Greenhalgh is off

So who is Greenhalgh? He is the leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council and in six months time he is off. Six months, you may be aware, is when Boris may well be confirmed for another term of office as London Mayor and rumour has it that Greenhalgh is being lined up as his deputy. Greenhalgh is of interest to CFC because in Hammersmith and Fulham, his is virtually the only word with any currency. Basically, what he says goes. It is not clear how his departure will affect the situation at Stamford Bridge or more critically, Earl's Court. Boris, we know, is happy with the idea of CFC at Earl's Court. And with the difficulties being experienced with the current development (Greenhalgh and his counterparts at Kensington and Chelsea have been getting a thoroughly good kicking from residents) there is always a possibility that Boris will reassume the development back into his office.  Meanwhile, the architects who were working on that unpopular, but only speculative "north London" project have now also been engaged to produce designs for Battersea - namely Fosters. Greenhalgh, it has been alleged, was offering CFC all manner of incentives to explore the Old Oak Common development and Chelsea appear to have played him well. His departure is evidence of that. We become more convinced that Chelsea's activities, which cover a variety of options, are not all with the definite intention of moving or certainly not very far. There is a distinct suspicion that Greenhalgh has been "removed" with a bribe from Boris. He is responsible for two very critical London developments and they haven't been going well. Politicians like Greenhalgh are more than capable of binning principals for power and being deputy mayor of London would appeal to him strongly. This may well be a first move in a line of them that may open up the possibilities of Earls Court or indeed the radical development of Stamford Bridge. Suffice to say, in the corridors of power in Fulham and Kensington, with whom Greenhalgh has recently jumped firmly into bed with government encouraged bi-borough initiatives, his announcement came as something of a surprise. A little mole of ours who knows about such things would only say that his stepping down was for personal reasons. His successor will be interesting. As one local councillor put it to us, "Members in Hammersmith and Fulham won't know what to do with themselves. They barely take a shit without Greenhalgh giving them permission." On other matters, we chuckled on reading the unedited register of shareholders. Some of the people who had purchased lots of them late in the day are very interesting! However, we continue to take the view that such things are totally irrelevant. Anyway, it is a chilly day and we are off for a hot Toddy. Keep watching.

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