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Ealing and Northfield

Labour finally pays up after two written questions

The Ealing Labour party held a fund raising do on behalf of their GLA candidate Onkar Sahota at the council run Dominion Centre in Southall on 31st March. Back in April blogger Mark Wallace accused our own council leader, Julian Bell, of mis-using the facilities of Parliament to promote Sahota.

I wondered what was going on so asked a written question (Number 39) at the June council meeting:

Question 39:

Can the Leader confirm that the council received the full, published booking fee for the Labour party fundraiser held on Saturday 31st March at 7 pm at the Dominion Centre, The Green, Southall, UB2 4BQ? If any discount was offered please state the basis of the discount offered.

Answer 39:

This event was not a fundraising event as originally planned and no funds were raised for the Labour party. The booking at the dominion centre was mistakenly made at the cahritable (sic) rate, this mistake has been rectified. The full published booking fee is in the process of being paid.

The answer raised more questions than it answered. As a result I asked a further question in July (Number 21).

Question 21:

Can the Leader confirm what payments were received and when by the council in regard to the Labour party fundraiser held on Saturday 31st March at 7 pm at the Dominion Centre, The Green, Southall, UB2 4BQ? When was the first payment received? How much was it? When was the second payment received? How much was it? What is the usual fee paid by a corporate user for this facility on a Saturday night?

Answer 21:

The first of payment £225 was received 26th April. This was given at the discounted rate of £75 per hour to the IWA (3 hrs), who are entitled to the discounted rate. The balance of £105 was received 23rd July 2012.

So it seems that the Labour party used the Indian Workers Association as a badge of convenience to get a cheap rate for this hire. You wonder how many times they have done that? More than that even when caught red handed diddling the council it took a second written question to get Labour to pay up. The first question was asked on 12th June. The second one on 17th July. Labour managed to pay up on 23rd July.