Unite, the UK’s biggest trades union, has asked Labour councillors to stay away from the MIPIM property fair, the largest property event of its kind in the world, which is to be held at London’s Olympia between 15-17 October.
Labour councillors in London are being urged to boycott the event because of the union’s fears that property developers will “stitch up deals” that would hit council tenants and leaseholders in the capital.
Unite has said that “the fair attracts developers, estate agents, landowners and multi-national investors who, are directly profiting from the UK housing crisis”.
Writing to all Labour-controlled councils in London, the Unite’s deputy regional secretary for London Vince Passfield has said: “Many will be seeking to make property deals with local authorities that will ultimately be detrimental to existing residents and wider communities.”
Unite gave the example of Tower Hamlets council that has already “pulled out” and it understands that Hammersmith and Fulham won’t be going either.
Vince Passfield has said:
“There is a strong and growing movement developing around the housing crisis in the UK, particularly in London, with an increasing focus on the role of private developers and landowners in the ‘regeneration’ of local authority social housing estates.
“We are strongly urging Labour councils to withdraw from participation in MIPIM and the close relationships with private developers that the event seeks to foster, and to commit to working with progressive groups and policy-makers to develop genuinely sustainable local housing solutions that truly benefit people on low to middle incomes in the capital.
The councils that Unite has written to are: Barking, Brent, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Hounslow, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.
MIPIM, the world’s leading property market, brings together the most influential players from all international property sectors – office, residential, retail, healthcare, sport, logistics and industrial, offering unrivalled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide.
The MIPIM fair details here: www.mipimuk.co.uk/the-event
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) October 8, 2014