Ed Lister has still the final word on Wandsworth decisions

Author: Cyril Richert

At the beginning of August, the Mayor of London approved the permission granted by Wandsworth Borough Council (WBC) for the Ram Brewery Site. Actually Boris Johnson being on holiday, this is Edward Lister, the Deputy Mayor & Chief of Staff, who took the decision with delegation.

Therefore, former Wandsworth Council leader Ed Lister, who approved the first proposal for the Ram Brewery site (before to be refused by the Secretary of States), and went before Wandsworth Council Planning Application Committee to support the case, has acted also as the final judge for London’s decision!

Planning committees are considered as quasi-judicial body in the UK. In court, the judge involved in the first case cannot be the same magistrate giving the final word on the second one following appeal. Apparently nobody bothers about conflicts of interest here!

Apparently this is not a problem for the Mayor’s office, as they said:

As Sir Edward Lister was Leader at Wandsworth Council at the time of the previous application he was fulfilling a different role to that of Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff at the GLA. In any event, in this particular case we were satisfied in reporting this to him that he has not previously fettered or prejudiced his role in any way.

Below is a visual representation of Edward Lister involvement in the Ram Brewery decision.

Involvement of Edward Lister in key decision on the Ram Brewery proposal, acting either as Wandsworth Council leader or as Deputy Mayor of London.
Involvement of Edward Lister in key decisions on the Ram Brewery proposal, acting either as Wandsworth Council leader or as Deputy Mayor of London (click to see bigger).

This is a big relief that there is no call-in by the Secretary of States this time as it was announced that Communities secretary Eric Pickles is happy with Minerva’s proposal for the redevelopment of the Ram Brewery. Those things take usually between 1 or 2 years and imagine that, through next government shake, Edward Lister becomes Secretary of States for Community. Do you think he should be able to take the decision to confirm or refuse… his previous decision as deputy Mayor of London?

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