Meet Tony Clements, new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ealing Council, appointed Tuesday night (19 April) on a salary of £200,000 a year plus benefits (that’s more than the UK Prime Minister!). Mr Clements previously worked for Ealing as Executive Director of Regeneration and Housing (another highly paid role), head of the department that oversees the public realm in the borough and had a big say in planning.
Jobs for the boys?
As Executive Director of Regeneration and Housing, Mr Clements worked very closely with current council leader Peter Mason and ex-leader Julian Bell, when Cllr Mason lead the planning department. All three visited MIPIM, the developer conference in the south of France, where they helped sell Ealing to developers as full of “shovel ready” sites for building. For ten years Ealing Council has been promoting Ealing as world of development opportunities at MIPIM, and Mr Clements along with Cllrs Bell and Mason were enthusiastic advocates of this policy and about getting tall buildings built in Ealing.
On hearing the news of Mr Clements new appointment, Simon Baker of STT said “Given his track record our fear is that once the election is over, it’ll be tower blocks galore, as Cllr Mason works with Mr Clements to encourage more inappropriate developments in Ealing”.
Politically aligned, moi?
The CEO role is politically restricted, meaning Mr Clements should be required to be impartial. However, having stood as Labour Party candidate in Beaconsfield at the 2015 General Election, it’s hard to imaging he doesn’t have some political sympathy for Mr Mason’s current ruling Labour group, as Cllr Mason aims to realise his dreams of a further 4,000 flats in Ealing. This is on top of the 2500 already built. Unfortunately none of these have been council homes – most have been private sales, and far too expensive for the average Ealing key worker to buy.
We’ve all been told about the cost of living crisis and we all got a big council tax hike. Yet the council decided in January to increase the CEO salary from £189,000, no doubt hoping to attract the very best candidates. Nice work if you can get it.
Simon Baker, of STT added, “we’ve heard promises of change from Cllr Mason. But with the same pro-developer individuals in the top jobs, it’s clear that after the election it’ll be business as usual building tower blocks and flats that Ealing doesn’t want and no Ealing residents can afford.”
STT is an apolitical organisation and seeks only to promote positive, sustainable and appropriate development in Ealing borough. We will also continue to call out behaviour which doesn’t support the appropriate development Ealing residents want and need. Fighting for the rights of residents, your Stop The Towers team.