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Olympic mastermind defends Haringey Council after delegates stayed in £288-a-night Cannes Palace hotel
The man responsible for regenerating the Olympic Park has defended Haringey Council for sending delegates to an international property conference in Cannes.
Newly released figures show senior figures stayed in a hotel costing £288.50 per night while attending the MIPIM conference in March.
The council said that the hotel, Cannes Palace, was the best deal possible for its delegates Cllr Alan Strickland, cabinet member for regeneration, and director of regeneration Lyn Garner.
The council's presence at the conference, in France, cost the taxpayer £9,000, with a further £13,000 from private sponsors.
Neale Coleman, deputy chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said it “made sense” for Haringey to be at the conference.
The corporation, whose chairman is Boris Johnson, is responsible for regenerating the Olympic Park area and replaced the Olympic Park Legacy Company in 2012.
Mr Coleman, who also attended the conference, works in the mayor’s private office as the mayoral advisor on Tottenham.
He said: “In my experience working on London 2012 and other regeneration projects, MIPIM is a unique opportunity for public authorities to speak to potential investors about building new homes, bringing new jobs and supporting transport and social investment in areas like Tottenham.
“It must make sense for Haringey to be taking advantage of that."
The council has previously defended the overall costs of attending the conference, with a council spokesman saying that although it had cost £16,000 for the council to attend, £13,000 was raised from sponsorship from developers and businesses.
An investigation by the Liberal Democrats later revealed that the trip had cost £22,000 and not £16,000 as the council originally stated.
Sponsors such as Tottenham Hotspur, Wards Corner developer Grainger and Tottenham Hale developer Lee Valley Estate paid £13,000 towards the cost of the trip, with taxpayers’ money making up the other £9,000.
Kim Winter, who protested with Haringey Defend Council Housing outside Tottenham Town Hall yesterday during the council meeting, said that the cost of the hotel rooms was “disgusting”.
Ms Winter, of Eleanor Close, Tottenham, said: “We’ve elected these people and they’re supposed to represent us.
“We are not against regeneration. We’re not against people coming here and spending money. But we need housing for everyone, and not just for the wealthy.”
A Haringey Labour Group spokesman said the party has nothing to add in light of the new figures.
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