Tower Hamlets Council Property Transactions Puzzle – Update

The bells Esmerelda, what’s with the bells?

There are so many weird things in this story that should cause alarm bells to ring that we have decided to insert the alarm emoji 🔔 whenever there is cause for, er, alarm bells to ring.

It is more than a little annoying that a simple check of some basic facts relating to an investigation of major importance to everyone in the borough should generate another investigation which is in itself very large and potentially very important.

But here we are. Numerous borough residents have been in touch with us about the weird and probably not at all wonderful story that is the properties bought with the discredited AP1 system which last saw fame when used by Youth Service officers to extract significant funds from the borough (and suffer no consequences whatsoever).

We may rechristen the AP1 system the Magical Teflon AP1 System because not only does it provide for seemingly unrestricted spending on items of a council officers choice, it also magically protects these officers from any disciplinary action at any level.

Handy, huh?

And please remember that this investigation takes place in the sewer politics that still prevails in Tower Hamlets and as always we are working in the dark.

But we are used to it.

You could be waiting some time for a full expose of what the hell is going on with council properties so we thought people might appreciate an update on what we have found so far.

The downside of this is that we have to write it.

  1. We have numerous records of AP1 payments for council house transactions obtained by chance through a Freedom of Information request (reference number 32243017) and no credible explanation of why these properties were bought using the AP1 system. 🔔
  2. We do have addresses for these properties.
  3. As with any local authority Tower Hamlets Council has to publish details of all Payment to Suppliers (P2S) over £500 in value. By chance Moley has built a database from all the publicly available records for his own geeky amusement and for the rapid interrogation of these P2S records.
  4. Problem is that when the P2S database is searched almost all the residential property transaction records have no address and no originating department. Odd that, innit? 🔔
  5. Normally each individual property must have a unique resource reference but we do not have that data.
  6. This means we cannot match an AP1 record against any P2S record so we (and you, natch) will not know if two records refer to two different properties or one property.
  7. This is a massive but not necessarily insurmountable problem.
  8. Mole has yet to decide if this odd lack of data is accidental or deliberate.

This means that the problem of working out what is going on with these properties has to be attacked in two directions at the same time, bottom up from examining the files and top down examining the various different housing programmes.

Next Up: Weird Housing Transactions – Data

2 thoughts on “Tower Hamlets Council Property Transactions Puzzle – Update

    1. Hee hee! That’s very kind of you to say but I think a book voucher might be more useful!

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