Richard Roger's Appointment (Supplementary) [10]

Session date: 
July 11, 2001
Question By: 
Angie Bray
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Richard Rogers

Question

I wonder whether you can understand the concerns that I have expressed in the past about the role you play in advising the Mayor and also the fact that the Mayor will at some stage look at every UDP that has to go before his office. I am thinking in particular of Westminster's which came back from the Mayor's office with remarks written all over the place about the fact that he could not find their UDP acceptable unless they were going to go forward with very tall buildings in the Paddington area, and of course your name crops up with tall buildings in the Paddington area. And I do think that there is a conflict of interest, or a potential conflict of interest, because of course, there are many other buildings you are involved in all over London and those UDPs at some stage will come up and we have already seen what has happened with Westminster. Do you understand my concerns about that?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Richard Roger's Appointment (Supplementary) [10]

Answer for Richard Roger's Appointment (Supplementary) [10]

Answered By: 
Richard Rogers

I think your concerns are about conflict of interest of which Paddington is a good example. It is obviously a complicated question, which is why I asked the lawyers of my firm, which I chair, Richard Rogers & Partners, and the GLA lawyers, to see whether they could work out an agreement, which they did. And in fact it is my understanding they did not have a lot of difficulty in the agreement I am pleased to say. The implication of this is, first of all, number one is transparency on all sides. Any job that comes into my office is immediately reported to you through Richard (Brown) who is doing the co-ordinating, so that you know what I am doing. Literally the word is "immediately" to get that transparency. If I am working on that area then I have to stop working immediately on that area. That is the agreement. I have many people who are looking over my shoulder to see that I follow this. If you do not do this, it would cut out any form of experienced professional from doing this type of work. I mean I happen to be doing architecture, so I think in a society which recognises that people have different formal abilities, it is important that there are ways in which you can use professional advisors from the outside, be it legal or whether it is architectural or whatever, under strict constraints to minimise the dangers of conflicts of interest.