Apr 06 2014

Councillor explains ‘tricks of the trade’ for planning approval

Greg Stone, a long-serving Liberal Democrat councillor in the North Heaton   area of Newcastle, told undercover Telegraph reporters that many fellow   employees at planning consultancy Indigo Public Affairs also worked as   councillors.

10:00PM GMT 10 Mar 2013


“I wouldn’t say dark arts but, but, there is, there is sort of tricks of the   trade,” councillor Greg Stone confided to undercover reporters last month.

He described how Indigo Public Affairs could help a group of overseas   investors win approval for developments around the country.

He said that the lobbying company works for companies including Tesco as well   as large housing developments.

“Anything that’s controversial basically”, he said.

Greg Stone, who has been a Liberal Democrat councillor for more than 12 years,   explained that, like him, many of the company’s employees worked as   councillors or were involved in politics in some way.

He confided that even if certain councillors would not talk to them about a   planning application, there were certain “tricks of the trade” which offered    “a good way of, of getting round this”.

“A bit of cunning is needed when you’re dealing with some of these ones”, he   admitted.