Council chief called police over leaked marina plans

The Metropolitan Police are investigating 16 allegations of electoral malpractice in Tower Hamlets ahead of the poll to elect a new mayor.

A council chief executive contacted the police after draft plans for the development of a marina on the site of civic offices and a leisure centre were leaked to the local press.

In a letter to councillors, Christchurch Borough Council chief David McIntosh said he had "discussed the matter with police" and is now investigating the "breach of confidentiality".

The Bournemouth Daily Echo, which ran the story about the proposed marina, said McIntosh has asked the newspaper to reveal the source of leak about the plans, and the subsequent leaking of the letter about the investigation. It declined the request.  

McIntosh, who is also chief executive of East Dorset District Council, said he had contacted the police "to understand their perspective on this" but was told it is not a police matter and would not be investigated.

He added that he had mentioned the fact the police had been contacted in his letter to councillors "to let them know I had done it rather than do something behind their backs".

The original story said the draft plans would involve demolition of civic offices and the redevelopment of the Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre and golf course, a former factory and a gasworks site.

Alongside the marina, the scheme would include housing and shops. The council offices and leisure centre would potentially be replaced at alternative sites.  

In a statement, the council told LGE: "Councillors held an informal briefing to discuss what was, and remains, a confidential matter due to its commercial sensitivity. No decision-making was involved. Discussions regarding a breach of confidentiality have taken place and it is now an internal matter."