In order to clarify the reasons for Historic England’s stance on the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, I thought it would be helpful to find out the extent to which the Bell Foundry has been discussed at meetings of the Commissioners (who, by the way, are paid, unlike the trustees of most public bodies). Their website states that the minutes of their meetings are published ‘as soon as they are agreed as a public record’. Yet, the last set of minutes which has been published date from October 2016, over three years ago and long before the Whitechapel Bell Foundry was sold. So, we do not know when and to what extent the issues have been discussed. Were they told of the sale ? Were they told of the UKHBPT proposals ? On what grounds have they supported the proposals by Raycliff for turning the Foundry into a hotel ? Do they share the officers’ view that it is a good idea ?
Each of the Commissioners will have signed a form committing themselves to probity and transparency in decision making. What, I wonder, is their view and where is it a matter of public record ?