Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Now, Are You Certain That You Haven't Left Anything on the Train, Your Lordship? Secret Plans for City Future Are Misplaced

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Now, Are You Certain That You Haven't Left Anything on the Train, Your Lordship? Secret Plans for City Future Are Misplaced

Article excerpt

Byline: Adrian Pearson Regional

C ONFIDENTIAL documents outlining plans to regenerate Tyneside were left on a train by the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer.

Charles Falconer misplaced economic masterplans covering everything from Science City to quayside redevelopment on a train earlier this month.

He was due to attend a meeting of the Newcastle Gateshead city development company, which he chairs, on June 11.

Documents behind such meetings are often not released because they are deemed to be commercially sensitive and could lead to regeneration bosses paying more for land and services if they were publicly available.

The confidential papers include financial reports, information on a new conference centre and a section on staff HR issues.

Lord Falconer was previously head of the judiciary in his role the Lord Chancellor, although this position has since been changed.

He also had a say on all major constitutional issues, including helping to create the Freedom of Information Act.

Senior Newcastle Liberal Democrat Greg Stone said his party would be a little concerned that the council's private details had being put at risk.

He said: "I think that given that Lord Falconer has previously held the highest legal position in the country, he should know better than anyone else the importance of keeping these details private.

"Overall he is not doing to bad a job there, so it's shame he slipped up like this.

"I'm not sure about the full details of his remuneration package but I imagine he, at the very least, has his expenses covered for his work in Tyneside, so I would have hoped he can make sure he's worth that cost and inspire a little more confidence that he is giving us his full attention." The missing documents also included a section on the Ouseburn, where development bosses recently bought up land earlier earmarked for a view-spoiling tower along the Tyne. …

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