JUST in case you weren’t digging through the business section, one of the key men at the company behind the beautiful restoration of the Prince of Wales Baths in Kentish Town gave an interview to the Sunday Times at the weekend.
Not only did we learn that James Wates, deputy chairman of the Wates group, chills out to a bit of Coldplay and counts The Blues Brothers as his favourite film, but also that the company gave around £175,000 to the Conservative Party between 2001 and 2010.
He explains in his interview with Oliver Shah: “We’ve taken the view as a family for a long time that the Conservative ethos is the one that’s beneficial to society. It’s individual aspiration. It is about people wanting to do things for themselves rather than being looked after. Interestingly, we always do better under a Labour government, so we should think the other way.”
That last sentence might be a reference to work Wates lost when the current government spiked the Building Schools for the Future programme in many areas. Certainly, you would do well to find a local authority willing to spend £23 million on restoring Victorian swimming pools right now.