Merton Council is yet to strike any deals as a result of its tax-payer funded trip to France earlier this year, the Wimbledon Times can reveal.

In March, leader of the council Stephen Alambritis, Councillor Martin Whelton and two unnamed regeneration officers were flown off to Cannes to take part in MIPIM, a four-day real estate exhibition.

It came to light shortly after that £1,800 of tax-payer money was spent on each ticket, coming to a total of £7,200.

The council said at the time that the purpose of the trip was to broker relationships with investors and funders interested in the regeneration of Morden and to raise awareness of the borough as a whole.

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But a Freedom of Information request from the Wimbledon Times has shown that since the MIPIM conference, no deals have been made as a result.

"No deals were done at MIPIM," the FOI response read.

"New contacts made there are being developed since MIPIM – there have been follow-up meetings and a dialogue with many developers has been established."

Wimbledon Times:

The council's itinerary for the conference

This revelation was met with backlash from deputy leader for the Merton Conservatives, Councillor Daniel Holden, who said: “The Labour administration can no longer maintain the fiction that their trip for MIPIM was a worthwhile use of taxpayers money.

"At the April council when we questioned Cllr Allison about Labour’s use of taxpayer Money to attend MIPIM he said that 'our tone and insinuation was regrettable'.

"I think the people of Merton find the Labour administrations waste of taxpayers’ money and staff time regrettable.

"Their trip to Cannes has not yielded any positive outcomes for Merton, and they have big questions to answer about their priorities, and their total failure to progress with Morden regeneration.”

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In response to the criticisms from Cllr Holden, a spokeswoman for Merton Labour said: "It's terribly sad to see Merton's Conservatives undermining the hard work and dedication of businesslike councillors like ourselves and Wandsworth's Conservatives, who are tirelessly trying to get more homes built for the people who need them in this country.

"Merton's Tories have fallen a long way in a short time, and they should stop undermining council leaders like their Conservative colleague Councillor Ravi Govindia, who we were delighted to see at the conference working hard for his community.

"MIPIM is an important event, and a great opportunity to meet housebuilders and let them know that Merton is open for business."

A similar FOI earlier this year by the Wandsworth Times revealed that representatives from Wandsworth Council did in fact attend this year's meeting, as they have since at least 2010.

However the cost to taxpayers in Wandsworth for this year's conference was only £99, and the bill for a single conference has never exceeded more than £4,400 this decade.

2019 was the first time Merton Council attended the event and went as part of a London Councils delegation.