Two Hammersmith and Fulham council officers are heading to Cannes this week to woo property developers to the borough on a taxpayer-funded trip costing £1,500.
The trip to the French Riviera for the annual MIPIM property conference will bring the officers into contact with potential developers for the Old Oak site, near Wormwood Scrubs.
They will also be seeking to drum up business for "other areas", apparently a reference to the hotly contested council proposals to bulldoze and rebuild some of the borough's estates.
On Wednesday (March 17) Lyn Garner, assistant director for regeneration and housing strategy, will take to the podium for a session titled West London: the Home of Opportunity.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council says the total cost of the two officers attending is £1,482. Garner will fly out at a cost of £188 for four days and return by train (£62). Her accommodation at the resort will cost £250.
The second representative, who is head of area regeneration programmes, is flying both ways for £271 with accommodation costing the taxpayer £106 for each night of their five day stay.
Critics say a slew of recent planning rows show the council is already too close to developers and should not be touting people's homes for redevelopment.
Labour opposition councillor Stephen Cowan, said:"The public don't support this. Take any resident from next to the Goldhawk Industrial estate or the Queen Caroline Estate and they will tell you they are sick of the council putting their borough up for sale. It has to stop."
The council refutes his claim.
Cabinet Member for Strategy, Cllr Mark Loveday said: "In order to try an attract multi-million pound inward investment to H&F - in the face of tough competition, it is essential that we market ourselves at MIPIM, which is Europe's leading property conference."
The conference is a notoriously lavish affair, with delegates rubbing shoulders on yachts and upmarket restaurants.
Town Halls across the country have been slammed for attended the conference at a time when taxpayers are being urged to accept cuts to services.
Several London boroughs will be represented at the London Pavilion which is led by Mayor Boris Johnson, who is a keynote speaker at this year's event.
MIPIM has been running for 20 years and is hailed as the world's leading property conference. Here a regular delegate gives his views on the week long extravaganza on the Riviera.
"In a week when many are either glued to Champions League football, celebrating St Patrick’s Day or betting on Cheltenham nags, the great and good of the property world up sticks and decamp to the C ôte-d'Azur for a lethal concoction of blue skies and free booze.
Chief executives mingle with mayors and architects show off match-stick models of their latest plans as the French coastal town of Cannes is invaded by suited and booted property players for MIPIM, the world’s must-attend property-fest. Easyjet ditches its low-cost mantra, hiking up return fares to £500 and some.
Aboard heavily-sponsored boats leased for a small fortune by councils and developers in the marina, delegates wash down their canapés with champagne in the midday sun.
The use of a celebrity endorsement was not unknown, with Frank Skinner once addressing attendants of Birmingham City Council’s Balti on the Beach event.
In better, headier days, the cab queues come 3am were as long as one of the port’s many super-yachts. But with the property world experiencing a downturn in fortunes, those days, just like the ‘80s tribute bands rolling back the years under firework-lit skies, are over. With a notable absence in recent years of Russian delegates, austerity has returned."