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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Haringey Council’s housing and regeneration scrutiny panel took a very important step on Wednesday, by voting to reject the Council Cabinet’s hugely ambitious joint venture company proposal (the Haringey Development Vehicle), to be worth £2 billion, aiming to demolish more than 4,000 homes, redevelop Wood Green town centre, and take ownership of 173 shops and 224 small businesses.

The vote was unanimous, supported by both Labour and Lib Dem Cllrs. 

This is NOT a real regeneration scheme, but a vicious social cleansing plan directed against council housing estate tenants and residents, especially in North Tottenham.

Local people could be driven out of the area by estate demolitions, higher house prices and higher rents.  We must do our best to ensure that this does not happen.

Panel members slammed the lack of information about possible detriments to the Housing Revenue Account arising from the joint venture plan, and the lack of any proper assessment of the risks involved.

The sheer size of the proposed company magnifies the risk factor.

It was suggested that if the company was to go bust, Haringey Council could itself go bust, and would then need to be bailed out by central government.

The meeting was preceded by a vocal demonstration outside the Civic Centre, called by Haringey Labour Momentum at just 48 hours’ notice, and supported by Haringey Defend Council Housing; and there were thirty people in the public gallery to hear Cllrs queue up to denounce the joint venture plan.

If this helps to open up a proper debate on the joint venture idea, then that is both welcome and long overdue. 

Great work all round - but this was only a small step, and there's plenty more to be done!  

 

Tags for Forum Posts: haringey development vehicle, hdv

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Hi where is the exact info on the 1 billion funding claim? is it on your they work for us page?

The key point of this little video, and why I think it is timely, is in the statement near the end: "The wrong decisions were taken too quickly and without sufficient thought for the future"!!!

As a councillor myself, I have always said that I am prepared to sleep with the devil if it is in the interests of my constituents, be it a devil from the private sector (profit motivated) or the public sector (ministers etc of different political views to mine). If the proposed "Development Vehicle" was properly thought out and convincingly for the benefit of the borough's current and future population, I would of course be prepared to vote for it. I have no doubt that all my colleagues, whether they are for or against it (or agnostic) at this stage, feel the same and want the best.

But the Council's own cross-party Scrutiny panel, after months of detailed research and consideration, has unanimously concluded that the proposal as it currently stands has not been properly risk assessed, whilst the evidence from elsewhere, where something like that has been tried, raises serious and legitimate concerns about this type of approach. The seer size of what is proposed makes the potential risks involved too big to ignore.

It follows that we should not rush into committing the authority, certainly not at this stage. May be after a lot more detailed assessment has taken place,  we can revisit it and probably proceed with something like this, but only if it is safe to do so.

I believe that this is also the view taken clearly by both our local MPs.

It is important to make clear here that I am not trying to make any cheap party political point. I am myself a Labour councillor, the clear majority of the Scrutiny Panel (who voted unanimously to ask the council to "halt" the process) are Labour councillors, the two MPs are also Labour and from what I gather from my mailbag this is the feeling of the vast majority of local Labour Party members. It is not about political dogma, or narrow party point-scoring, it is about being responsible and avoiding the risk of ""The wrong decisions taken too quickly and without sufficient thought for the future"!!!

Season's Greetings everyone.

Thanks Isidoros, On Christmas Day will there be a friendly football match in No Man's Land?

Not in this struggle, Alan!

Pathetic tosh..  (Alan) You certainly win the 2016 wooden spoon award for muck stirring..

Happy to oblige Stephen. Haringey's muck needs vigorous stirring.
But I'm well supplied with wooden spoons and anyway don't do awards.

So long as there is muck produced by Haringey's controlling group, long may you continue to stir it, Alan. The Alexandra Palace deal with Firoka was another public-private partnership whose ordure you and others revealed, so far as was possible.

Bob That's exactly what it was. A highly risky semi-secret deal with a private company which lost the Council at least £1.5 million. (Possibly £2million.
With the joint venture housing land "vehicle", the costs of setting it up have probably already exceeded that sum. And if it goes wrong then the losses could be far greater.
I gather that Croydon had one which went badly wrong and had to beg the Government to bail them out. As far as I know, theirs didn't destroy people's homes.
P.S. I had a small part in exposing the Alexandra Palace scandal. Many others did far far more. A lot of determined and persistent people kept levering up that particular rock. It was also one of the few occasions when Cllr Claire Kober clearly and unequivocally made the right judgement call.

Thanks for starting this discussion Paul.  Our Scrutiny Report on the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) was published yesterday. Below is the report for everyone to read. It is quite long but the key recommendation is on page 1 so easy to access. In summary, the committee was unanimous (across both parties and differing political views within the Labour members) that the risk of this £2 billion project is so great and not yet fully quantified, that the procurement process should be halted.  I think our report is measured, thoughtful, well-evidenced and researched. 

The whole area of Local Authority Backed Asset Vehicles (LABVs) is complex and quite opaque since these companies  are private Limited Liability Partnerships so covered/shrouded in commercial confidentiality. Nevertheless we did find out about some other authorities' experiences which overall raises very serious doubts about the wisdom of proceeding.  And Haringey's Development Vehicle (HDV)appears to be the largest attempted anywhere, and far larger than any other example we found. It is also unusual in including Council estates which would become, in effect private land.  

There are massive issues of risk, due diligence, democratic accountability, impact on people's homes, tenants, leaseholders and 508 businesses renting from the Council whose leases/license/contracts will be transferred to the HDV private limited liability partnership. This is a massive issue. The argument for it is that it will generate money for Haringey as the Council transfers assets to the HDV and  becomes a partner with the private developer in 'regeneration'.  This would be a 20 year arrangement. These arrangements are hugely complex and are inherently risky with the size, scale and duration also risks in themselves. But please read our report and make your own judgement as this is public money and public resources we are talking about exposing to this project. 

https://api.ning.com/files/AiTnxaHmrQ-EEF9CYf2noM1a-YvkFca4LoCcb4Mv...*EVEoLmtcr7WaHTLd11-VuTE5RFIcN7h4JGBYofeMR9XgmkdcbhH/HDVInterimReportGovernanceArrangementsforHDVOverviewandScrutinyCommittee.pdf

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The report will be considered by the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee next Tuesday January 17. The meeting is at the Civic Centre starting at 7pm. 

Zena Brabazon

Cllr, Harringay Ward

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