Last night, Haringey’s watchdog scrutiny committee urged the local Labour Cabinet to rethink the highly controversial plans to put £2bn of public property in a company jointly owned with a developer. The Labour-run council had proposed that Haringey Development Vehicle would deliver regeneration in Tottenham and Wood Green. The council had selected Lendlease as their preferred development partner.
Local Lib Dem councillors submitted a formal request for a review of the Labour Cabinet’s decision. They urged the committee to refer the issue to a full council meeting, so all Cllrs can have a vote. The Labour dominated scrutiny committee decided to refer the decision back to Cabinet instead for a rethink.
Cllr Gail Engert, Haringey Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition, comments:
“The Lib Dems called for the review because we have grave concerns about the Labour-run council's plans to put £2bn of public property into a company with a developer. We do not believe there are enough protections for council tenants, leaseholders and businesses who will be affected.
"We are also concerned that Lendlease does not have a strong record on delivering affordable housing, they have admitted a company they own blacklisted union members and the company were even fined $56m in America for overcharging.
“I respect the decision of the scrutiny committee but I believe that it would have been more democratic if all councillors had a say. I hope that the Labour Cabinet will listen to the concerns of councillors, residents, local businesses, council leaseholders and tenants, I hope they stop this massive privatisation of public land. It is far too risky.”