Haringey Lib Dem councillors have forced a review of the Labour Cabinet’s decision to select Lendlease as the preferred bidder for the £2bn Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV).
On Friday (17th February) the opposition councillors formally requested that the council’s watchdog scrutiny committee examines the decision. They have urged the committee to recommend that the HDV does not go ahead and the matter should be decided at Full Council, not Cabinet, so all councillors can vote on the issue.
The call-in request was accepted by the council on Monday and a special meeting of the scrutiny committee is expected to be held on Thursday 2nd March, 7pm, at the Civic Centre in Wood Green.
The Lib Dems believe that the Labour Cabinet made the wrong decision in choosing Lendlease as the preferred bidder for the highly controversial plans to put £2bn of public property into a company jointly owned by the council and developer. The company would be due to carry out the council’s regeneration plans for Tottenham and Wood Green.
Lendlease has come under scrutiny following allegations of blacklisting of union workers in the UK and fines in the United States for overcharging for work. The Lib Dems have also raised concerns about the details of the deal with Lendlease which could see them charging for their expertise. Concerns have also been raised and the company’s record on delivering social housing at the Heygate Estate regeneration scheme in Southwark.
The Lib Dems are calling for the HDV to be stopped now.
Cllr Gail Engert, Haringey Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition, comments:
“This deal does not have enough protections for council leaseholders and tenants, it does not deliver a good deal for residents and risks an enormous amount of public property. The Lib Dems also have concerns about the chosen developer and the delivery of more genuinely affordable homes too.
“That is why the Liberal Democrats have forced a review of this decision, to do what we can to stop these risky plans. We will also push for all councillors to be given a vote on this issue at a Full Council meeting. This decision is far too big and far too important to be taken by a handful of Labour Cabinet members.”