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Haringey Labour pledges to abandon controversial development vehicle

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The controversial Haringey development vehicle (HDV) proposal will be ditched if Labour maintains control of the council in the upcoming elections, the local party has confirmed.

A preference for in-sourcing services where possible has also been expressed in Haringey Labour’s manifesto for the elections on 3 May.

Council leader Claire Kober (Lab) announced at the end of January that she was standing down as Haringey’s leader amid in-fighting within the party, particularly over the HDV partnership with developer Lendlease. Under the arrangements the company would take more than £2bn of council assets and own a 50% stake. In return it would promise to create 6,400 homes and 20,000 jobs.

While the High Court in February rejected a bid from campaigners to block the proposed public-private regeneration vehicle, Cllr Kober said at the time of her resignation that she would leave the final decision on the HDV to her successor.

Outlining the party’s vision in the manifesto, launched this week, deputy leader Joseph Ejiofor said: “The biggest challenge we face is delivering the new, decent, genuinely affordable housing that local people desperately need.

“We do not believe that the HDV provides the answer and we do not intend to progress with it. We will consider a complete range of ideas to deliver new housing when we make a final decision in the new administration.”

On the wider issue of housing, the manifesto said the party’s “preference is to build our own housing on our own land, and we aim to create the in-house capacity for our council to do so.”

The manifesto includes pledges to “deliver a thousand new council homes for families on our waiting list by 2022” and an “aim to end street homelessness in Haringey by 2022”.

Cllr Ejiofor also acknowledged other “challenges”.

“The viciousness of Conservative government cuts to our budget has increased inequality and poverty and the level of demand for vital services,” he said. “This means that we have to get creative, and yes, our preference is for in-house services over outsourcing – services from social care to street cleaning, where this doesn’t diminish quality and is financially prudent.”

The manifesto also outlines a plan to set up a “fairness commission” which will conduct “a detailed investigation that will find out what residents, community groups and businesses think we should do to make Haringey a better and a more equal borough.”

“The results will be at the heart of informing our strategy,” said cllr Ejiofor.

The manifesto said the party has “many more ideas about how Haringey can reach its potential” and added: “Our vision builds on Jeremy Corbyn’s and Labour’s 2017 general election manifesto, applying its principles locally.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • My recollection is that the claimants had sought leave to appeal the High Court decision in favour of Haringey's 'HDV'; if granted and Haringey abandon the plan, is there a risk the appeal will then be allowed uncontested, with the High Court's decision overturned without argument, raising once more the questions over commerciality in the Localism Act that we thought the High Court had addressed....?

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