2017 12 – Housing in London’s Harringey

Feed-the-Rich in Haringey

Haringey Development Vehicle and Labour councillor selection.

An important fight is taking place in the Labour Party in the London borough of Haringey.  It is around a company called the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) which the Labour controlled Haringey council is proposing to set up.  (Haringey has 57 councillors of which 48 are Labour and 9 are Liberal.)  The HDV would be a joint venture between Haringey council and an Australian company called Lendlease to build homes in Haringey.  The council and Lendlease would each have a 50% stake in the HDV.  Haringey would put assets into the HDV in the form of land and buildings.  Lendlease would in turn put into the HDV an amount of cash which would equal the value of the assets which Haringey had put in.  New homes would then be built on the land and existing homes would either be refurbished or torn down and rebuilt.  However these homes would now be owned by the HDV and not by Haringey council.071 HDV 1 original

Many members of the Haringey LP are, for good reasons, strongly opposed to the HDV.  We republish below a leaflet explaining this opposition to the HDV produced by a group of Labour Party members in Haringey’s Stroud Green ward – one of the biggest wards in the UK due to a huge increase in membership once Jeremy Corbyn became leader.

The Labour Party in Haringey is currently in the process of selecting candidate councillors for the council elections that will take place in May 2018.  The leaflet is intended to focus LP members on the HDV issue and to get them to select council candidates who will oppose the HDV.  On 22nd November the Stroud Green ward held the first round of the council candidate selection process. Two of the 3 existing councillors were not automatically selected mainly because they were supporters of the HDV.  Although not automatically selected their names could still have been on the candidate list along with 4 other candidates for the final stage of the stage of the selection process which took place on 28th November.  However both councillors decided not to put their candidacy to the test and withdrew from the contest.  One of these councillors, Tim Gallagher, according to a local paper, stated: “For the people who organised so ruthlessly to get rid of us, we were all proxies for a single policy they were opposed to based on questionable degrees of understanding.”  A somewhat bizarre comment.  The deep concerns of the ‘Haringey Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel’ around the HDV, made available in July 2017, were very detailed and comprehensive but ignored by the council leader.  This has led to the current impasse.072 HDV 2 original

At the meeting on 28th November members arrived expecting to vote on the remaining 4 candidates but were informed that 2 of the remaining 4 had withdrawn leaving just 2 candidates for 2 places.  A proposal to re-open the selection process was rejected by the meeting and so the two remaining candidates, Eldridge Culverwell and Daniel Stone, were automatically selected as the Labour Party’s candidates for the Stroud Green ward in the May 2018 council elections.  It should be noted that both these candidates had stated their opposition to the HDV.  The leaflet which helped bring about this situation, republished below, was produced by a small group in the Stroud Green ward.  Some but not all of this group are Momentum members.

For fuller details paste the following link into your browser and go to page 75 of a 224-page pdf: https://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/documents/b21233/To%20Follow%20Pack%2013th-Jun-2017%2019.00%20Overview%20and%20Scrutiny%20Committee.pdf?T=9