Socialist Worker

Questions raised over Haringey council's housing deal

Issue No. 2535

North London borough

North London borough (Pic: Wikimedia Commons/Philafrenzy)

The plan to redevelop vast swathes of Haringey, north London, had a spanner thrown in the works last month.

The council is trying to set up a special purpose vehicle company with the intention of half owning it alongside a property developer.

The deal will see £2 billion poured into the Haringey Development Vehicle.

Haringey councillors voted against the deal, which was supported by council leaders.

They have been put under pressure by tenants, residents, campaigners and trade unionists who held a protest outside the council meeting on 14 December.

It emerged last month that senior council figures, including leader Clare Kober, met with PR firm Terrapin Communications for 13 posh meals worth a total of £770.

Haringey Labour Party’s chief whip, councillor Adam Jogee, works as a consultant for the firm.

Terrapin Communications’ clients include Lendlease and Starwood, two of the firms on the shortlist for the special purpose vehicle deal.

The firm’s director Liz Williams said, “Terrapin Communications has never discussed Hornsey Town Hall with any member of the cabinet in Haringey.”

But why did leading councillors meet the firm?

Repreive for the Aylesbury estate?

Southwark council in south London face an obstacle in their race to redevelop the Aylesbury estate in south London.

Sajid Javid, minister for the Department for Communities and Local Government, stopped the council seizing eight homes on the estate in September last year. It followed years of campaigning by residents and activists.

The council launched a judicial review challenging Javid. This was overturned in the High Court on 22 December.

New blow for Cressingham Gardens

Campaigners at the Cressingham Gardens estate in south London were dealt a blow last month. A second judicial review into the demolition of the estate was overturned.

A previous one had found major problems with Lambeth council’s proposal for the site, not least that it had illegally withdrawn renewal options from the proposal.

Despite this, the council voted for demolition again. But campaigners are not taking the decision lying down.

“We still have everything to fight for, and will fight on to save our homes and community,” said Cressingham resident Andy Plant.

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