Legal Update – Gordon Peters

 Posted by on 2nd November 2017
Nov 022017

The hearing was concluded on Thursday 26th October.

David Wolfe, our QC, summed up after hearing the arguments put by three QCs representing Haringey and Lendlease who identified themselves as together in this action. They maintained I was  out of time  and said  relief  [costs ceiling] should be denied, and then opposed our four grounds: as a commercial venture it should be a company not an LLP, lack of consultation, not going to full Council for a strategic shift [that s right they said a  2 billion transfer of Council assets was not a strategic shift], and the lack of Equalities Impact of the HDV. They then used the Overview and Scrutiny recommendations – which were asking for a halt on grounds of risk and democratic deficit, and had included a

week long panel of experts giving reasons why this [HDV] was a bad move - as an example of how much consultation the Cabinet had done, even though they went ahead and ignored it. And more then traducing our motives. And using real alternative approaches such as Our Tottenham [totally against this] - which had been mentioned and then immediately dismissed in report to Cabinet - as example of how open and fair the whole process was.

Our QC was then able to show the many contradictory positions in the Cabinet and HDV process and use their own documents [over 700 pages of which had been redacted and where all the key information was never shared with anyone outside the Cabinet, Lendlease or three officers] to underline the real intentions of the HDV deal, namely demolition and higher cost replacement and no protection for social housing and the people dependent on that, and replacement of leaseholds, etc., maintaining that the Freedom of Information Act, Human Rights Act and Public Sector Equality Duty were all defaulted by the HDV.

He then asked the judge to rule that: The HDV be declared an unlawful action.

The judge will review this and we shall learn when a decision is immanent. Lawyers do not expect this for some weeks yet.

The result so far is that we have already effectively delayed the HDV by several months, and nothing can now go ahead until a decision is made on  vires . I have no doubt that we can crowd-fund again if needs be and thus delaying it further. I think it is almost dead in the water, and that will have huge ramifications for development corporations and local authorities if they choose to ignore actual local needs, community fabric, social housing and the manner of dealing with consultation [public ballots for instance].