Jun 112017
 

On this Thursday coming, 15th June 2017, there will be a labour Group meeting of all Labour Councillors in Haringey. The HDV is on the agenda, and will be discussed.

 

Following Last weeks election result, with both of Haringey's MP's getting huge votes and large swings in voting to them, it is clear that the vast majority of voters in Haringey support the aims of the Labour Party which include less privatisation and more social housing.

 

Since the HDV would run counter to both these objectives, we feel it is worth reminding Labour Councillors of 3 things.

 

1) The support as stated above for less privatisation and more social housing, and how the HDV is contrary to what people in Haringey supported in the General Election.

 

2) The high possibility of another election within 9 months and that this is not a time to undermine the position of the Labour party by supporting a mass transfer of assets for the building of private housing and the demolition of council and social housing.

 

3) If a Labour Government were elected Haringey could find themselves in a compromised position of having signed a contract which will run contrary to the Labour Government's position.

 

In order to remind the councillors of these points, we would like to ask that you all write to your local councillor to make these points. We have drawn up a template letter below, which you can adjust or send as it is ( please sign at the bottom with your address). Alternatively you can of course write your own letter.

 

We have also provided a weblink to Haringeys site which helps you to determine who your councillor is and their e mail address. Simply type in your post code or other details and it will list your councillors. Click on them and you can find their contact addresses. You can write to as many councillors as you wish, but please ensure you include your own councillor. This is even if you know they oppose the HDV as it helps them feel supported.

 

If we can get a mass of e mail addresses into councillors this week it may well change the opinions of the handful we need to stop the HDV.

 

Many thanks in advance for your support.

 

The website is:

https://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx

 

The template letter:

 

 

Dear Councillor,

 

The challenge of providing council housing and genuinely affordable housing nationally, especially in London, has been at the high point of the recent national election. We understand and appreciate the pressure that many councils have been put under regarding the cuts that have flowed from Whitehall and the constraints that exist on housing policy.

That said, we would ask now, as Haringey is posed to agree on a deal with LendLease for the largest private sector led redevelopment project in the uk, of a potential value of more than 2 billion pounds…we would ask you to simply pause and assess the circumstances in which this decision will be taken and rethink.

At the point the initial decision to proceed with the HDV was made times were different. The decision was made before the vote for Brexit and all of the uncertainty that brought, it was made before councilors had had the ability to review the initial Scrutiny Committee report, it was before the true experience of Southwark Council and Lendlease became clear. Financial losses and a loss of over 1,300 council homes.

But more than this, the decision to proceed with the HDV was made in the context of a Tory Government, what we have seen in the recent days is that in all likelihood, within a matter of weeks or months the national government will change. You are on the verge of making a massive decision which places both the housing and financial strategy of Haringey at risk as has been noted by Auditor and Haringeys own internal auditor. We ask you to pause.

The Labour Party has committed if elected to build “at least 100,000 council and housing association homes a year for genuinely affordable rent or sale” by the end of the next parliament which represents a 50% increase on the coalition’s highest output of building 67,000 homes in 2014/15, most of which were not even genuinely affordable. This commitment is unlike anything that the Conservative Party have ever made. It is also consistent with the policy set out by Sadiq Khan and the Greater London Authority.

Why, we would ask, when faced with the prospect of significant new national investments in housing by the Labour Party at a time where, as you well know, the Labour Party of Tottenham and Hornsey and Wood Green oppose the HDV, why would you go ahead. The Scrutiny committee and indeed the experiences of other jurisdictions both in England and the United States have illustrated very clearly the severe risks of strategies such as the HDV. Why, when major new infusions of capital are promised for housing would council not listen to its own Labour Party members and put an immediate halt to the current procurement process.

We urge you to take the time to actually think and to pause on what is a decision that places thousands of houses and thousands of livelihoods at risk for the benefit largely of a private sector property magnate. There is an alternative. There are many alternatives. Council must pause and behave responsibily to truly assess the risks and the new alternatives.