This is a collection of FOI's responses that illustrate how the HDV has developed in an atmosphere of secrecy and against massive community opposition.
Relationship with Tottenham Hotspur and Haringey Council Stadium Development and surrounding area known as North Tottenham Development.
Whilst not all of this relates directly to the HDV it forms a vital link between it and the history of regeneration plans for Haringey. It also illustrates the secrecy in which many of these negotiations are held away from the public. It shows the direct funding of private companies and private property developments by the Public purse with limited proven public benefit. It illustrates the councils poor judgement in achieving demonstrable public benefit when providing such funding in a context of crippling public service cuts. It shows a pattern of poor or non existent record keeping regarding key meetings thus reducing transparency.
This is the link to the 13th February planning committee report which on pdf page 15 is the report recommending the lifting of £16m s106 funding obligations upon Spurs development originally agreed on 30th September 2010. It goes on to describe this as the catalyst for further phased regeneration in north Tottenham, which we now know to be the HDV.
This FOI response provides a copy of the 2013 agreement with spurs known as a 'memorandum of understanding' between Spurs and Haringey relating to their development plans. It was referred to in the Cabinet minutes of 7th February 2012. I could find no reference to social housing and seems to amount to a non legally binding agreement to deliver the scheme. Paragraph 8.3 makes direct reference to the establishment of a Development Vehicle. The HDV and Turnberry report which was the report that purported to be the research into the Business Case for area regeneration appeared in the public realm 2015. A separate FOI in this report lists GVA Bilfinger as having contributed to this business case, they are also currently directly involved in the current direct negotiations with Lend Lease re HDV contract.
This response lists 15 meetings between a range of cabinet members, senior council officers, representatives of Spurs and other big business representatives since January 2015. The subject was the Spurs development and that of the wider surrounding area. Response states that no minutes are held in the council of any of those meetings.
This response details the breakdown of public funding to Spurs.
In February 2012, Cabinet approved a £27m Funding and Investment Package
for North Tottenham. The funding comprised of £18m of funding from the
Greater London Authority (GLA) and £9m funding from the council. This
included a decision to allocate £8m of funding for ‘public realm and
heritage improvements’ linked to the Northumberland Development Project
(the new stadium and associated development currently underway by
Tottenham Hotspur) scheme. The bulk of this funding was finally agreed in the Cabinet Member signing meeting on 12th April 2017
It links to the following FOI in that the work described in this funding package appears to reflect those Section 106 planning requirements that Spurs were relieved of having claimed that scheme would not be viable if enforced.
Question asked for all Section 106 agreements and waivers and Viability assessment.
The qualified refusal document in this collection of attachments is interesting. It confirms that no public housing has been provided by Spurs nor were they able to provide any record of any material benefits from Spurs to the public purse, it seems the funding stream moves from public to private not the other direction. Elements of redacted and refused information explained in terms of commercial confidentiality.
In the pack of documents summary is as follows as best as I could work out. The most interesting seem to be numbers 1, 7 and 19
number 1 the Grant Thornton report to the council supporting Spurs assertion that development scheme not viable and led to lifting of the S106 requirements. Report is significantly redacted. Grant Thornton are one of three private companies currently directly involved in negotiations between Council and Lend Lease for HDV contract.
2. unable to open refusal notice later supplied separately
Document relating to the S106 requirements March 2014 lists the private companies involved including one registered in the Bahamas 'TH Property limited'
Further section 106 documentation
Copies of plans of affected area
Copy of requirements upon spurs for day to day management of events
Copy of March 2012 Section 106 requirements later largely removed by planning committee
8. plans and Drawings
9. Copy stadium planning application granted 2011
First part of series including 11. 12.13. that describes Northern Development obligations in regard to stadium and general area regeneration. Probable date 2011
Section 106 agreement with Spurs, details usual regulations and restrictions on building works.
S106 agreement part 2 including maps
16. planning application 2010
maps, list of works and costs date unclear probably 2010/11
Continuation of above, travel plans heritage requirements and use of new public space
Document dated 31.1.14 lists companies involved in Spurs and North Tottenham Development, includes affordable housing so pre-dates current agreement in which that was removed
Planing application with respect to 500 White Hart Lane and Hubert House 2010
21 Ditto but with more detail, confusing document.
Confirms that meetings/ discussions were held between Spurs and Haringey Council since January 2011 regarding viability of Stadium and related Northumberland Park Development Plan, but that no minutes were kept.
This FOI response most interesting element is in the number 2 link to the 7th November 2016 Cabinet Members Signing, Agenda Reports Pack on PDF page 76 for which I provide the direct link below. This shows a programme of works to prepare the Northumberland Park School land for the 99 year lease for outside broadcasting. The document shows that of a total of £1,305.950 Haringey will pay for £984,950 of the costs of ground works. The whole report includes a description of the proposed rental income but unclear what that would be.
It is clear that only Spurs would ever need the land for this purpose also that no other land in the area is suitable apart from that owned by the council. In that context it is difficult to understand why Haringey would take on responsibility for the bulk of the groundwork's allowing the specialist cabling to be laid. The school is already subject to PFI debt and scheduled to be demolished with a new school to be built at cost of £18m to be given to an acadamy chain. (Note: this later information is background not contained within the FOI response which relates only to the land rental).
Evidence relating to Haringey's Poor Record in relation to private sector ventures and forays into the profit sector
This provides link to Homes For Haringey FOI an ALMO of Haringey which provides link to the audit of the failed letting agency at significant public cost which managed to let less than 10 properties (I believe the number may be even smaller)
These two records show the purchase and sale of Ashley Road Technopark on the same day at a loss of £9m.
Details of background to sale of above property long overdue and internal review requested.
Missing Information Lack of Transparency
Anne Woods is Head of Haringey's Risk Management yet it is claimed there has been no correspondence between her and Cllrs Kober and Strickland the key HDV Cabinet members regarding the HDV. How can they be certain all risks highlighted in Scrutiny Report are addressed.
This confirms that GVA Bilfinger and Turnberry provided the 2015 Business case for HDV (GVA currently directly involved in Lendlease negotiations for HDV contract) but refuses to provide financial details on grounds of commercial sensitivity.
Quote below is revealing, some copies of the general consultation with residents provided but clearly nothing with respect to the means by which any improvements will be delivered.
'In respect of items 1 and 2, there are no reports relating to consultation
with residents or businesses on the Haringey Development Vehicle, as no
such consultations have taken place. The Council’s commitment to
residents and tenants is that they will be involved in shaping the plans
for each specific development, and be fully informed about their options
and rights as those plans are implemented. This process is already well
underway, for example, with residents on the Northumberland Park Estate.
In all cases this engagement will happen, and all existing residents will
be rehoused, before the land transfers from the Council to the HDV.
It is worth noting that only the commercial property portfolio is proposed
for transfer to the HDV straight away, with tenants still in place; these
tenants will be fully informed about the proposals and arrangements as
they are finalised.'
Financial projections and legal advice copies were refused on grounds of original documents being exempt from public scrutiny. The quote below is telling in that no single HDV risk assessment has been completed and bulk of that work anticipated to be within the negotiations with Lend Lease. It is my understanding that the original procurement documents stated that they required the bidders to show what measures they intended to offer in order to protect the council from risk. As the private companies are one of the main risks to the council this seems inadequate.
'I understand you to be seeking the contents of a specific document which
sets out the Council’s risk assessment for the HDV project. There is no
such document. There is no single document which fits the description of
‘risk assessment’ for the HDV. There are elements of risk analysis and
proposals for mitigating those risks contained in other documentation
(including other information within the scope of your request): for
example, some of the draft legal documents which are being negotiated with
the bidders to be our partner in the HDV contain elements of risk
assessment. As explained below, however, such information is exempt under
sections 42(1) and/or 43(2) FOIA.'
The following excerpt states that the paperwork for 3rd July Cabinet will contain actual risk assessments. It seems that there has been an alarming lack of due diligence exercised in making this decision since risk assessments have yet to be made available.
'I should add that the final documentation proposed for approval will be
presented to Cabinet when it considers whether or not to establish the
HDV. We expect that decision to arise for consideration in summer 2017.
The starting presumption is that relevant legal documentation – which is
likely to include elements of risk assessment – will be published as part
of the public cabinet papers ahead of that meeting, unless any element is
considered not for publication on the grounds that it contains information
classified as exempt under Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.
In any case, the published papers will include an account of the risks to
the Council and the actions taken to mitigate those risks. Therefore, it
is likely that some of the information you seek in part 1 of your request
will be published later in 2017.'
Section below shows again that a political decision has been taken with much of the most important information missing. Those papers are not yet published as of 22.6.17.
2.If HDV contract were to be agreed at committee in July 2017 please specify with copy of detailed breakdown how much income and property it is currently planned will transfer into the Vehicle on day one. This will be published in the papers for cabinet but is not available now as the preparations for that decision are still underway. The November 2015 cabinet report (available at www.haringey.gov.uk/hdv) includes an indicative list of the commercial property proposed for transfer from the start of the vehicle’s life, but this is subject to amendment by cabinet in July 2017
Homes for Haringey are the ALMO responsible for much of Haringey's housing stock, they are refusing to supply copies of correspondence regarding the HDV but have shown a list and indicative description of what is contained in those. We are in the process of challenging this. It will have been more time consuming to provide this list rather than copy of documentation leading us to suspect an attempt to hide important information from public scrutiny.
This seeks the background story to the purchase and sale on the same day at a loss of £9m of the Technopark. The response was due on 24th May and the failure to supply this information has led to submission of request for internal review.
Asset valuations and Transfers into HDV
Quote from question and response is self explanatory, specific decision referred to can be found in the following link on PDF page 149 paragraph 7.54 of the report in November 2014 Cabinet minutes.
Please provide full list of property/land and other assets affected by or
likely to be included in phase one of the HDV. Please provide time line
for anticipated transfer of said property/land or other assets.
'response is as follows: The development projects proposed for the first
phase of the Haringey Development Vehicle were provisionally agreed at the
November 2015 Cabinet. You will be able to find the indicative list of
the affected assets in the minutes of the Council’s Cabinet'
Time line element of question is subject to decisions at and following July Cabinet 2017'
Response quote below self explanatory.
'The investment property value as at 1^st April 2016 was £67,781,200 and
the net annual rent income as of the same date was £7,416,000. This
valuation and income figure is in respect of the entire commercial
portfolio and is not apportioned to reflect the properties proposed for
transfer to the HDV.
With regards to loss of income, see below link to ISFT document published
with the February Cabinet papers. This confirms that the Council expects
£3m annual income from the HDV over the first five years.'
Formulation and Negotiation of HDV
Question asked the following, Cabinet report 10.2.15 states in para. 8.1 that the aim of the HDV is to secure housing 'in particular for vulnerable and protected groups'
Please provide documentary evidence to show how this will be delivered
within the HDV plans.
Quote from response below is inadequate in that not all vulnerable groups would be a protected group subject to an Equality Impact Assessment thus no evidence is to be provided that ensures their needs will be protected. Absence of transparency is an issue here, the plans will not be published until shortly prior to the decision at Cabinet, how can this allow for proper scrutiny of the plans and for the community, affected groups and councillors outside the cabinet to fully test and challenge the assertions. The Equality Impact Assessment in any case should have been completed prior to negotiations with Lend Lease, indeed prior to formulation of the HDV model. To run concurrently does not allow for the possibility of addressing any conclusion of the EQA that the scheme is inherently discriminatory and cannot meet the needs of protected groups.
'The proposed plans for the first phase of the HDV’s work are expected to
be published as part of the papers for the Cabinet meeting in July this
year, when they are scheduled to be approved. These plans will each be
accompanied by an Equality Impact Assessment, setting out the plans’
expected impact on vulnerable and protected groups and any areas where the
plans have been amended to take account of these impacts. The finalised
plans – and therefore the finalised Equalities Impact Assessments – are
not yet available as preparations are ongoing.'
Request asked what the council was allowed to borrow. The response is summarised below. The outstanding questions are as the HDV, half owned by Haringey council, is likely to need to borrow far in excess of this amount, at a higher market rate than that directly available to councils what will the impacts be. My understand is that this total allowed amount is calculated in some way to reflect what any public body might reasonably manage does not the creation of the HDV then overstep this element of checks and balances formulated to protect the public purse from excessive exposure to unmanageable debt. Current loans from the local government source are not secured against property we presume this protection of public assets will not apply in this new company.
'Council had an authorised borrowing
limit of £528.231m as at 31^st December 2016, compared to actual
borrowing of £315.551m.'
This asked for details of the team negotiating with Lendlease re contact for HDV, no elected members are involved and other than the lead officer Dan Hawthorn. The response declined to provide any other information regarding involved council officers. They did confirm that the following private companies were involved, some companies that have been involved in the inception of the whole scheme.
'a. GVA for commercial property advice
b. Grant Thornton UK LLP for external finance support
c. Pinset Masons LLP for external legal support'
Correspondence between Councillor Alan Strickland and Peter Bingle and/or Terrapin Communications
Terrapin include Lend Lease as one of their clients. This response lists 7 meetings with key councillors, private companies and Terrapin but states that no minutes were kept of those meetings. This goes to questions of Transparency but also the effectiveness of the process, so many meetings have been held were no record is kept, how are fully informed conclusions drawn in this council with such a pattern of poor record keeping.
Copies of emails are included from Peter Bingle of Terrapin, of interest is the one named Laurence Road in which he makes a direct approach to Cllr Strickland to intervene in officer decision making on a planning application. Others are interesting in so far as they represent his musings upon the political landscape which can be characterised as right of centre if not pro Tory yet is in regular correspondence with a leading Labour councillor.
The question is about the cost of attendance at MIPIM and is predicated on questions around what Haringey are hoping to sell off in the future inside and outside of the HDV.
The response shows the cost of meals and some individual expenses and offers link to council web page that provides further detailed information as to the purpose, cost and private sponsors of this event.
Quote below is from that web page, you will note the appearance of private companies who are regular contributors to the whole HDV/Regeneration approach. We question the gains they stand to make from this and how it can be balanced against what should be the central need for public benefit.
The budget for attending was £45,000 – which was partially covered by private sponsorship. This includes costs of exhibiting, delegate passes, events, accommodation and travel for Haringey representatives. Our 2017 sponsors included:
Capital and Regional
Lee Valley Estates
Notting Hill Housing Trust
Pinsent Mason LLP