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Tuesday 21st
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

HARINGEY Council is a “lame duck administration” according to campaigners after another key supporter of a controversial housing project in the borough stepped down. 

Alan Strickland, the north London borough’s executive member for housing, planning and regeneration, confirmed yesterday that he will not seek reselection as a councillor and will stand down from May 2018.

He is a major scalp for opponents of the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), the regeneration project aiming to hand £2 billion of council stock to privateers LendLease.

With the left expected to make sweeping gains in the borough, Mr Strickland ruling himself out leaves the future of the project in jeopardy because an anti-HDV majority could be on the council by May.

Campaigners have branded HDV a “social cleansing programme” with vast swathes of council housing knocked down and no guaranteed right of return for existing tenants.

The plans have met widespread opposition, with a number of large demonstrations held at council meetings.

Both Haringey MPs, Labour’s David Lammy and Catherine West, have urged the council to halt the project which had also been rejected by Haringey’s overview and scrutiny committee.

Council leader Claire Kober survived potential deselection earlier this month at a controversial meeting in Haringey’s Seven Sisters ward. 

The Star understands that complaints have been raised over allegations that a large sum of cash was paid on the door to clear the membership fee arrears of members who had arrived to vote. Ms Kober survived comfortably winning by 64 votes to 19.

In his resignation letter, seen by the Star, Mr Strickland says he was proud to have served as a councillor but blamed his failure to win automatic re-selection on “a majority of members at the meeting simply following the written instructions given out in advance by factional activists.”

He announced he was withdrawing his name “with a very heavy heart” saying he was proud of his record which was driven by “inclusive Labour values, not narrow exclusionary ideology.”

Haringey Defend Council Housing secretary Paul Burnham said: “The truth is that Alan has devoted himself to key partners, including the investment community.”

“The truth is that Cllr Strickland has been deselected by Labour Party members,” he added.

“Will Haringey’s lame-duck administration continue with six more months of the same policies of demolition and social cleansing, driven by developer profit rather than the needs of the people?

“We say Alan Strickland should stand down from the council’s cabinet now.”