18 Days Remaining

Thursday 30th
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

LABOUR members in London have taken back control from Blairite councillors, leaving the future of a controversial housing project open to question.

Selection meetings have been taking place across the London borough of Haringey over the last few weeks with sweeping gains for candidates that oppose the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), the heavily criticised regeneration project that would see £2 billion of council housing stock handed to private developers.

Haringey Council has been branded a “lame duck administration” after key supporters of the HDV stepped down and will not be automatically reselected as candidates for May’s local elections.

Cabinet member for Housing and Regeneration Alan Strickland was the first major casualty last week as he withdrew from the selection process in Noel Park ward.

In his resignation letter he took a swipe at the so-called “hard left” for their role in his departure, however since then pro-HDV candidates have been swept aside in democratic selection meetings.

It is understood that there will now be a majority on the council who oppose the HDV next May, casting serious doubt over the future viability of the project.

According to the latest figures just seven pro-HDV candidates have been selected compared to 35 who oppose the project.

It could see the collapse of the controversial plans, however Haringey Council claimed that the HDV would go ahead regardless.

A council spokesperson said: “Haringey Council’s cabinet made a decision in July to proceed with the HDV, and that decision remains unchanged.

“Through the HDV, we look forward to building 6,400 new homes in the borough, including new affordable homes, and delivering on our commitment that all existing social tenants will have a guaranteed right to a new home on equivalent rent and terms.”

The HDV has been paused pending a decision on a judicial review which is expected early next year.

A Lendlease spokesperson said the company recognises there are “many points of view” over the project with the company making “a significant investment in beginning to understand the needs of the borough.”

Clare Kober, who has been seen as the figurehead for the HDV, is expected to be challenged as leader of the council with sources saying an anti-HDV candidate could replace her following the elections in May 2018.

A demonstration has been called by trade unions for the full council meeting on December 4 where they will tell councillors they have “no mandate” for the HDV.