The BBC reported that there could be signs that Labour councillors in Haringey could be set on a collision course with the party’s main decision body, the National Executive Committee, over the on-going struggles with the borough’s regeneration programme.
Earlier this week, the NEC were finally forced to intervene in the local party’s affairs by urging Haringey Council to delay its controversial HDV plans ahead of the local borough elections in May. The infighting within the party between supporters of leader Claire Kober and the candidates backed by Momentum, has seen several sitting councillors either deselected or withdrawing, leading to personal bitterness on all sides.
This sorry affair will only re-enforce the negative reputation of both the council and the borough as a whole. All this is going on while finite funding for key services are repeatedly cut, allegations have been made about regeneration funds being poorly spent, and that the only strategy put in place is by delievering what is left through on-going crisis management. Some councillors, and indeed officers, seem intent on waiting for some magic wand to save the borough from its own self-inflicted problems.
For local people, constantly embarrassed by what is going on, the only way to end this farce is to first continue to protest against the hated HDV, then in May aim to vote for an administration who will pledge to take action in tackling the borough’s deep-rooted divisions.
Oh dear. Infighting within the Haringey Labour party has become national news. The main reason for this is the on-going criticism of the controversial development and regeneration council policies.
Supporters of both the council group led by Claire Kober and their critics who oppose them are going through selection contests to see who will represent the party in next May’s local elections. Some of the party’s high profile big hitters who have backed these policies have been deselected, and others who fear they could be next had decided that they would stand down.
Tonight’s/last night’s London Evening Standard newspaper published an article on this issue. Infighting within sections of Labour is nothing new, as the party has been repeatedly prone to entryism throughout its history.
If many commentators think this will lead to the slow meltdown of Labour both locally and nationally, they will be very disappointed. The only thing that is sustaining them is the fact that the vast majority of Tottenham residents either do not, will not or cannot vote, as a result, they stay in power.
While so much attention has been paid by journalists to the selection process, very little has been written about the way Labour has mis-managed the borough for over 40 years. There is a real and worrying prospect next May that another re-elected Labour administration will be led by either a Kober-like council privatising almost everything, or a Momentum-like organisation, spending a lot of energy campaigning against the government rather than actually delivering services.
But there is a choice. It is not inevitable. This represents a big opportunity for the main opposition parties, like the Lib Dems, Conservatives and Greens, to repeatedly attack Labour’s decades of inaction, and to put forward positive and realistic solutions for the borough.
This has been in the news in the last few days. A Labour councillor who is standing down from Haringey Council ahead of next year’s borough local elections has criticised the way that the borough has been managed in a strongly-worded letter sent to leader Cllr Claire Kober obtained by the StopHDV website.
In the letter, Cllr Stuart McNamara has attacked the council’s repeated poor governance, bad management and decision making which has led to repeated cuts in vital local services. He has also been highly critical of the borough’s regeneration policies and the constant waste of scarce resources. He also feels that the council also does its business in secret by handing over portfolios to a handful of officers and the executive at the expense of backbench and opposition councillors and the wider public.
Cllr McNamara is certainly right about the way Cllr Kober has led the council. After the Baby P scandal back in 2008 which led to the resignation of the late George Meehan, Kober’s elected to head the Labour group at the time was seen as a new broom. However, she has adopted the policies of her predecessor. She refused to start addressing the issues which led to the riots in 2011, problems that she helped continue have been deeply felt here in Tottenham for a very long time.
It’s hard not to disagree with Cllr McNamara on this. However, he needs to be questioned over the fact that if he, the backbench Labour councillors and party members put pressure to Kober and her friends’ control of the council’s powers, we wouldn’t be having to fight to stop the threat of Ward’s Corner be demolished. We wouldn’t also have had to do shady deals with big business in order to get anything done. They could have used their collective influence to stop all this nonsense, but chose not to.
The entire Labour party in Haringey are collectively to blame for this state of affairs. That includes Cllr McNamara.
The current enquiry on the controversial CPO by Haringey Council (which ends tomorrow) has a website of public record if you were unable to attend. The web address is:
Tomorrow (July 3rd), there is going to be both a protest and a benefit aimed at fighting plans by Haringey Council to forcefully evict many council tenants through their controversial HDV development programme (dubbed by critics at the £2Billion Pound Gamble).
The demonstration will assemble at Ducketts Common (Turnpike Lane Tube end) at around 5.30pm. There will be a March from the Common which will end at Haringey Civic Centre in the High Road.
Afterwards, there will be a benefit evening to raise funds for the legal fight against the council’s plans. It will take place at Wood Green Social Club, 3 Stuart Crescent, Wood Green, N22 5NJ (Not far from the Civic Centre) at 8PM. More info here.
Several estates and key public buildings based in Tottenham and across the borough are affected by the council’s HDV. Wherever you are affected or if you’re concerned about the way the council is forcing this through without fighting for more funds from the government or looking for alternatives, we still need to fight these damaging plans which could seriously affect the way public services are delivered in the borough in the future.
This is the WCC newsletter announcing the CPO news. Click on picture to enlarge.
Please share. This concerns the future of Seven Sisters town centre.
From Ward’s Corner Coalition
The time has come to challenge the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for Ward’s Corner– Haringey Council have issued a CPO to help the developer Grainger force the sale shops and homes at Seven Sisters.
We have launched a crowdfunder to raise some of the £1000s we need for legal fees to challenge the CPO. Please circulate this link on all your networks- FB, Twitter, Snapchat, all of them. if you can donate, even better.
http://tinyurl.com/savewcc is the short form, easy to send.
Whether you are a friend, regular visitor, or just concerned about what is happening, let’s support the traders and residents who could lose what they have built up if the evictions get the go ahead.
So, it’s here. Thursday May 22nd. Local election day.
Haringey Council has such a bad reputation locally that many people argue whoever wins election, the borough’s problems will continue. That may be true.
If you seriously care about the borough and want to help shape the way it is managed, then do your duty…. go to your allocated polling station, look on your ballot paper, and put three crosses against any candidates which reflect your views.
We often tend to forget that Haringey is actually OUR COUNCIL. Our votes… the people who live in the borough and pay taxes… will influence who becomes our elected representatives tomorrow.
The election continues until ten o’clock tonight.
IT’S YOUR VOTE. USE IT. IT ONLY TAKES A FEW MOMENTS.
Haringey Council has published a full list of all the candidates standing in the local elections on May 22nd. Statement-of-Persons-Nominated
There’s also a list of all the candidates standing in the the elections to the European Parliament, which take place on the same day. European-Parliamentary-Election-Statement-Of-Persons-Nominated.
Voting takes place on the above day between 7am and 10pm. Council results will be announced either overnight or the next day. The European results will be announced on the Sunday in line with other countries having their votes.
For more information about the elections log onto the Haringey Votes website.
If you have any problems, log onto AboutMyVote.co.uk.
Controversial plans by Haringey Council to sell off some or all of directly-managed social homes will the subject to a public meeting organised by Haringey Defend Council Housing.
The council has, in line with others up and down the country, have a policy of either part or wholly sell off their properties in order to raise much-needed funds for repairs. Successive recent national governments have reduced the amount of funds spent on social housing.
One might argue why Haringey has taken so long to go down this route as other councils have forged ahead to bring their homes to a decent standard. However, DCH, and many tenants and leaseholders, fear that a much wider plan of social cleansing is being enacted.
If you live on some of the council estates in Tottenham affected by the sell-offs, you should have received this letter through your door.
The public meeting about the housing sell-offs takes place this Thursday (10th April) at the North London Community House, 22 Moorefield Road (Off St Loys Road) N17, commencing at 7.30pm.
Could both Haringey Council and developer Grainger be starting to get collective cold feet in their eleven-year battle to rip the heart out of Seven Sisters? Even after the planning application to knock down the locally-famous Ward’s Corner building, work in the area has yet to begin.
That has given the great minds behind the Wards Corner Community Coalition the opportunity to once again put alternative plans for the area (click here), and will hold an event tonight (details here) for local people to see the plans in full, and to discuss what they could do to convince councillors to accept them.