Haringey Labour has announced that the controversial Haringey development vehicle (HDV) proposal developed under the Kober administration will be ditched if Labour maintains control of the council in the upcoming elections.
With the local Lib Dems promising the same, the fate of the HDV seems sealed.
Council leader Claire Kober (Lab) announced at the end of January that she was standing down as Haringey’s leader amid in-fighting within the party, particularly over the HDV partnership with developer Lendlease. Under the arrangements the company would take more than £2bn of council assets and own a 50% stake. In return it would "promise" to create 6,400 homes and 20,000 jobs.
What concerns me most is that this bad plan was steamrollered through. It was only because an election came round that it was defeated. Had it been embarked upon in the first few weeks of the election term, we would not have been able to stop it.
The Cllrs concerned, as usual, had pressure from the Leadership and access to a lot of detailed research, most of which was denied to us, partly because many of those with a view just don't have the time\interest to plough through the myriad of documents - why would they when we pay our Cllrs to do that for us?
I'm sure that the new crop of Labour Cllrs will never forget how they came to be elected and will try their hardest to obtain an equitable solution in a country still governed by nasty party decisions but what if they begin, say next year, to exhibit the same hubris?
They will be able to drive things through, certain they're 'right', having consulted the hell out of it etc. The difference is there won't be the national attention there was on the HDV error.
If any improvement is to be made, now is the time to do it. Are we going to have ballots on housing decisions, or not? How would that work, would HoLers get to vote in Northumberland Park?
We could press for participatory budgeting, so we all get a much more direct say in how the pot of cash is allocated among us. Online voting (though the Council website, where they know it's you casting your vote).
Will they do anything about this? No, they won't. They're all stuck in a 1950's mindset where they fear change, in a world where change, like our ever-changing weather, is one of the few constants. We seem stuck with "incremental change only" because it's far too risky to be radical and can never, almost by definition, bring the majority with it because people, given the chance, seem to long for stability and continuity - gradualism.
If only we could help create a Borough where most people actively accept our collective responsibility for dealing with our own problems, rather than only ever reacting (often with a sneer) to what others do on our behalf!
And to think that in 2013 we all wondered why they went to such lengths to fiddle the selections.
I'm told that they tried to do the same thing again in this selections as well but the difference between now and 2013 is of course the mass membership.
No evidence of that in 2017 which I've heard about, Jake.
From what I saw in my own ward branch (Tottenham Hale) and heard from other branches, serious lessons were learned from 2013. There was great care taken in checking names, individual's ID and electoral registers.
But part of the disgrace in the 2013 selection in St Ann's was refusal by Labour apparatchiks regionally and nationally to carry out a proper investigation. And having done so, to decide whether or not to instruct a re-run of the selection meeting.
But yes, Jake you're entirely right that vote rigging is much harder when there's now a huge membership.
Declaration of Interest
My wife Zena Brabazon was a victim of the vote-rigging in St Ann's in 2013. Once again thanks to John McMullan for standing-up against malpractice.
Where does this leave the judicial review, which I think went to appeal? No need for them to take it further?