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IT’S NOT often that the public has an opportunity to see written evidence of the bubble in which Local Government operates.
The key document in the Walklate-2 report was the Chair’s Briefing Note. It was not made available for Martin Walklate’s first investigation. Why it did not, is open to speculation.
The Briefing Note was written at the request of Haringey Cllr. Charles Adje, who is currently appointed to the Haringey Council Cabinet as lead on Strategic Regeneration in the Borough. However, then he was Chair of the Alexandra Palace Trust Board.
The advice in the briefing note came from the then Alexandra Palace General Manager, Keith Holder. The Briefing Note should have been shared with Adje's fellow Trustees for discussion on these important matters. Instead—for two years—it's existence was known to possibly as few as two people: Holder and Adje.
We do not know exactly what Adje directed Holder to do. However what we do know, is that in short order Holder furnished the Trust Board with a shorter piece of advice that advocated the very Licence—that days before—the Briefing Note had, in terms, advised against.
At his Determination Hearing, Adje claimed to have no idea why the advice was changed. It was a volte face that over the next eight months, would cost the residents of Haringey somewhere between £1.5m and £3m by way of subsidies, to a company controlled by one of Britain's richest men. Below, I've attached the Briefing Note that Adje suppressed.
Amongst the many notable comments:
3.4 It is everyone's view that the prospect of an application
[for Judicial Review] is remote and of success even more so.
Not only was the JR by SAP a reality and successful, but costs were awarded against the Trustees (the council) and the Court made scathing remarks about their conduct. Extensive documentation may be found here.
Perhaps it is a characteristic of government that the right hand must not know what the left is doing, and that at all costs the public must not be informed, except years later and at the expense of some form of inquiry.
Near trivial examples include my efforts to find out what is happening to the raised bed outside Niddle Noddle - on 26th June I was told that the works would begin 'in a couple of weeks', i.e. about now, but I was offered nothing in the way of a plan. Associated works at the end of New Road have taken place, and bear only a passing resemblance to what was described some time ago.
On the question of the Liveable Neighbourhoods Initiative I am told the the the Major Works Department will consult "in due course"!
And on a more significant level we discover that the Department for Exiting the EU, was simply a painted facade of make believe to keep the public quiet, while capitulation plans have been hatching behind the scenes.
I have had some dealings with Haringey's firstname.lastname@example.org , a route through which very many communications are channeled, the main purpose of the department apparently to prevent anyone ever discovering anything. Its emails come from NoReplyRBCS@haringey.gov.uk and bear a generic telephone number which is rarely answered. If this department's purpose is as I have divined, then it must be one Haringey's most successful.
If I sound particularly cynical today perhaps I should take comfort in the fact that we have a hugely successful national football team, and that the world's most powerful man is a shining beacon of sanity, consistency and reason.
Yup. That's about it.
Mind you, maybe the football has a lesson for us: start with low, very low, expectations, play adequately but unconvincingly and get trounced by the first passable team you come up against. The result is pretty much the same as the Brexit negotiations, but at least everyone seems happy about it.