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THE HDV is shaping up to be the biggest decision that Haringey Council will ever take—and possibly amongst the biggest that any local authority has taken.
By the Council's reckoning, it involves £2,000,000,000 of Council land and buildings, as measured by Gross Developable Value (whatever that may mean).
Due to its high risk, about half the Council cannot support it, but despite that, the New Labour Cabinet is scheduled to stamp their approval on 3 July. In support of this Agenda Item are two Cabinet papers (source) in particular.
One is a download of between 120 and 130 megabytes being a single PDF file.
It contains nearly one and a half thousand pages and much of the material is labelled "DRAFT".
The other paper however, is potentially much more interesting. At a little over a third of a megabtye, it's a convenient download. And given that it contains 90 pages, that's efficient. Everyone will find it a quick and easy read:
Supplement Exempt Appendices item 16 03072017 1830 Cabinet
The download link is here and for convenience, I've attached it below. Please note that some pages are redacted due to commercially sensitive information being exempt.
I suppose I should attempt to plough through some of this stuff. Even the report identified by Cllr Carter (maybe I'll limit myself to that one).
I did though begin with Strickland's rebuttal to the Scrutiny Panel, but didn't get much further than the front page. I quote slightly -
2. Cabinet Member Introduction (Cllr Strickland, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Planning)
2.1 The proposal to establish the Haringey Development Vehicle is central to our plans to deliver new homes and jobs for the people of Haringey, and to the future stability of the Council. I welcome the Panel’s consideration of a broad range of issues arising from the decision to establish the HDV and the work it will do. I’m pleased to agree – or partially agree – a great many of these recommendations.
2.2 I don't agree with it.
That is a superb document. I particularly enjoyed pages 1159 and 1160. I do hope they print a lot of copies for the public gallery.
ADRIAN, the information you enjoyed on those pages is agreed to remain confidential for three years after the HDV is ended (wound-up, or goes into voluntary liquidation, as others have).
This treatment is typical. In the longer document (the one that is nearly one and a half thousand pages) on page 395 you'd see the plus-three-year clause about confidential information.
A similar clause may have been in effect in respect of the Croydon Council Urban Regeneration Vehicle. The CCURV went into Voluntary Liquidation in October of last year and it could be some time before we know why it crashed and burned.
I speculate in the broadest terms that, as with many a divorce, there were irreconcilable differences.
Despite the most earnest advice of her friends and relations, today's Haringey marriage partner is heading to the altar and hoping for the best.
The advice of her good friend—the cross-Party Council Scrutiny Committee—has been side-lined.
● How many Stricklands does it take to fit a broken lightbulb?
● Psst! Wanna development vehicle? Quick gissa yer land 'n' buildings.
● Redacted redacted redacted?
You'll find out when your home's impacted
● "Pig in a poke" From Wikipedia
|Arabic||يشتري سمك في ماء||to buy fish in water|
|Bulgarian||да купиш котка в торба||to buy a cat in a bag|
|Catalan||Donar/Prendre gat per llebre||to give/to take cat instead of hare|
|Chinese||隔山买老牛||buy a cow over there in another mountain|
|Croatian||kupiti mačka u vreći||to buy a cat in a sack|
|Czech||koupit zajíce v pytli||to buy a hare in a sack|
|Danish||at købe katten i sækken||to buy the cat in the sack|
|Dutch||een kat in de zak kopen||to buy a cat in the sack|
|Estonian||ostma põrsast kotis||to buy a piglet in a sack|
|French||acheter un chat dans un sac
acheter chat en poche
|to buy a cat in a bag|
|Finnish||ostaa sika säkissä||to buy a pig in a sack|
|German||Die Katze im Sack kaufen||to buy the cat in the sack|
|Greek||αγοράζω γουρούνι στο σακκί||to buy a pig in a sack|
|Hebrew||חתול בשק||cat in a sack|
|Hungarian||zsákbamacska||cat in a sack|
|Icelandic||að kaupa köttinn í sekknum||to buy the cat in the sack|
|Indonesian||kucing dalam karung||cat in a sack|
|Italian||comprare a scatola chiusa||to buy in a sealed box|
|Irish||ceannaigh muc i mála||buying a pig in a bag|
|Latvian||pirkt kaķi maisā||to buy a cat in a sack|
|Lithuanian||pirkti katę maiše||to buy a cat in a sack|
|Luxembourgish||d'Kaz am Sak kafen||to buy the cat in a sack|
|Macedonian||да купиш мачка во вреќа||to buy the cat in the sack|
|Maltese||xtara l-ħut fil-baħar||to buy fish in the sea|
|Norwegian||kjøpe katta i sekken||to buy the cat in the sack|
|Polish||kupić kota w worku||to buy a cat in a sack|
|Portuguese||comprar gato por lebre||to buy a cat instead of a hare|
|Romanian||cumperi mâța în sac||to buy the cat in the bag|
|Russian||купить кота в мешке||to buy a cat in a sack|
|Spanish||dar/pasar gato por liebre||to give a cat instead of a hare (as food)|
|Serbian||купити мачку у џаку||to buy a cat in a sack|
|Slovak||kúpiť mačku vo vreci||to buy a cat in a sack|
|Slovene||kupiti mačka v žaklju||to buy a cat in a sack|
|Swedish||köpa grisen i säcken||to buy the pig in the sack|
|Vietnamese||mua mèo trong bị||to buy a cat in a bag|
|Welsh||prynu cath mewn cwd||to buy a cat in a bag|
|Zulu||ukuthenga ingulube esesakeni||to buy a pig in a sack|
There's a lot of tweeting currently about the meaning of 'single move' in the document copied below (from a tweet). I appreciate that these things are wont to be used as political ammunition - but I have to say it isn't as I read it...
I may be mistaken but the prioritising of 'single moves' for tenants could simply be to minimise disruption - ie. a family may be moved to a completed earlier phase of a new housing development, rather than be moved twice - the second time back to the approximate position of their original home? I say approximate because surely quite a lot will be re-built anyhow.
The document does also say that the council is committed to right to return in 5.4.3.
THE screenshot is telling and shows the tension that already exists between the partners, before anything is signed.
At 5.4.3, we learn that the Council is committed to Right of Return – this sounds warm, but "committed" is probably worthless is legal terms. I think of it as a public-relations phrase. This was probably inserted by the Council.
It's probably equivalent to, it would be nice if.
At 5.4.1, we see the phrase that was likely inserted (later) by LendLease. It's the first paragraph. The first clause suggests, move a tenant once, rather than move them multiple times. As this is referenced elsewhere, it's is a great muddy-the-waters phrase.
However, any attempt to extract charitable meaning is vitiated by, rather than Right of Return.
Right of Return means final return, after demolition and rebuilding. It surely does not mean that, once a tenant is evicted to one location, they might temporarily return to the Council Estate, pending a third move?
The HDV has long had Disaster written over it, but this shows both the current tensions and the raw material for a lawyer-fest in an expensive winding-up.
Those opposed to this folly will be marching at 17:30 this evening from Ducketts Common.
Yes, it's as clear as mud and does need unpicking. My complaint is that stuff gets misrepresented, which doesn't aid understanding - and the residents are going to have to understand these terms.
A single move may well be preferable though. Rather depends on where you move to. Alas the residents will presumably be the last to know.
And I still don't know how a right to return is defined when an estate is razed to the ground and rebuilt in a different form. Exactly what do you return to? A new flat at roughly the same co-ordinates, only now 200 ft higher in the air perhaps?
the residents are going to have to understand these terms
Mark, I hope you appreciate that the salient terms are not available for understanding anyway!
The 90-page appendix is wholly redacted; in the big document—nearly one and a half thousand pages—there are 545 pages labelled "DRAFT" and 75 instances of "[redacted material]". We don't know how much material that comprises: it could be a few words or a few pages.
If a decanted Council tenant jumps through 100 hoops, they might be able to "return". But they'd return to something that was not Council Housing and "return" to different terms and conditions.
The Council claims they will do their utmost to make those conditions similar. Unfortunately—and bearing in mind experience elsewhere—I for one have no confidence in that.
"As clear as mud and needs unpicking"
Mark, begin with the Golden Rule. Imagine if Cllr Claire Kober was having done to her what she plans to do unto others. If her own home appeared on a list to be demolished, how would she feel about that?
And where and how would she even begin to unpick the thousands of pages? Were would she get accurate, comprehensive, timely, informed trustworthy - and crucially - independent - advice?
Unless someone is very rich and can afford a shit-hot lawyer, there is no answer.
And perhaps even those pricey legal eagles might be reluctant to offer any confident opinion after being asked to wade through some 1500 pages of documents.
You may be such a lawyer, Mark. In the mists of the last century, in my twenties I was a solicitor. It was a forgotten bygone age. Sometimes I think I imagined going to work on a train with wooden carriages. But I don't imagine the fact that we unpicked and picked-over title deeds and covenants and contracts. Batting them backwards and forwards between the parties, using quaint old-fashioned paper tied up with red and green tape.
Can people now imagine such a thing? Yes we still used the wheel as well. And when deals were concluded in those ancient times, you met around a table and exchanged papers.
But suppose I'd turned-up with a set of documents with umpteen sections - like the HDV documents - marked "DRAFT". And many more marked "REDACTED". You can guess what would have happened. I'd have been laughed out of the room. And almost certainly sacked.
When I was representing people who were buying or selling homes, my job was to represent my clients' interests. Not the interests of the estate agents; nor property developers; nor a football club; nor large local landowners; nor some lobby firm. And no, not even a 57th rate, smiling local politician who pathetically wanted to look good in a photo-op.
Even now my probably quaint old-fashioned view is that the job of Haringey Council and Haringey councillors is to represent the interests of Haringey residents. And where deals involve Council tenants or leaseholders, their interests.
To repeat and widen my question, how many of our current elected local councillors would put up with the HDV "as clear as mud", for themselves? And for their families, their homes, their own lives and futures? Would they be happy being on the receiving end of the sloppy careless contempt our Council is bringing to decisions about the HDV? What I call a Homes Destruction Vehicle.
Though everything learned by Haringey's own Scrutiny Panel suggests it is not any sort of "vehicle". But actually more like a giant pile of stinking ordure which the "Leader", her cabinet, and their willing stooges are tipping over thousands of their and our fellow citizens.
Just to let people know that while the illusion of democracy is maintained in Koberville, behind the scenes the Stasi are working away on our behalf and at our expense. Protecting the public from any contamination from councillors who get strange ALT_ideas.
There is one truth, the Dear Leader's Truth. All else is the devil's - or maybe Trotsky's - work.
Asking questions may tend to cast doubt on Dear-Leader-Thought.
Seconding motions at private Labour Party meetings - Uh-oh! No-No.
As for thinking for yourself !!!!
5th Floor, River Park House,
225 High Road, London N22 8HQ
Tel: 020 8376 2310
Labour Group Chief Whip: Councillor Lorna Reith
Cllr Gideon Bull 5th July 2017
I am writing to you on behalf of the Whips team to request your attendance at a meeting to discuss the motion on the HDV you seconded at the Tottenham GC on June 28 which appears to be in direct conflict with agreed Group policy. We would also like to discuss your conduct at the Cabinet meeting on 3rd July.
The meeting will adhere to Labour Party disciplinary procedures and will be conducted by two members of the Whips team. You may bring a friend with you. The meeting and any subsequent actions taken will also be recorded on your file and may be referenced in any relevant disciplinary reports to the Party.
We are offering two possible dates: evening of Monday 10th July or evening of Wednesday 12 July. Please advise which you would prefer and the most convenient time for you.
Cllr Lorna Reith
Labour Group Chief Whip
Hi – I'm writing in the hope that someone far better informed than me can clarify something re the HDV. On Tuesday night Channel 4 News had a piece on the HDV (a sign once again that they're more clued up than the BBC) including an interview with Claire Kober. The interviewer Matt Frei was maybe not as well briefed as he could have been but it was still not bad. CK repeated things that are familiar from any of the statements or emails she and A. Strickland have given out recently, re the 3000 people in temporary accommodation in Haringey and how this is all for them, but her main arguments were around two points –
• In answer to a direct question from Frei whether existing tenants would have an absolute right of return to comparable housing in the same neighbourhood and under the same terms as they have now, she said yes.
This seems to be completely undermined by the bit discovered below, on p108 of the famous 1,500 pages, that the HDV would 'prioritise a single move rather than right of return'. Can anyone say which statement is the more solid one?.
• CK also repeated the statement made by Strickland that in the new/rebuilt developments 'at least 40%' would be affordable housing (leaving aside just what that means), suggesting this is an absolute figure and not subject to a viability test, ie. Lendlease would not be able to say 'sorry, 40% just isn't viable in current circumstances etc etc, you can have 10% at a pinch...). Previously I thought Strickland had said on the record in council meetings that of course there would be a viability test, as has been the case in every other development of any size in Haringey, as he should know as well as anybody. In which case, the 40% is just a pretty 'target', with no reliability at all.
Are they actually saying that Lendlease will go ahead without enforcing a viability test? Is this at all likely to happen?
Very grateful if anyone can shed any real light or explanation on these 2 points. I was surprised Kober was so emphatic about them on the record on national TV...
NICK, I think you understand these #HDV matters well (NB the clause you quote is preceded by, "it is agreed that the HDV Business Plans: …")
On the first point, one has to distinguish between:
(a) press releases, public relations statements on a website and hopes expressed by politicians in TV interviews; and
(b) the clauses, terms and conditions entered into, in binding legal agreements.
We've been treated to much of (a).
Not so much of (b). In fact so little of (b) that, by my back-of-the envelope calculations, about 45% of the total documentation is concealed from you and me, an elected representative.
Amongst one bundle of 1,476 pages that's been released, 545 pages are marked "DRAFT", i.e. subject to change. Plus 75 instances of "[redacted material]". That material could comprise a few words or a few pages. There's a separate document of 90 pages, that has every page wholly redacted. Then there's the further document (the exempt yellow pages) of some 1,200 pages. This would have been available to a small group of people only, including Councillors & senior officers. It is likely that LendLease's lawyers have read every page.
(see links at the top of this thread)
I should add that the expectation by the HDV, if not their hope, is that few tenants would exercise any right of return after having been evicted or "decanted". We do not know how long people would have to wait before their demolished homes had new build available. The experience elsewhere is that much of the community, once broken up and scattered, did not return. Once forced out, people are likely to begin new lives elsewhere. The Council believes they will enjoy profits from the partnership and the fewer tenants who return, the better.
On the second point, again, I think you understand the situation well.
Anyone can say they like a particular or high percentage of affordable housing. One can have aims and aspirations. It's good to be ambitious. I think our parliamentarian Catherine West MP likes the figure of 50%. In the biggest consented housing development in the Borough—the towers by the Spurs stadium to contain 585 dwellings, the affordable quotient was zero. We were was told the internal rate of return on that huge development was 1.2%.
Housing affordability percentages normally need to meet a (secret) test of viability.
I could say that we should aim for affordable housing of at least 10% or at least 90%. It has little meaning in practice and in my opinion the concept is falling into disrepute.