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FINGER-lickin’ tasty transition …
As front-line services across a broad front face cuts and closures, one Council-funded entity is immune from austerity: a licensed restaurant, adjacent to the Tottenham Town Hall.
In the beginning, the local government-favoured restaurant (specialising in chicken meals) was given a £90,000 grant and a £210,000 loan. This kind of loan is sometimes referred to as a soft loan. It was repayable over eight years.
The loan terms were 5% and repayments based upon thresholds reached in profits. No repayments were to be made until £50,000 distributable profits after tax are achieved in any one year and then repayments were to be made of 25% of remaining distributable profits after tax.
Any given start-up restaurant has the odds of success stacked against it. However, many existing, regular restaurants in Haringey are thriving and employing people in real jobs. They are genuine businesses that—not only haven't received backing from the New-Labour-run Council, but—even pay taxes.
Tuesday's Cabinet papers revealed—if one looked hard enough—that another £40,000 of your money winged its way to the ChickenTown backers, Create London, in order to create a new business model and find a new restaurant operator. It's to cover a transitional period, through to December.
We're told that the delegated decision would, continue the delivery of the Social and Economic outputs for Tottenham during this transition period (sic).
After waiting an hour and a half to ask a question at Tuesday's Cabinet meeting the Leader, Cllr. Kober, declined to take my question about this item, saying this item (14) was merely "for noting". The last 35 seconds clip of the webcast meeting that I've titled "Just for Noting", may be seen on YouTube.
The papers relating to the item are exempt, meaning that details of the particular experience that has been ChickenTown, are concealed from the public.
Just so you know.
A costly experiment with public money fails.
I'm not against experiments. Nor do I oppose the use of public money to research new ideas or underpin their early development or for other purposes.
Bud did Haringey learn anything? I can't see any learning. Can anyone else?
Did Haringey even arrange for an independent evaluation of this costly experiment?
We kept asking the question. Answer came there none.
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To ask who has a knack
For squandered cash and subsidies
And loans which aren't paid back
Which favoured traders have some glitz
That others seem to lack"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"