OpinioN8

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I realise of course that I'm a boring old pedant, but when talking about items as important as the disposal of the entire council estate in Haringey, or even just the Hornsey Town Hall, I can't help but think it's important to know whereof one speaks. Alan Strickland is making a bit of a thing of not getting it quite right.

There was of course his slight exaggeration about it costing 350 grand a year just to keep the doors open, ignoring the fact that there are now receipts as well.

In a Haringey news item on 15th February 2017 Cllr Strickland is quoted as saying "“The significance of this agreement can’t be understated . . . . ", where what of course he meant was "over stated". Just a bit careless in what he says perhaps. 

In a quote from the 18th October 2016 he says "The new Hornsey Town Hall will have a new arts centre . . . " . Well, he might have thought that but HTHAS thinks that FEC make no mention of it in their current publicity material.

In the same quote he also refers to "a £27million complete refurbishment of the Grade II* listed building." Now the somewhat redundant Building Preservations Trust (they haven't got a building to preserve) estimates £10m to get the Town Hall off the at risk register. They also say that Haringey has not got this money. So we have a gap of £17m between the absolutely necessary cost of restoration, and the total amount to be spent on the Town Hall. But when the Town Hall refurbishment is finished it will contain a hotel. We can only guess that some of the £17m will go on building the hotel. We won't ever know because they treat us like mushrooms. But the cost of the hotel should surely be borne by FEC? So it will ony be a £10m refurbishment, plus a lot of other stuff. Yet, Haringey only gets £3.5m out of the deal, an amount which HTHAS rightly describes as paltry  from a £100m development. The inference that I draw is that Haringey , by which of course i mean you and me, is subsidising the building of a hotel. Which is not quite what Cllr Strickland is telling us.

Tags: dorsett, far east consortium, hornsey town hall, ojeu, strickland, tax haven

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Don't forget Haringey remain freeholders, and have laid down strict conditions vis a vis hotels and town halls -

a) Please have the whole site on a 130 year lease, it's all yours, and we don't mind paying for you to build a hotel, but...

b) Don't ever contact us again about Hornsey Town Hall or its operation or use, we will not answer the phone, and...

c) Shall we say £1 per year rent?

Adrian, I'm with you on the pedantry but one has to allow for occasional slips of the tongue. Cllr. Alan Strickland is only human (allegedly!).

[A while ago I heard Crouch End Councillor Jason Arthur speak in the Council Chamber about Council Tax. He said it was a progressive tax whereas I'm sure he meant to say that it is a regressive tax (i.e. an increase in Council Tax would have a disproportionate effect on residents with lower incomes. He was right about that.]

Gathered under Alan Strickland's Cabinet position are the roles of Housing and Regeneration and even Planning. That could be seen as conflicts of interest.

Alan is a charming fellow and I continue to be amazed at his ability to continue to respond to unremitting questions about the Cabinet's HDV. Despite all evidence.

Over a period of about nine months, he and his Cabinet colleagues have failed to convert the sceptics and gradually the number of doubters has increased.

The HDV policy is opposed across the political spectrum and by residents across the Borough. It is distracting, debilitating and dangerous.

The HDV has divided the Council Labour Group. The Council Leader recently won a vote of confidence, but only with the exposure that one third of her own group has no confidence in her leadership. As always with such confidence votes, the significance is not the numbers (29 to 15), but the fact that it was put at all.

—CDC

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