Labour’s new pro Corbyn NEC orders rogue Blairite councillors who support PFI – “change policy or else”

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 The unprecedented action on the part of the NEC shows that under Corbyn Labour councillors and MPs will no longer get away with supporting this horrendously corrupt policy, and came in the wake of this letter from the left leaning, pro Corbyn councillors in Haringey

“To: All NEC Members

We write as sitting councillors in Haringey to bring to your attention a difficult matter and to ask for your intervention. 

 You may be aware that Haringey’s Labour Group has been riven by a policy in which a substantial portion of Haringey owned public land and property, including the entire commercial portfolio, will be transferred to a joint venture limited liability private company, currently called the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), a 50/50 partnership between Haringey Council and Lendlease. The HDV has been publicly opposed by most branches and both local constituency parties. The local branches of Unite, Unison, the GMB and both MPs have called on numerous occasions for the HDV to be abandoned. The HDV has been subject to a Judicial Review and the judgement is expected shortly. 

Of the 28 sitting councillors who support the HDV, only 6 have been selected to stand as candidates in the May 2018 Local Elections. The overwhelming majority of new candidates stood on a platform opposing the HDV. Of all selected Labour candidates including sitting councillors, 12 support the HDV and 45 oppose it.

The Opposition Liberal Democrats, driven by political opportunism at a time of crisis within the Labour Group, have called for an Emergency Full Council on the HDV, in the full knowledge that sitting councillors are prevented from breaking the whip due to the threat of disciplinary action that could prevent them contesting their seats this May.

Therefore, the policy will be driven through by 22 councillors who have only a few months left to serve.

The Housing & Regeneration Scrutiny Panel concluded that the HDV is a financially and legally risky project that will not deliver the social and affordable homes Haringey desperately needs; and yet, to our immense concern, the Council Leader is intent on signing the contract to bring the HDV into existence at the first available opportunity, during this short period before purdah.

 The argument the Leader makes is that signing a legally binding contract does not tie the hands of a future administration because the land will be phased in. However, if the agreement is signed a significant proportion of the  commercial portfolio, the Haringey Civic Centre, a mosque, a library, a community centre and a care home (closed) in Muswell Hill will automatically be transferred into the HDV on day one.

 Ending the contract, and the cost thereof, will be dependent on negotiations with Lendlease. Even at the earliest possible stage, getting out of the contract once signed could cost our borough millions of pounds we can ill afford. Our concern is that the contract is drawn in such a way that if we do not call a halt to the HDV as soon as possible after the election in May, the escalating cost of extricating the borough will become prohibitively unaffordable.  

Following the Carillion crisis, and with the political argument for the HDV lost, this is inexplicable and reckless behaviour. We strongly believe that as councillors we must act in the fiduciary interests of the Council which was of paramount consideration when the Housing & Regeneration Scrutiny Panel made its recommendations. 

 We ask that the NEC intervene as a matter of urgency and take action in accordance with Chapter 13 Clause XI (5) of the Rule Book ‘to ensure effective political management and leadership’.  

 What is happening in Haringey is bad for the borough and bad for the Labour Party. Public Private Partnerships are currently receiving justified criticism from the leadership of the Party and even the Tory government is looking to review such contracts. The public recognise the risks and as such continuing on the same course without reconsideration is highly irresponsible.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Gina Adamou

Cllr Charles Adje

Cllr Peray Ahmet

Cllr Pat Berryman

Cllr John Bevan

Cllr Mark Blake

Cllr Zena Brabazon

Cllr Gideon Bull

Cllr Vincent Carroll

Cllr Isidoros Diakides

Cllr Joseph Ejiofor

Cllr Makbule Gunes

Cllr Kirsten Hearn

Cllr Emina Ibrahim

Cllr Adam Jogee

Cllr Stuart McNamara

Cllr Liz McShane

Cllr Felicia Opoku

Cllr Reg Rice

Cllr Anne Stennett

Cllr Noah Tucker

cc:

Rt. Hon. David Lammy MP, Catherine West MP, Rt. Hon. Jeremy Corbyn MP, Ian Lavery MP