Agenda item

Haringey Development Vehicle - Verbal Update

Verbal update.


The Chair welcomed Cllr Elin Weston, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Lyn Garner, Strategic Director of Regeneration, Planning and Development, and Richard Grice, Interim Director of Transformation and Resources, to the meeting. It was explained that the Leader of the Council, on 31 August 2017, had made a decision to nominate these individuals to represent the Council on the Haringey Development Vehicle Board.


It was also noted that Cllr Weston, Ms Garner and Mr Grice had participated in shadow HDV board meetings during the summer of 2017. The Chair stated that, despite ongoing scrutiny of the HDV, the Panel had not been made aware of the shadow board.   


In response to questions, Ms Garner explained arrangements for the shadow board had been outlined in a report to Cabinet, in February 2017, to approve the selection of Lendlease as preferred bidder. Ms Garner went on to highlight section 6.44 of the Cabinet report, outlined below:     


“It is intended that shadow board arrangements will be put in place with the

preferred bidder ahead of financial close to enable the board to form, establish itself and begin to function in an informal way (though the board cannot take any formal decisions until the HDV is formally incorporated).”


The Panel was informed that during the summer the shadow HDV board had met informally on three occasions: 22 June; 2 August; and 30 August. However, due to a legal challenge, it was explained that the Council and Lendlease had agreed to suspend these meetings. The Panel was also informed of a HDV Shadow Board Dinner, held on 24 April.     


It was noted that the shadow board meetings had been informal and did not have the power to make any decisions or give directions to staff, nor to otherwise exercise any of the functions defined for the HDV Board in the legal agreements. Following a discussion about the role of the HDV Board and the importance of its effective functioning, Cllr Weston and Ms Garner both explained that it had been worth investing time in the preparatory stages in order to build the relationships on which the formal functioning would depend.


The Panel was informed that council officers and members nominated to the HDV Board would owe general fiduciary duties to the Board, when sitting on the Board. The Panel was informed that it was normal for such obligations to be imposed on the members, via the Members’ Agreement, to act in the best interest of the LLP and not to act in conflict with its interests. However, the Panel was asked to note that these principles did not apply to the shadow HDV board as these would only apply upon the establishment of the LLP and creation of the HDV Board.


In response to questions about the 3 July 2017 Cabinet meeting, concerning the approval of the legal documentation to establish the joint venture, the HDV Board and its first set of business plans, Cllr Weston advised she had been acting in her capacity as member of the local authority. The Panel was also asked to note that Cllr Weston had taken advice from the Monitoring Officer, before the Cabinet meeting, who advised attendance at shadow board meetings did not amount to either a disclosable pecuniary interest nor prejudicial interest requiring disclosure.


During the discussion, the process for approving a revised Estate Renewal Rehousing and Payments Policy was considered. It was noted that the policy would set out rehousing commitments for secure and assured tenants, and for leaseholders required to move due to regeneration. The Panel was informed that the policy would be considered by Cabinet in October 2017 and that it would take precedence over the HDV legal agreements i.e. the Right to Return was paramount over a single move.   


Paul Burnham, from Haringey Defend Council Housing, asked a number of questions in relation to RSL tenants in the Northumberland Park regeneration area. Mr Burnham stated there was no mention of RSL tenants in the HDV legal documents and asked what the arrangements were for their rehousing. In order to provide clarity, Ms Garner agreed to provide the Panel with a written response on these issues. ACTION


The Panel raised a number of issues concerning service charges and asked whether these would be affordable to returning social housing tenants or whether any increases would effectively render the promise to return as meaningless. In response to questions, Ms Garner explained it was likely services charges would increase from current levels. However, it was acknowledged costs associated with services charges were complex. This was because they related to the level of service provided and would differ from block to block. In order to provide clarity, Ms Garner agreed to provide the Panel with a written response on these issues. ACTION


In addition, the Panel asked to receive further information on the following:


-       An update on how and when minutes from shadow board meetings would be published. ACTION


-       Further information in relation to the preparatory work that had been undertaken, in relation to branding, to ensure the HDV could go live in a timely fashion. Details and dates were requested in relation to the pitches and what had been paid for, when, and by who. ACTION


-       Further information concerning the transfer of land to Duke’s Aldridge Academy formerly Northumberland Park Community School. ACTION  


-       Once updated, the Panel asked to receive a copy of the revised Members’ Agreement. ACTION


Ms Garner agreed to provide the Panel with a written response on each of these issues. ACTION




(a)  That the update concerning the Haringey Development Vehicle be noted.


(b)  That the Strategic Director of Regeneration, Planning and Development be asked to provide the Panel with a written response to the issues highlighted above.