Agenda item


To consider any requests received in accordance with Part 4, Section B, paragraph 29 of the Council’s constitution.


At the outset, the Chair outlined the role of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC), highlighting their powers and the options available to them. The Chair then invited the representatives of the Deputation to address the OSC.

Before introducing the Deputation in relation to the Call In, Mr Jacob Secker clarified the Deputation was on behalf of Haringey Defend Council Housing and he, along with Mr Paul Burnham, were speaking as their representatives.

The Deputation sought the OSC to refer the decision to demolish Tangmere and Northfolt without a GLA compliant ballot back to Cabinet. 

Mr Secker argued that, as the Council was seeking to attain funding for new council housing through the GLA, it must, therefore, abide by the GLA rules. The decision whether to demolish Tangmere and Northfolt should only be decided through a GLA compliant ballot. This would give the residents the final decision and oblige the Council to enact any commitments made during the balloting process or risk losing the GLA funding. He claimed that under a section 105 consultation, as was carried out, there was no obligation for the Council to commit to any promises it had made.

Mr Secker also claimed there were no details of what the Council was planning to do following the demolition of the two blocks. He stated that under GLA rules, during the ballot stage, it would be required that a master plan be created to inform residents of the Council’s intentions for the estate.

Mr Secker felt the treatment of the residents during the 28 day consultation had been disgraceful and that residents were misled. He noted paragraph 4.1.3 of the report, and argued that it was incorrect to say that it was impossible to fix the water leaks. He argued this was not supported by any structural reports and that information regarding this claim had been requested from the Council but had yet to be received.

Regarding Northolt, Mr Secker claimed the residents had not been informed that re-piping would take place on the estate if demolition did not occur. He argued that residents were misled into concluding that the only viable option was demolition and the Council undemocratically withheld information. He claimed the Council had acted like a rogue private landlord.

Mr Secker disputed claims in the report prepared by Officers for the Call In and countered that it was still possible for the Council to hold a GLA compliant ballot. Citing paragraph 4.41, he claimed that GLA guidelines state that a ballot could occur following residents being moved out through a postal ballot.

Mr Secker claimed the amount of money being offered by the Council was not enough and would force residents to move out of the borough, and therefore lose their right of return. 

Mr Burnham next spoke for the Deputation. He made the following comments:

  • The claim by the Council that this was not a regeneration scheme and therefore there was no need for a GLA compliant ballot was erroneous. He accepted this was essentially a health and safety issue but it was also a regeneration scheme as the Council would be looking to improve the area following the rebuild. 
  • As the Cabinet Member informed at the November 2018 Cabinet meeting, that there would be an estate wide consultation for residents input into the estates future development, it was not the case that the proposed demolition was separate and distinct from other regeneration projects in the area.
  • He argued the Council would pursue its own agenda, once the two blocks were demolished.
  • Stressed it was important to note the length of time state regeneration schemes took to complete and the potential impact of future policy changes should be considered. The Deputation highlighted concern regarding the impact of the draft London Plan. 
  • Noted it was no longer acceptable for demolishment to occur without a ballot having been completed.
  • Remarked a GLA compliant ballot needed to take place in Broadwater Farm before any blocks were demolished as this was the only way there could be guarantees regarding future commitments. He asked the OSC to refer the decision back to Cabinet with such a recommendation. 


The Chair thanked the Deputation and following questions by the OSC members, it was noted:

  • The Deputation sought a ballot that gave the residents of Tangmere and Northfolt a meaningful choice. They wanted an option between strengthening and refurbishing the existing block with the alternative option being demolishment. With demolition, there should be a master plan so that the residents were aware of the Council’s future intention for the estate, once the blocks were demolished.
  • Mr Secker clarified his comment regarding the 28 consultation being disgraceful. He claimed misleading information had been given during the consultation, he stated residents were informed they could either vote for demolition or continue to live in blocks that had water leaks. He commented that in a free and fair consultation, the case would be made for either option and for residents to choose, but claimed that the case was only made for demolition, the Council’s preferred choice. 
  • Regarding the mention of there being an unused £800k fund available 6 years prior to fix the roof at Tangmere, the Deputation were not able to comment whether that was still available. Mr Secker stated this was offered in 2012 as part of Capital Homes and Decent Variation Scheme but the Council did not take this up.
  • The Deputation was concerned that if the Council accepted GLA funding to rebuild, they might have to impose the mayoral rent. They asked the OSC to consider the impact of future policy changes and cited their concern as being a future with social rent homes being demolished in place of council homes at the mayoral rent.
  • Mr Chris Hutton, a resident in support of the Deputation, detailed his experience of living on Broadwater Farm since 1992. He informed the OSC of the change that had taken place since then. He noted:
    • there had been investment in the past but that for the past 30 years, felt little had been done to develop the common areas since.
    • remarked there had been a Decent Homes Scheme which was scaled back in scope.
    • there had been no effort to maintain or improve the estate.
    • claimed the lack of maintenance and preventative action created the current situation.
    • there had been a lack of information provided during the consultation, with no alternative options presented other than demolition.
  • Mr Secker reiterated his opposition to demolishing both blocks and claimed no evidence, such as structural reports, had been presented which convinced him that the two blocks should be demolished. 
  • Mr Burnham was against the principle of demolishing council homes and said there should be an increase in higher quality council homes. He noted there had been an increase in demolitions taking place since 2010, and attributed this to Conservative Party politics. He stressed the importance of the ballot and giving residents a voice in deciding their own futures.


The Chair thanked the representatives for their Deputation.