Agenda item


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


The Chair outlined the procedure to be followed for the meeting.  There had been two deputation requests received, which had been accepted by the Chair.


Deputation one – Hilary Adams, Jacob Secker, Doug Fore, Natasha Siverandan, Stuart McNamara and Philip Rose.


The main points raised in the deputation were:

-                 A lack of public accountability.  Costs and profits were contained in the exempt report, and members of the public were therefore unable to make an assessment as to whether the decision represented value for money.  Exempt information was only available to a small percentage of elected councillors, which was not a sufficiently robust basis for decision making.  The decision felt like an exercise in smoke and mirrors – an overly complicated decision, shrouded in mystery.

-                 The political manifesto was to build Council homes on Council land.  The site should be used to build only Council homes, and proper negotiation needed to be carried out with the church in regard to access rights.


The deputation party responded to questions from the Committee:

-                 The decision should be subject to full scrutiny by the Housing Scrutiny Panel, and Cabinet should revisit the decision in light of the concerns raised.

-                 Public perception was that the public had been pushed out of the way in order to benefit private developers, and there was a worry that if all plans to build future Council housing were under the purview of an arrangement where developers received beneficial deals, then it would be the ‘HDV by stealth’.

-                 The issue with the plan was that 46 units would not address the issues of the thousands of families on the waiting list for homes.  The Council needed a strategy to address this problem.

-                 Some of the deputation party considered that the Council were in breach of their equalities duties.  There was no evidence of an EQIA for the closure of the community space.

-                 A proper evaluation of the cost to the Council to build the properties in-house was requested – without this a proper assessment of the decision could not be made.


Councillor Adje and Councillor Ibrahim responded to the deputation.  Whilst the concerns over exempt information were taken on board, it was necessary as the information was commercially sensitive.  In regard to the number of homes, developing the whole site would not solve the housing crisis in Haringey, but the decision had been made on balance to provide 46 homes for families in Haringey.

The Council’s Lawyer advised that the equalities duties were outlined at paragraphs 8.10-8.18 of the Cabinet report.


Deputation two – Gulum Choudhry (Mitalee Community Centre).


Mr Choudhry addressed the Committee to raise his concerns over the decision.  The report seemed to raise the possibility of the community centre being at risk, and he wished to put on record his concern of the effect this would have on the people who use the Mitalee centre.


Mr Choudhry responded to questions from the Committee:

-                 His understanding was that the development would not include the centre, hence his confusion that the call-in referred to the inclusion of the centre.

-                 The centre had been operating since 1989/1991, and supported many people across the borough, many who were vulnerable people who did not feel able to use official routes.


Councillor Adje and Councillor Ibrahim responded to the deputation.  The Mitalee Centre was included in a Site Allocation for the borough, however if it was to be included in any future developments then tenants would be informed in writing and the facility would be replaced.  The Cabinet report however made it clear that the centre was not included in this scheme.