Join the demo on Wednesday 7 February – we can stop Haringey Council privatising £2 billion worth of council assets and gentrifying estates, and change the agenda round the housing crisis.
Smash the HDV
Assemble 5.30pm, Wednesday 7 February
Ducketts Common (by Turnpike Lane tube)
March at 6pm to Haringey Civic Centre for the Vote against the HDV
Social housing not social cleansing
Bring pots, pans, instruments – let’s make some noise
More info at the Stop HDV website
We need a solution to London housing crisis, but this isn’t it.
There’s no doubt that a crisis exists – whether it’s the horror of the Grenfell fire, beds in sheds, unaffordable mortgages, endless council waiting lists or spiralling private rents. Haringey council tenants deserve better homes, with pedestrian routes free from crime and spaces for children to play. But Haringey Council’s solution is to set up a partnership with private company Lendlease and transfer a massive £2 billion of Council assets to it, an unprecedented privatisation.
We don’t need more private companies making millions off public services.
The council’s planned partnership – the Haringey Development Vehicle or HDV – is typical of the deals with private sector companies, like PFI, which have been used for public sector building projects since the Blair years. They’re a huge waste of money – the National Audit Office reported on Thursday that £20 billion will go to private companies from these deals. And how stable are these companies? Carillion won £2 billion in public sector contracts between last July and its collapse last week.
We don’t need more gentrification.
The Council’s partner in the HDV is Lendlease, which has rebuilt Elephant and Castle. The Heygate Estate there included 1,194 social housing flats – now there are 82. The redevelopment included a 37-storey block made up of 282 luxury homes, with zero affordable housing – Lendlease made tens of millions in profit. About 300 people took part in a protest there earlier this month.
It’s not just Haringey – the same thing is happening across London, and people are fighting back.
Councils across the city have had their funding cut by central government. They’ve come up with the same solution – you give planning permission for towers of luxury flats. The plan is for rich people without kids to live there – they pay high Council Tax but don’t use many council services, so they balance the books. Time and again, local communities have fought these plans. Campaign group 35 Percent opposed the Elephant and Castle tower. The Mall shopping centre in Walthamstow is to be replaced by towers up to 29 floors high, with only 20 percent of them “affordable” by the government’s bogus definition – Save Walthamstow’s Town Centre is planning a demonstration in February. In Ilford, towers are to be built along the Crossrail line, with its high-speed links to the City and Docklands. A development of over 600 flats by Sainsbury’s will include fewer than 30 “affordable homes” – campaign group NOISE are leading opposition.
The HDV is completely undemocratic.
Shouldn’t tenants get a vote on whether their homes are demolished? Haringey Council says no – the issues are too complex for a vote! But one vote that is going ahead is the Council elections next May. Most of the Labour candidates oppose the HDV – so in a few month’s time Haringey Council is certain to vote the plans down. The current council leadership wants to go ahead with the HDV, and tie the hands of the councillors who will run Haringey in a few months’ time. They are doing this even though a Judicial Review is in progress which may delay the HDV or halt it completely.
This is about the future direction of the Labour Party.
The campaign against the HDV has won support across the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn gave a commitment at Labour conference that rebuilding estates wouldn’t mean removing existing tenants, who would get a vote on the proposals. Last week the Labour NEC called on Haringey to stop the HDV. That call was supported by the officers of Tottenham Labour Party. Both local MPs, David Lammy and Catherine West – neither on the left of the party – oppose the HDV.
The Blairite council leadership are backed into a corner – so they and the media have turned to smearing a well-supported local campaign, claiming that Labour left network Momentum is conducting a “purge” of councillors. A victory for the campaign against the HDV would be a victory for a campaigning and community-based Labour Party.
We can stop the HDV!
The HDV community campaign has leafletted, marched and funded a Judicial Review. The Council has only a few months before the elections. There is an emergency Council vote on 7 February – the HDV campaign has called a march led by contingents of residents from Northumberland Park and Broadwater Farm, two of the estates facing demolition.
This can be the start of turning the tide against dodgy deals with the private sector, and in favour of public services for local people. The campaign has to win the Council vote – come and make your voice heard!