MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Lib Dem councillors have welcomed the decision by Haringey Council’s Executive not to give £380,000 to the Tottenham-based Haringey Business Development Association (HBDA) to deliver the City Growth Enterprise Village. However Lib Dem concerns remain over the Council’s secrecy regarding the proposals.
The proposal had been provisionally accepted by the Executive back in June. However the funding was questioned strongly by Lib Dem councillors and Labour members of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, who agreed unanimously to send the decision back to the Executive for reconsideration in July.
Following an appraisal, the Council was advised not to fund the project. An officer report catalogued a string of shortcomings in the proposed development plans some of which showed a worrying lack of planning and organisation on the part of HBDA.These included:
Poor value for money – proposed purchase price of building higher than the valuation
High risk – a number of private sector partners have failed the basic due diligence checks
Poor planning – more space has been allocated to private sector partners than is available in the building
Despite welcoming the decision, Haringey Lib Dem regeneration spokesperson Cllr Wayne Hoban questions why it took a call-in of this decision to see the glaring shortfalls in the HBDA proposals. They are also deeply concerned at the continued secrecy over the Council’s handling of the HBDA funding request after a large section of the papers on this issue were once again made exempt.
Cllr Hoban comments:
“We welcome the decision not to hand this large sum of money over to the HBDA. However the need for a training organisation to help upgrade the skill base in some of the poorest parts of the borough still remains. We shall be asking the Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration how he intends to plug this gap.”