MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Beautiful building, fantastic location – but a financial nightmare. That’s been the history of Alexandra Palace over the last few decades as Labour have wasted tens of millions on one bungle after another.
Over the last few years we’ve seen Haringey Labour desperately trying to wash their hands of the problem – but wanting to do so by selling off much of the site on a mammoth 125 year lease to a private developer. A deal was sort-of struck with Firoka, which has since fallen through – leaving Haringey facing a £6.2 million claim from Firoka.
Liberal Democrat councillors have repeatedly criticised this deal – the way in which it was rushed through, the lack of decent public consultation, the lack of proper safeguards in the deal (especially for the historic TV studios) – and the failure to sort out crucial details.
Following the collapse of the deal, there have been two independent investigations – both with damning conclusions about how Labour councillors have behaved. The second one – known as Walklate 2 – concludes that “entering into and maintaining the licence [with Firoka for them to take over Alexandra Palace] has led to losses to the Trust in the region of £1,500,000. The Trustees were not given financial information of the effect of the licence … nor were they given the opportunity to consider whether they wished to revoke the licence.” That is £1.5 million in losses in addition to the £6.2 million claim.
So – millions wasted and the best not even being got out of the site for the local community.