Ally Pally – Trustees kept in the dark, say Liberal Democrats

The Lib Dems have welcomed the resignation of Labour’s Finance boss, Cllr Charles Adje, from the Chairmanship of the Ally Pally Trading Company following weeks of pressure from the opposition party – but have condemned attempts by the Labour trustees to pack the body (which has a total of four councillors) with a third Labour councillor, a move that was successfully resisted by the Lib Dems at this week’s board meeting.

Charles Adje had attempted to carry on as Chair despite also being the Haringey Council’s Finance boss – exactly the sort of conflict of interest over Alexandra Palace for which Haringey Council had been condemned previously by the government’s Treasury Solicitor, say Lib Dems.

Following the meeting, Labour has now also agreed to take legal advice over Liberal Democrat demands that an additional Lib Dem trustee is appointed to the Trading Company board. The matter is vitally important because Pally bosses, in a brazen attempt to keep the affairs of the Palace a secret, have failed to tell the Trustees on what terms the developers, Firoka, are currently occupying the building, given the failure to complete on the lease that has resulted from the recent High court decision and the earlier expiry of Firoka’s temporary licence to operate.

While they have failed to provide this information despite months of asking, Lib Dems say this would have to be provided to the Trading Company Board. However, the now-removed Chair of the Trading Company Board has refused recent requests to hold a meeting and, the body is now without a chair or a fourth board member.

Lib Dems are suspicious that Labour is trying to stop the appointment of a second Lib Dem board member, as this would effectively prevent Labour from blocking a meeting of the body.

Lib Dem Ally Pally spokesperson, Cllr Bob Hare comments:

“It is an absurd situation that according to Labour, the Trustees are apparently not entitled to know on what terms Firoka are occupying the building. Given our duties as Trustees, this just cannot go on. Any attempts to fix the membership of the Palace Trading Company will be resisted, as we must have fairness and proportionality. I suspect it is yet another utterly cynical attempt to keep embarrassing information from getting to Trustees and to prevent them from doing their job, and it must not be allowed to continue.”