An urgent review of how £200m will be spent by Homes for Haringey has been demanded by local Liberal Democrats following the revelation that serious government ‘concerns’ over the high costs of Haringey Council’s ALMO bid delayed the cash award.
The serious indictment of Haringey’s ability to spend money efficiently was contained in a secret ministerial briefing marked ‘not for the public domain’ obtained by local Lib Dem MP, Lynne Featherstone through a Freedom of Information request.
Unhappy with the government’s bland response over the delays in allocating the desperately needed housing funding, Ms Featherstone demanded to see all the ministerial briefing material for her recent Parliamentary Questions on the subject.
Commenting, Ms Featherstone says:
“Local council tenants and leaseholders have waited and waited for this desperately needed money to bring their homes up to just a basic standard. Now we find out the delay was caused by the Government not having any confidence in Haringey being able to spend the money efficiently.
“If Labour ministers don’t even trust them not to waste taxpayer money, why should local residents? What guarantees do they have that this huge amount of money won’t be frittered away through more Haringey waste and inefficiency?”
Councillor Carolyn Baker, Haringey Lib Dem Housing Spokesperson adds:
“There are hundreds of properties desperately in need of basic modern facilities. Now we discover that they have had to wait longer because Haringey has been unable to get its act together. Haringey Council played an intrinsic role in preparing this bid.It is therefore a damning indictment of Haringey Labour when their own government says they haven’t got a clue how to ensure money is spent well.
“The scale of this project dwarfs all of their other failed major investments, such as Tech Refresh. When you’re talking about almost £¼ billion of public money this is serious problem. Council tenants and local leaser-holders will be short-changed if this money isn’t spent properly.”