Liberal Democrat's criticise Labour's last minute attempt to gag community group

Liberal Democrats have condemned Haringey Council’s last-ditch attempt to stop Asian Older women’s user-group ‘I Can Care’ addressing the Full Council on Monday night by saying its £12 million plan to develop Woodside House is now “on hold”.

Council officials, backed up by Labour members at the meeting, tried to dissuade members’ of ‘I Can Care’ from presenting their deputation saying that it was no longer needed. Around 50 elderly members and 60 residents attended the deputation. However questions remain over how long the £12 million decision to move the Civic Centre will stay “on hold”. This uncertainty puts into further doubt the future of community groups and the luncheon club users who have been delivering services for over 20 years at Woodside House.

Liberal Democrats criticised Haringey Council for failing to notify ‘I Can Care’ chairman Raj Doshi of the delay in the Woodside house project until yesterday – although a press statement was issued by the Council last Friday. Haringey Council also failed to clarify many of the points raised by the deputation.

I Can Care’s 400 members, who currently meet in Woodside House, are worried about their future accommodation, and say Haringey Council has failed to offer a viable and safe alternative.

To date Haringey Council has spent £250,000 using external contractors on the Woodside House development but failed to consult local stakeholders fully.

Cllr John Oakes, Liberal Democrat spokesman for Community Involvement, commented:

“I think Haringey’s last-minute trick shows that it will go to any lengths to silence the community groups it says it supports if they start sticking up for themselves, or happen to mention an awkward truth. This little episode underlines Haringey’s real dislike of consultation and discussion.”