Labour-run Haringey Council last week decided to continue with an unpopular decision that may result in the eviction of vulnerable and elderly tenants from council supported housing. Local Liberal Democrats expressed disappointment, after Haringey Council’s watchdog committee upheld the cabinet decision to progress plans for the redevelopment of supported housing at Protheroe House, and the further review of similar schemes at Larkspur Close and Stokely Court.
Cllr Robert Gorrie, who led the Liberal Democrat ‘call-in’, said that residents’ views had been completely ignored and that the decision was being made in response to financial pressures in the Decent Homes programme, rather than in the best interest of tenants.
He urged the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to recommend that the cabinet should make residents’ wishes central to the decision making process, protect the Decent Homes funding for these properties and take no action against tenants until an Older Persons Housing Strategy, expected in 2010, decided whether there was a need for change.
However, after nearly three hours of discussion and criticism at the meeting from members of both parties about how the decision had been made and the position in which it left residents, the Labour majority on the committee decided to uphold the Cabinet’s decision.
Cllr Robert Gorrie (Hornsey ward) comments:
“After saying that they were unhappy with the decision and accepting it was not the decision residents wanted, Labour members did nothing to challenge their Labour cabinet colleagues.
“It was a real shame to see that, after a three hour debate, nothing has happened and the rights and wishes of residents have been ignored yet again.”
Lynne Featherstone MP adds:
”Labour have once again failed to put residents and vulnerable tenants at the heart of their decision.”