Here’s my latest Ham and High column – on why Haringey Council needs to change.
A few weeks ago, the Broadway exposed the cost of Haringey Council’s trip to Cannes in South France. It was three times more than the council originally stated. So, not only did they use taxpayers’ money for the jaunt, they didn’t tell us the truth about the cost, either.
This is just one of the reasons why I believe that Labour’s control of Haringey Council needs to end.
Those on the trip were two senior council officials and one Labour councillor – who is responsible for housing in the borough. They went to meet organisations like Tottenham Hotspur.
Residents are rightly angry – if Haringey has wanted to meet with Tottenham, they could have got on a W3 from outside the civic centre and saved the taxpayer thousands.
But despite the controversy and reaction, the Labour council leader (who authorised it all) is still defending the whole trip, and its cost to the public purse.
Unfortunately this kind of behaviour is what we have come to expect from Labour-run Haringey Council – ignoring residents, whilst providing bad services and wasting money.
Just a few months ago, we discovered that the council had authorised £3.7million in bonuses for housing staff at Homes for Haringey. At the same time, hundreds of residents were contacting me, and asking for help with getting decent repairs.
On the Noel Park estate – the area ‘represented’ by the Labour councillor who went on the trip – residents are in such desperate need, that I called a public meeting so that Haringey Council and Homes for Haringey could hear the problems first hand.
The Labour councillor declined the invitation to attend the public meeting – another let down for local residents he is supposed to represent.
The waste is not just confined to the housing sector. On our local roads, we’ve seen yellow lines repainted days before the entire road was dug up for resurfacing. Just last week the Labour-run council introduced a new roundabout, with the arrows painted the wrong way round. All of these mistakes add up – and it’s the taxpayer who ultimately pays.
There is another way. Labour’s control of the council is not absolute. And on May 22 this year, Haringey residents get the chance to vote Labour out.
The Haringey Lib Dems have been working hard all year round for residents, and will shortly be releasing their manifesto. It’s packed full of great proposals which would greatly improve our local services, our local area and our borough as a whole! And all of these would be funded by cutting Haringey Labour’s waste.
For me the choice – between a Labour party who have mismanaged our borough for 40 years, and the local Lib Dems, who want to work with residents to fix Haringey – is easy. I know who I’ll be voting for on May 22!