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So, Farewell then the Haringey HDV

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2018 by kmflett

So. Farewell then the Haringey HDV

On Tuesday 17th July the new Haringey Council Cabinet (Labour) met and decided to put an end to plans for the Haringey Development Project.

This grand project in which multinational privateer Lendlease was to be centrally involved had as its focus plans to knock down substantial numbers of Council homes (and some private houses) in North Tottenham around the new Spurs stadium. They would be replaced with new housing which might but probably would not have been occupied by the original tenants.

The end of the HDV was the work of a broad and active campaign. It ranged from anarchists, the SWP, the Labour Party, the LibDems, Haringey Defend Council Housing, the main Haringey trade unions, Haringey TUC (of which I was President until January) and of course lots of grassroots tenants and community campaigners and activists.

The campaign is not completed (when are they ever). There are still grand housing plans for High Rd West (by Spurs), Tottenham Hale and Sky City (in Wood Green). There is also the important issue of Broadwater Farm and blocks that have safety issues and whether this can be sorted out by repair or if it needs reconstruction.

That said it must be noted that the HDV campaign was a victory. As Paul Burnham, centrally involved in Haringey DCH posted on Facebook, so many similar campaigns end in failure or just fold that something that wins is important to celebrate. We’re not used to success on the left and rightly wary of those who claim it, but we do need to recognise it when it happens.

All credit too, to the Guardian journalist Aditya Charabortty who gave the anti-HDV a wider coverage and higher profile. Hopefully that means this victory will encourage others who are also fighting neo-liberalism in housing policy.

As for Tuesday’s Cabinet it agreed to set up a wholly owned Council structure to build housing in future. There will be concerns and issues with that of course. But as I tweeted it represents progress with pragmatism.

Not of course the kind of class struggle socialism I believe in, but we have to start by grappling with things as they are rather than as we’d like them to be.

Compared to the almost maoist, putting politics in command, plans of the previous Council, this looks like a more modest attempt to start with the needs of ordinary working people in Haringey and make some progress (no not that kind of progress) on actually building a few council homes in an age of Tory austerity.

Work as it were, in progress

Keith Flett is immediate past President of Haringey TUC

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One Response to “So, Farewell then the Haringey HDV”

  1. It is a great victory. I understand your comments about the wider context but it is 32 years since I lived in Tottenham. I visited in May and I stand with the people of Haringay.

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