The Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) is a plan by Haringey Council to sell off £2billion of council housing and land to private developer, LendLease (known for blacklisting workers), in a partnership arrangement that is the largest of its kind ever attempted in this country. Since its inception it has faced growing opposition, from local residents, pressure groups, local MPs, and even the national Labour Party. Under all this pressure, the Labour leader of Haringey Council, Claire Kober, has recently announced she will step down at the local elections in May, claiming she has been the victim of abuse and intimidation from ‘hard-left’ activists. The opposition to her plans actually comes from a wide coalition of political and non-political groups, who condemn any such abuse, and it began with letters to councillors a year ago, gradually escalating through petitions, lobbying, protests, council scrutiny committees, and most recently a claim for judicial review. Kober’s step down is seen as a partial victory, but the HDV is only postponed for debate by the new Council in May. This week Judge Mr Justice Ousely also ruled against a judicial review, but conceded several points, and solicitors Leigh Day, acting for resident Gordon Peters, will be appealing that decision. If the HDV is finally defeated, it will be a powerful signal of what grassroots, bottom-up democracy can achieve, but with other schemes proposing demolition of social housing in the area, there will still be battles ahead.


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