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Labour group to discipline councillors for resisting Haringey gentrification scheme
For a council group which opposes cuts and privatisation
Nick Auvache, Haringey and Enfield Socialist Party
Ten Labour councillors in Haringey, north London, face disciplinary action after voting for further scrutiny of a gentrification scheme.
The 'Haringey development vehicle' (HDV) is a proposed public-private partnership between the council and blacklisting property developer Lend Lease to "regenerate" the borough's housing stock. This means evicting thousands of council tenants and demolishing entire estates.
The HDV was opposed by Labour Party general committee meetings in Tottenham and Hornsey, and Wood Green - the two constituencies which make up Haringey.
Despite this, a majority of the Labour group which runs the council voted to press ahead.
Ten of the 18 councillors who voted to oppose have now been summoned to disciplinary meetings. These are likely to decide to withdraw the Labour whip from them, which will make them ineligible to stand for re-election with Labour in May 2018.
The ten councillors are being punished for the crime of standing up for council tenants, and for voting according to local Labour Party policy, as decided by votes at its two constituency parties.
Having lost the argument, the right-wing clique which controls the council is attempting to use administrative means to silence dissent, to bully and intimidate the local Labour Party into acquiescence. They must not be allowed to succeed.
If the ten are suspended, they should form an anti-cuts and anti-HDV group on Haringey council. With ten councillors, this would become the official opposition to the Labour group. It could spearhead local opposition to privatisation and cuts.
The Socialist Party is keen to discuss with the ten councillors, and with our fellow participants in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, about how we can build the best challenge to the HDV, privatisation and cuts in the run-up to the 2018 elections.