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Haringey housing chief cllr Alan Strickland to stand down after losing selection vote

PUBLISHED: 10:21 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:01 22 November 2017

Haringey housing chief cllr Alan Strickland pulled out of the selection battle on Monday.  Picture: Tony Gay

Haringey housing chief cllr Alan Strickland pulled out of the selection battle on Monday. Picture: Tony Gay

TONY GAY at tonephote@aol.com

A council housing chief pushing £2billion plans to regenerate housing in Haringey has said he won’t stand in local elections in May.

Councillor Alan Strickland publicly announced his withdrawal from the selection process for Noel Park ward by posting a two page letter on social media yesterday.

In it cllr Strickland blamed the domination of “narrow factionalism” in the Noel Park selection process for the decision before attacking “factional activists” alleging voters “simply” followed their instructions ahead of a trigger ballot, sparked by his failure to get a majority on a first round vote which would have seen him automatically reselected.

Haringey Council’s housing chief added he did not feel confident what he had to say in the second round “would be received with an open mind” in what felt like a “sectarian”, or clannish, atmosphere.

“It is with a very heavy heart I have decided to withdraw my name from the remainder of the selection process,” cllr Strickland added before going on to thank supporters during his decade in the ward as a campaigner, branch secretary and councillor.

“I’m proud over the last eight years, despite government cuts and receiving some pretty unpleasant abuse from some quarters, that I have never compromised my principles.

He added “I’ve been honest with residents about the tough choices we face, rather than offering hollow, crowd-pleasing answers.”

But in a further dig at opponents he said he had spent a lot of time hearing what residents think “not what small bands of noisy activists like to tell us they think”.

But he made no mention of Haringey’s plan to regenerate the borough by pairing up with private developer Lendlease – attacked by critics as a public assets sell off – which as housing chief he championed and regularly came under fire over.

Highgate Liberal-Democrat councillor Clive Carter described the omission as “odd” with no defence of the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) plan attempted.

“The statement is insular and self-absorbed. It does not consider the large number of Haringey residents whose homes and futures, jobs and businesses would be threatened by the HDV,” cllr Carter said.

“This is a measure of the extent to which Haringey New Labour has become out-of touch with ordinary residents, the very people they were elected to serve,” he added.

Gordon Peters, spearheading opposition to the HDV through a judge-led review, said with both Cllrs Strickland and Goldberg standing down it leaves the Leader, cllr Claire Kober, more isolated.

“If she is to carry on with the HDV she is virtually declaring war on her own party as they are increasingly unhappy with what this is likely to do to the borough, as are so many of us in Haringey the more that is known about it,” Mr Peters said.

He warned more selections of candidates committed to stopping the HDV could follow.

“I do not see any good sense in them continuing to try to progress it - as they may think they can do behind closed doors while they await the judicial review outcome.

“I believe the HDV has driven into the sand. It would be the height of irresponsibility to try to keep it going and waste any more time and public money on it,” he added.

However, on social media Crouch End councillor Natan Doron came out in support of “a champion of working people” stating it was a “[s]ad day for Haringey”.

Cllr Strickland will remain in post until May next year.

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