Haringey group claim victory over residents’ rights

Nick Martin-Clark (right) and members of the Haringey Leaseholders' Association have claimed victory

Nick Martin-Clark (right) and members of the Haringey Leaseholders' Association have claimed victory over Haringey Council and Homes for Haringey. Picture: HLA - Credit: Archant

A leaseholders association is claiming victory over Haringey Council after an apparent U-turn over residents’ rights.

The Haringey Leaseholders’ Association (HLA) was squaring up for a high court battle on June 14 after council bosses decided to withdraw funding and recognition for borough-wide support groups.

But in an announcement two days earlier, Homes for Haringey – an arm’s length management organisation (ALMO) handling the council’s housing – and Haringey quashed the decision.

HLA chairman Lloyd Grandson said: “It’s a scandal HFH and the council waited to the last minute to cave in when this could and should have been sorted out long ago.”

Treasurer Nick Martin-Clark added: “In recent years residents have been taken more and more for granted. Hopefully, this victory will remind them residents cannot be ignored. If as a result we are treated with greater respect, that will show we were right to bring this legal action.”

In a joint statement, a HFH spokeswoman said: “We jointly agreed to settle legal action. There is no victory.”

She said the reason for the decision to withdraw recognition and funds was to focus resources on estate based groups, rather than “unrepresentative” borough-wide ones.

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But HFH agreed to “set aside” last year’s decision to end recognition and pledged to consult residents much more.

“The HLA were never recognised by us, so this decision has no impact on their status. Our board meetings are open to the public and we have agreed the HLA can attend and be heard,” she said.

However, the association disputes the claim stating the HLA has been recognised on four occasions with board minutes and bank statements described as “unequivocal” evidence of recognition.

“It’s extraordinary that HFH should get this wrong,” Nick said.

The HLA now claims the council faces a legal bill of £100,000, with HFH confirming each party has agreed to bear its own costs.

The spokeswoman refuted a HLA claim there was no legal contract in place between Haringey and HFH citing a two year extension until 2018 of its management agreement.

She went on to deny there was a link between HFH boss Andrew Billany’s recent departure and the apparent last minute U-turn.