Haringey leader's antenna is tuned into Cllr Bevan

Following the departure of her executive member for the environment, Haringey council leader Clare Kober has placed Brian Haley s sprawling responsibilities onto the shoulders of gritty councillor, John Bevan. Already the executive member for housing, str

Following the departure of her executive member for the environment, Haringey council leader Clare Kober has placed Brian Haley's sprawling responsibilities onto the shoulders of gritty councillor, John Bevan.

Already the executive member for housing, striding John Bevan bears a much heavier burden now that his cabinet work-load is doubled. A less brave man, or anyone not already snowed-under with work, might have run a mile.

It may be remembered that it was John Bevan who was courageous enough to select the premium-priced TV system to run in the borough's flats - and to sell them on to council leaseholders too. In defending his derided decision - and in repeating the salesman's claims that his digital TV aerial was 'future-proof' - Cllr. Bevan showed his true grit.

It is just as well that the council's leaseholders are rich and can easily take the hit of up to �1,148 an aerial. But with respect to the 'overall' cost for the system (1,100 channels, mainly foreign), did Cllr. Bevan not trip-up? With an average cost of �1,056 of the digital aerials for council tenants, the overall bill will be felt by tenants and tax-payers alike.

Did not the ram-raid into the Decent Homes budget for refurbishing norough tenants' dwellings rub salt into the wound? In judging between housing facilities that are desirable and those that are essential, was not the balance lost?

The multi-million pound shortfall puts even heavier pressure on either the council tax or on CPZ-parking fines - this was seen by some as a slip-up.

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In addition to his existing housing portfolio, Cllr Bevan is now responsible for road maintenance. Who would disagree with council leader Kober when she sagely observed that John Bevan ''is well placed to hit the ground running.'' Given the lack of road gritting, there may well be others who also suffer a fall.

Clive Carter

Stapleton Hall Road, N4

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