Questioning from the Liberal Democrats has revealed that Haringey doesn’t hold a list of the commercial property it rents out. Enquiries from Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison, the Leader of the Opposition, resulted in the admission from the council that “we do not currently have an accurate up to date list of all commercial property owned by the Council.”, with the latest record of council properties being from five years ago.
This admission comes a year after the Independent Report into Haringey’s property dealings, which concluded then that the property team had failed to keep proper records. It appears that in the 12 months since, this has not been rectified.
The December 2022 report, written after a months-long investigation into Haringey, also found other failures, such as that in one case confidential information had been passed on to a developer; but left other important questions unanswered, such as how rapper Teriy Keys had acquired 141 Station Road from the council for free with no competitive tender, despite other bidders offering to pay for it. The report was handed to the police, who were looking into property dealings in the council, but there has been no comment from them since.
A request by the Liberal Democrat group for all the documents and information obtained for the report was rejected by Haringey Council under advice from the Metropolitan Police due to the investigation still being ongoing.
Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison (LD-Crouch End), Leader of the Opposition on Haringey Council, said:
“This reflects sheer incompetence from Haringey’s property team. I have no idea how an organisation can just not know what property it owns. Commercial property should be providing an income for the council during these cash-strapped times, yet we don’t even know what we own. This situation would be laughable if it weren’t so serious.”