At the Cabinet meeting on 18 January 2022, I made the following representations why there should be an independent review of the Love Lane estate demolition ballot:
“At its meeting on 29 November 2021, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee heard evidence from a deputation calling into question integrity and the validity of the estate demolition ballot that had taken place in relation to the proposed Love Lane Estate.
The Committee recommended that there should be an independent review into the conduct of the Love Lane estate demolition ballot.
I refer to the Cabinet response on page 131 of the Agenda Pack to reject the Scrutiny recommendation for an independent review. The Cabinet’s reasons are set out on the next six pages.
This is extremely disappointing and I call on the Cabinet to reconsider its initial response. And to vote for an independent review this evening.
The Love Lane Estate demolition ballot was historic. It was the first ballot of its kind that took place in Haringey. In years to come when this regeneration scheme has gone ahead, we do not want to hear allegations that the ballot was questionable.
Surely, an independent review is the right thing to do.
We have heard representations from campaigners this evening, at the O&S Committee meeting in late November 2021, at the Housing and Regen Scrutiny Panel meeting in early November 2021 and we have received emails with evidence of alleged interference in the ballot.
An independent review will clarify what actually happened. If the Council is right that nothing happened that calls into question the integrity and the validity of the ballot, then the independent review will scrutinise that evidence objectively and give the council a clean bill of health. So, the Council has nothing to fear. It has nothing to lose.
An independent review makes sense.
In the agenda pack tonight, the Cabinet has presented six pages of explanation why the ballot was proper. Well, the work has already been done – this can be submitted to the independent review panel to look at.
Whichever way you look at it, an independent review would be the most sensible thing to do and I call on the Cabinet to reverse its initial response and approve an independent review this evening.”