HTHAS have written to Jeremy Corbyn (ex Haringey Councillor, MP for our neighbouring North Islington constituency and Labour leader) to ask him to try and get Haringey to suspend the sale of HTH and have a re-think (our letter below).

Earlier this week, in a speech about the public sector’s relationship with overseas companies registered in a tax-haven (like the Caymans) Jeremy announced that if Labour are elected, “No company will receive taxpayer-funded contracts if it or its parent company is headquartered in a tax haven. “

If you agree and want him to intervene in HTH, you might want to drop him a line with copies to Claire Kober, Jason Arthur…and us!

Dear Jeremy

I am writing on behalf of the Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society.

We are a group of Hornsey residents who, with the excellent support of Catherine West, have been struggling for eighteen months to try and stop Haringey disposing of Hornsey Town Hall to a Hong Kong based developer who is registered in the Cayman Islands.

HTHAS was particularly interested to learn of your policy that would prevent local authorities entering into large contracts with companies based in tax havens to “ to ensure that profits earned on taxpayer-funded services were ‘retained and circulated within the UK economy “.

We fully support this initiative and are writing to ask that you contact Haringey to ask them to urgently reconsider their imminent signing of a lease which will result in …
the conversion of much of this wonderful Grade II listed building into a “boutique hotel”,
the development of the land at the rear into 120 luxury flats (with only four affordable)
the vaguest of plans for community access or a promised Arts Centre.
the eviction of 74 small businesses trading from HTH.
Haringey’s disposal flies in the face on many of the Mayor’s major polices on social housing, work spaces for small businesses and encouraging the arts.

As a north Londoner who is familiar with the building, you might be aware that HTHAS have been asking Haringey to consider an asset transfer to a trust. This would allow for the renovation to be funded by the sale of the car park at the rear. We believe a community based solution, working with a local housing association and a developer, could not only assure the future of the building but also provide significant affordable and social housing. You can learn more about our campaign and ideas from www.hthas.org.uk/ .

Sadly, a market-obsessed Haringey have refused to discuss the plan: instead they are about to hand the keys over to a commercial developer who is likely to make many millions of pounds from the deal.

We find it totally unacceptable that a borough with high levels of deprivation and homelessness feels that this is an appropriate way to dispose of a much loved community asset: nearly seven thousand residents have signed a petition and many majority group back benchers supported an Overview and Scrutiny Call in on the matter.

HTHAS hopes that you will be able to intervene and we urge you to write to Cllr Kober and Cllr Strickland as soon as possible.

If you can find a minute in a very busy schedule, we would be delighted to welcome you or a colleague to HTH to better understand the fabulous potential of this wonderful asset.

With (belated) best wishes for the New Year

David Winskill