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Haringey's housing chief to quit council

The Labour councillor who helped spearhead plans for a £1bn regeneration in Haringey will not seek re-election after failing to secure a first-round majority from his local ward.

Alan Strickland, who is cabinet member for regeneration, housing and planning at the council, has withdrawn from Noel Park ward after failing to win a majority in the first round of the selection process.

The decision means Mr Strickland will cease his role as councillor after the local elections next May.

In a letter confirming his withdrawal, Mr Strickland cited achievements during his tenure including “leading plans in Tottenham and playing a central role in attracting over £1bn of investment in homes, business space, upgraded train stations, public spaces and new community facilities since 2010”.

The £1bn regeneration of Tottenham, titled High Road West, is expected to deliver 2,500 homes as well as a new library, public space and learning centre on land to the west of Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium.

Australian contractor Lendlease saw off competition from rivals Barratt Developments and Bouygues UK to be named as preferred bidder for the scheme earlier this year.

The High Road West scheme is separate from another £2bn regeneration project also being undertaken by Haringey and Lendlease within the borough.

The joint venture – Haringey Development Vehicle – has been accused by community groups of failing to protect residents’ right of return.

In October Haringey Council and Lendlease were challenged in the High Court by local resident Gordon Peters, who claimed the council had failed to “adequately consult local residents and businesses” over the formulation of the new joint venture.

Lendlease joined the case as an interested party.

The case is currently awaiting judgement from Justice Duncan Ouseley.

In his letter, Mr Strickland said: “I was very disappointed to narrowly miss out on securing a majority to be re-selected in the first round process.

“Had I felt that the second round would provide an opportunity to be fairly compared to what other candidates could offer, then I would not hesitate to take part.

“The outcome of the trigger ballot and shortlisting vote, however, showed a majority of members at the meeting simply following the written instructions given out in advance by factional activists.

“In what feels like such a sectarian atmosphere, I’m not confident that what I have to say would be received with an open mind.

“As a result, it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to withdraw my name from the remainder of the selection process.”

Haringey Borough Council has been contacted for comment.

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