UK Council joining international property developer like joining Gadarene swine before they drag economy over cliff

30 June 2017

Haringey Council joining international property developer Lend Lease in the Haringey Development Vehicle is like joining the Gadarene swine before they drag the whole economy over the cliff. 

I am speaking for a deputation of Northumberland Park supporters to the Haringey Council Cabinet which meets at 6.30 on Monday 3rd July at the Civic Centre, Wood Green. 

Under the heading ‘financial close and establishment’ the agenda concerns approving the ;

a) the legal documentation to establish the joint venture (HDV between Haringey and Lend Lease) 

b) nominees for the venture Board and 

c) its first set of business plans.

The decisions will be taken by the cabinet.  Under the heading concerning whether the meeting will be held in public or private, it is  listed as ‘part exempt’. 

I understand there are many HDV documents describing the contract between Haringey and Lend Lease which are not open to public inspection.

Rev Paul Nicolson to Haringey Cabinet – 3 July 2017. Joining the Gadarene Swine before they drag the whole economy over the cliff. 

First I am summarising the work on Equality of Professors Wilkinson and Pickett. “Some commentators suggest that poverty is not the result of low incomes but of things like addiction, mental illness, poor education or imprisonment.  But the truth is that these are primarily the effects of the stresses of inequality, and particularly of being on the wrong end of it. 

  • You cannot read of the feelings of shame, of failure, of being disrespected and seen as inferior experienced by people in poverty, without understanding why it leads, as the data shows it does, to more depression, mental illness, addiction and imprisonment. 
  • And those additional difficulties will often lead to job loss, homelessness, and lower self-efficacy. 
  • Struggling on an income so inadequate that it denies you what is seen as a respectable way of life feels as if it almost broadcasts your inferior status. 

By reducing inequality, we would not only reduce the powerful contribution it makes to poverty, but also weaken the damaging grip of class and status differences on us all.”

A majority of 6 Haringey Councillors (23-17) are reinforcing the powerful contribution that inequality makes to poverty and promoting the damaging grip of class and status differences on us all. You are doing that by setting up this abuse of power called the Haringey Development Vehicle to demolish the homes of the most deprived council tenants in the borough to make way for more up-market residents.

The leader of the council wrote in The Guardian; “Our joint venture development vehicle is a bold step and not without its risks. But the risk of doing nothing – of accepting decline, the failed market and substandard housing – is much, much worse.”  Not so. You perpetuate the decline. 

Very far from doing anything to redeem the London housing market the HDV exploits land values which have been raised and inflated by national and international property speculators, like Lend Lease, since 1979. The HDV will use methods with which speculators, for private profit, have been allowed to create that failed market, and which produces substandard and unaffordable homes for Londoners. It’s like joining the Gadarene swine before they drag the whole economy over the cliff.  

In the process Lend Lease, based in Australia with a company in a Channel Islands tax haven, will use every means at its disposal, both legal and hidden, to cheat the British taxpayers of revenue which ought to be used to maintain Nurses, Teachers, Police, Public and Emergency services at the standard of living they work for but do not receive. 

Please listen to us all, and above all listen to the evidence of the HDV damage to public health, before you embark on repeating the catastrophic mistakes made about land and housing by local and national government since the 1979 Thatcher government.


Ten blogs on affordable housing by 

Stephen Hill MRICS Churchill Fellow, Prof Danny Dorling University of Oxford, Fred Harrison Land Research Trust, Alison Gelder Housing Justice. 

Nine blogs on health equality 

Dr Angela Donkin Institute of Health Equity, Profs Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson Equality Trust, Maddy Power University of York, Carl Walker University of Brighton 


TAP/APPG on poverty Health Equality Seminar - Register




Chair: Baroness Molly Meacher, Crossbench



David Finch - Resolution Foundation,

Dr Angela Donkin – Institute of Health Equity

Professor Richard Wilkinson –  Equality Trust

Professor Kate Pickett –, Equality Trust

Maddy Power –  University of York

Carl Walker –  University of Brighton

Rev Paul Nicolson –  Taxpayers Against Poverty

Please arrive at Portcullis House by 17.45 in order to pass through the airport-style security checks. You may be asked for ID. Information about visiting Parliament can be found here