London Borough of Haringey made financial decisions without regard to their impact on the health of the residents of the borough in particular the impact on health of their most deprived residents
- The council leaders letter published by the Guardian
- Haringey's 2017/18 accounts
- Haringey's Tenancy Agreement
- Nine blogs by health professionals on poverty related ill health on our website.
- My statement to Haringey Cabinet on behalf of a deputation of residents on the 14th November 2017. (below).
Throughout 2017/18 the Council's policy was to use the inflated value of council land on which about 15,400 council tenants and leaseholders live to provide homes by demolishing homes. The primacy of land in the thoughts of the Cabinet was spelled out in a letter from the Leader of the Council published by The Guardian on the 20th January 2017.
"The London housing market has failed. I’m not going to accept that either. So, if a council wants to tackle these threats and take control of its own destiny, what does it do? It takes the one asset it has left – its land. Land which can provide the homes people need, and long-term income to keep council services afloat".
Haringey Cabinet had decided to raise the £2bn, as recorded in the 2017/18 accounts, from the value of the council land after demolishing the homes of about council tenants and leaseholders.
Progressing such a financial decision in 2017/18 in Northumberland Park without considering the impact on the health of the council tenants and leaseholders in the most deprived ward of the borough was is a matter of concern arising from the authorities finances and/or so wholly unreasonable that no reasonable council would continue with such a policy.
Haringey Revenue Account 2017/18.
"2017/18 was the third year into the rolling 10-year capital plan The ambitious strategy for growth and regeneration will invest almost £2bn over the period to deliver a range of improved outcomes for residents."
The council failed to take into account the following relevant evidence.
- The impact on the health of the most deprived households in the borough with a life expectancy of seven years shorter than in the West of the borough and a 10-12% incidence of low birthweight, at third world levels, according to Professor Michael Crawford of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition.
- That Northumberland Park was among 5% of the most deprived wards in England according to the 2011 census. The poor health of deprived residents is mostly due to low income, high rents, hunger and inevitable debt. See the evidence of health professionals on our website.
- That deprived people are mostly receiving benefit incomes which have been reduced nationally by £18bn with another £12bn to come. That has already damaged the health of low income households.
- That benefit incomes reduced by national government have been taxed by the council since 2013. The tax is enforced with the addition of court costs and bailiffs fees creating ill health related to low income and debt. The wider concerns about the impact on health of the authorities finances were raised in my statement to Haringey Cabinet on behalf of a deputation of residents on the 14th November 2017. (attached)
- That there is a housing crisis in London so moving vulnerable households out of council estates into temporary accommodation, which is very difficult to find because of the lack of supply and will continue to be difficult over the next ten years, would damage the health of pensioners, individuals, and families with young children.
- That demolishing the homes of deprived people merely moves them and their deprivation out of Northumberland Park and even out of the Borough. That is irrational because such insecurity worsens rather than improves their health.
HARINGEY CABINET MEETING
Statement of the Reverend Paul Nicolson on behalf of the council tax deputation opposing the proposed decision of the Cabinet to continue taxing benefit incomes in 2018/19.
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