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Haringey's dark days are just beginning
The world is falling apart. Melodramatic as it may sound, it must certainly feel like that in Haringey's dilapitated council offices.
The borough's leadership has been hit from all sides recently but its potential loss of millions of pounds in Icelandic banks is just another inevitable kick while it is already flailing on the floor.
When I first heard the banks were in receivership I instinctively knew our borough would be one of the worst hit. How did I know that? Well when does Haringey ever fare well in a storm like this?
Whenever any report or statistics are released it is well worth a bet Haringey will be worse off for it. And the longer we had to wait in the office last Thursday for confirmation of Haringey's icey fate, the worse we knew it had to be.
Since then all hell has broken loose, shown by the shouting match at Monday's full council meeting. Councillors at each end of the chambers were at war. One side of the room was dubiously self-righteous while the other was antagonistically defensive.
But what I think everyone in the room was shocked about was how suddenly the elite barrier between the financial world and the rest of us common folk was roughly torn down by the loss of this public money. It should come as no surprise that councils have large pots of money which need investing somewhere. What is difficult for us to grasp is how a handful of people overseeing these funds could get it so wrong - and not face any comeback.
Instead it will be Haringey taxpayers who will bear the brunt of the £37 million loss, no matter what council chiefs insist. Hit us it will and it has started already. Haringey's biggest financial project in years - the move of its council offices to Woodside House - has been postponed. However controversial this project may have been to those affected, the decision not to push ahead with it is even more worrying. Just two weeks ago we were full steam ahead with the £12m deal - now "economic circumstances" make it impossible. What will be next?
In support of its plans a few months ago, the council said the current civic centre was not sustainable in its current fashion; it was falling apart at the seams and a waste of money to maintain.
Suddenly all these comments have been forgotten. What else is to be forgotten?
No answers are forthcoming - either because nobody knows or nobody is telling; I am not sure which is worse.
But what I am sure about is this is just the beginning of Haringey's dark days. Only time will tell how dark it is going to get.