Council defends trip to Cannes property conference

5:52pm Wednesday 12th March 2014

By Jaber Mohamed

Haringey Borough Council has defended itself against criticism for sending representatives to a high-profile property convention in Cannes.

Councillor Alan Strickland, the cabinet member for regeneration and housing, was part of a team of three representatives attending the MIPIM real estate event in the south of France today.

The authority claims it is showcasing Tottenham in ordered to attract international investors and developers as part of plans to regenerate the area.

However, Paul Burnham, of Haringey Defend Council Housing, said the council was catering to big business and not the community, echoing concerns that Tottenham people would be driven out by rising property prices after regeneration.

He said: “People will be told it will all be marvellous and nice but actually local people will not be able to afford to live in the area after the improvements.

“We are not against people coming to the area but what we are against is the existing community being turfed out.

“Instead of demolition and private redevelopment, we need new council housing for local people, including the 9,838 households on Haringey’s waiting list”.

The event in France will be attended by around 20,000 people, including 4,300 investors and 3,000 chief executives and chairmen, with 2,000 exhibiting companies from 80 countries.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson will also be there, along with representatives from local authorities across London.

A Haringey Council spokesman said it had cost £16,000 for the Haringey council to attend the event but £13,000 was raised from sponsorship from developers and businesses.

More than 3,700 people shared ideas for the borough’s future during the five-month Tottenham’s Future consultation.

Council leader Cllr Claire Kober said: “Thousands of local people have spoken passionately during the past few months about their ambitions for Tottenham’s future and it is right that we secure the right investment to turn those ambitions into reality.

“To achieve local people’s priorities such as more job opportunities, better housing and improved transport links, it is vital we get the right partners on board. “This event is a unique opportunity to show the world’s leading developers and investors the strong desire and commitment from local people, the council and the government for Tottenham to achieve its potential.”

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