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Haringey Labour councillor expelled

Cllr Alan Stanton, who represents the Tottenham Hale Ward on Haringey Council, has had the Labour whip withdrawn from him.

Some will regard Cllr Stanton's concern that Haringey Council isn't left wing enough as idiosyncratic. His particular quarrel has been over the appointment of Nick Walkley as the chief executive. Mr Walkley was previously at Barnet and the objection seemed to be that there were objections to the policies in Barnet. This misses the point that policies is decided by the elected councillors not the bureaucrats.

However clearly Haringey is a council particularly in need of transparency and accountability. It is a council in need of independent minded councillors who relish holding the administration to account. Cllr Stanton may not always get it right with his criticisms but he shows a brave and rigorous spirit which is welcome. Last month I noted that the Council employs more union officials than gardeners. The social work scandals are all to well known. It's schools are the worst in London. There is, of course, an ideological aspect to this. But also mismanagement and a culture of secrecy, arrogance and complacency.

There is a distinction between the "loony left" councils of the 1980s and even the worst councils, such as Haringey, today. The reality of the spending cuts has been accepted. We haven't had councils threatening to break the law and refuse to set a budget. This means that even Labour councils like Haringey face a backlash of left wing activists in the Labour Party and the trade unions who denounce them as "selling out."


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