THE KIDS AREN’T ALRIGHT: Haringey Momentum vote to block £6 million investment in youth services

Haringey's Momentum bloc are expected to vote against plans for a new £6m youth facility at a council meeting tonight.

Following the successful campaign against the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), which eventually led to the resignation of council leader Claire Kober, Haringey Momentum are tonight planning to block another major investment as they seek to stop any decisions being made until after May’s elections, when they are expected to form a majority.

A meeting of Haringey Labour councillors will vote on plans tonight for a new £6 million youth facility, which will run drama, sports, and music sessions, as well as subsidised hot meals, for 1,500 children, seven days a week. Under the proposed terms, the council will pay £3.5 million start-up costs and £250,000 annually, with national charity OnSide contributing a further £3 million. The centre would be run by a local charity, in partnership with the council, OnSide and a local school.

However, the Momentum bloc are expected to vote against the plans. As with the HDV, a public-private partnership, the councillors are opposed to contracting out council services to either the private or voluntary sector. Their counter proposal is a £1 million scheme delivered entirely in-house.

Zena Brabazon, a councillor who has emerged in recent weeks as another contender to replace Kober as Leader, wrote on a public forum her opposition to the plans, saying that she doubted children would use the site, as “young people don’t like to travel round.”

Onsite are building youth zones in Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, and Croydon, and have already set up others across the North West. Police in Wigan credited the centre with the more than 70% drop in anti-social behaviour recorded locally after it had opened.

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