Haringey Liberal Democrats have attacked the local Labour council for leaving council owned buildings empty for so long squatters have moved in.
The buildings on the Cranford Way Industrial Estate have been empty since 2011. In July 2011 the Cabinet agreed to sell the property which had been earmarked for use by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA). The NLWA said the property wasn’t suitable and the buildings have been on the open market ever since.
However the council have been unable to find a buyer for the properties and now a group of squatters calling themselves the Crouch End Active Community have moved in. The group describe themselves as “…a community of 30 homeless young, (many who are under 25 and would not qualify for housing benefit) enthusiastic and very creative people.”
The Lib Dem opposition have voiced their concern that council buildings have been left empty for so long. The opposition have also recently attacked the council for failing to build any council homes since 1989.
The Lib Dems are arguing that the buildings should either have been sold by now or knocked down so council homes can be built on the land.
Cllr Richard Wilson, Lib Dem leader of the opposition, comments:
“It is disgraceful that council owned property has been left empty for 2 years. How on earth can the Labour council have allowed this to happen?
“Public money has been wasted by leaving this building empty for so long and now the council will have to pay for expensive lawyers to remove the squatters.
“The Labour leadership should have acted long ago and either sold the building or knocked it down and built council homes.”
Cllr Monica Whyte, Lib Dem councillor for Hornsey, comments:
“The Labour run council should not have allowed this situation to happen in the first place. This is a building that could be earning revenue while a decision is made as to what is going to happen to it next; instead it has lain empty for 2 years. That can’t be right.”