Haringey owns up to pounds 50m debt
Tuesday 21 May 1996
The policy and resources committee of the Labour-controlled borough last night agreed the local authority will have to make future provision for about pounds 50m. Their recommendation is expected to be ratified by the council next Thursday.
The U-turn from Haringey, which earlier argued it was not liable for the full debt, follows a damning letter earlier this month from the Treasury Solicitor, responsible for apportioning the deficit. The letter, leaked to the Independent, criticised the council for failing to provide evidence to prove the expenditure on the palace was properly incurred.
The chief executive, Gurbux Singh, was told the only money that can be guaranteed to be recovered is pounds 4.7m plus interest, which Haringey insists will amount to around pounds 8m by the end of the year.
The problems began in 1980 when the council became trustee of the site and through a charitable trust took over the running of the palace and the 200-acre park from the Greater London Council.
The palace, birthplace of BBC Television, was devastated by fire in the same year. The rebuilding and running costs have spiralled to pounds 54.7m.
Haringey has tried to offload the revenue debt of about pounds 24m from the running costs onto the charitable trust.
However at the meeting last night, Haringey's director of corporate services, John Pirrie, said the council has provided pounds 4.5m in its budget for 1996- 97 "against non-recovery of the major part of the deficit" in respect of Alexandra Palace and park. He explained that the decision to accept liability would "impact adversely on the level of services provided" within the borough, adding that negotiations have begun with the District Auditor and the Department of the Environment to spread the debt repayments to the trust over 20 years.
Haringey will now choose a developer for the 123-year-old site at Muswell Hill in an attempt to recover losses and make it commercially viable. The highest of the three shortlisted bids is worth pounds 11.8m. Only when the trust begins to make money will Haringey be entitled to reclaim some of its expenditure. Outside the meeting, council leader Toby Harris told the Independent: "It is a success for the council - within two weeks we will have chosen a developer and resolved the outstanding debt problem."
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
£27300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a leading...
£22000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading boiler ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an awa...
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...