Former Alexandra Park and Palace Trust chair suspended from council duties

Charles Adje given temporary suspension after bringing 'office and council into disrepute' by hiding information

Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace

A local councillor has been suspended from council duties for four months for concealing key information about the Alexandra Park and Palace Trust while he was chair of its board.

Haringey Council's standards committee found that Charles Adje had brought "his office and the council into disrepute" by not revealing a briefing note by the palace general manager Keith Holder to fellow board members, who were all Haringey councillors, during negotiations over the palace's future in 2007.

The note advised against the licence to run the historic building being granted to the private company, Firoka.

The council's decision to grant a lease to Firoka was overturned in 2007 at a judicial review brought by a local resident, Jacob O'Callaghan. An independent review estimated that the decision to enter into the agreement with Firoka cost the charity about £1.5m.

Several local residents, including O'Callaghan, have since criticised the council's management of Alexandra Palace, and called for independent trustees to be appointed.

"The decision to suspend Charles Adje shows once again a model that is totally broken and unfit for purpose," O'Callaghan told Third Sector. "It shows that the council, acting as trustee, was unable to protect the assets of the charity.

"It was the charity that lost out as a result of the council's mismanagement."

He said he was pleased by the decision, but it did not go far enough to compensate for previous mismanagement."The whole board of trustees should have resigned after the court decision in 2007," he added.

Claire Kober, the leader of Haringey Council, said that Adje had also been suspended from the Labour group on the council.

"His conduct fell well below the standards expected of any councillor, but he has particularly failed to meet the high expectations that the Labour Party places on its members who hold elected office," she said.

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