New plan sets council priorities for Enfield over next three years

Pledges on housing, economy, green spaces and community safety but opposition councillors question lack of detail, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Enfield Civic Centre

A plan setting out Enfield Council’s priorities for the next three years has been welcomed by the Labour administration but criticised by the Tories for being too vague.

The 32-page plan, entitled ‘Investing in Enfield’, details how the council will deliver its pledges on key areas such as housing, the local economy, green spaces and community safety.

It also outlines several principles underpinning the council’s approach, including commitments to creating a fairer Enfield, being climate conscious and ensuring the authority remains financially resilient.

The plan was presented to a full council meeting on Wednesday (14th). Council leader Nesil Caliskan told the meeting it would help the administration to deliver “a clean and green place”, “strong, healthy and safe communities”, “more and better homes” and “an economy that works for everyone”.

She added: “We think [the plan] is ambitious, we think it is deliverable, and crucially we think it indicates the structural changes we have to implement in the council so that we can realise what is a good plan for the borough and the residents of Enfield.”

David Skelton, a Conservative councillor, said the document contained a lot of “positive mental attitude” but “not a great deal of substantive, practical, crunchy policies for the people of Enfield”.

One of the key pledges of Labour’s local election manifesto from last year was to build a new outdoor swimming lido, but Cllr Skelton said there was no sign of it in the council plan.

His Tory colleague Tom O’Halloran also pointed out that there was no reference to the lido. He said: “This exciting plan seems to have sunk without a trace.”

Labour’s Rick Jewell said the borough used to have a lido that was closed under the Conservatives. He set out plans to crack down on fly-tippers, tackle climate change and enhance biodiversity.

After around 15 minutes of debate, Labour’s Sabri Ozaydin proposed moving to a vote on the council plan, but mayor Suna Hurman allowed more councillors to speak.

Conservatives continued to criticise the document, suggesting it was being undermined by some of the council’s other plans – including the proposed sale of Green Belt sites. Mike Rye said building on the Green Belt would not help the borough become “cleaner and greener” and “carbon neutral”.

Responding to the comments, Cllr Caliskan insisted her administration would deliver its manifesto pledges, and the council plan provided a “framework” that would allow it to do so. She claimed the Conservatives had “no ideas” and had made “absolutely zero proposals […] as to how we can improve things in the borough”.

Labour councillors voted to approve the council plan, with the Tories voting against.

The plan is available to view on the council website here.

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