Haringey’s new council leader is confident his administration can deliver on its ambitious manifesto commitments against a backdrop of ongoing austerity.

Cllr Joseph Ejiofor, who was elected at the full council meeting last Thursday (May 24), said the Labour-run council would be able to deliver the “vast majority” of its 46 election pledges with the resources currently at its disposal.

The council has already been forced to make savings of £160 million in response to a real-terms funding cut of 40 per cent since 2010 – and further reductions are on the way.

But Cllr Ejiofor said Labour’s pledges – including bringing services in-house and building 1,000 additional council homes by 2022 – were nonetheless achievable.

He said: “We believe we can deliver the vast majority of commitments with the resources as they are at the moment.

“I am sure we will need to redesign and repurpose services in some particular cases.

“If you invest early on, you save money because you don’t have to invest later. There is going to be a situation where we have to spend a little bit more in the short term.

“One of the health things we want to do is find more money from partners and persuade them that the preventative end of the agenda is something they should invest in alongside us.

“On crime and community safety, we want to persuade Mopac [the mayor’s office of policing and crime] to invest more in community engagement and reoffending prevention. By investing more there, we do not have to spend money later on.”

Cllr Ejiofor was adamant that Haringey’s success did not depend on having the backing of a Labour government in Westminster.

He said: “I don’t perceive this Conservative government as being particularly bloody-minded. I think they are as interested in improving ordinary people’s lives as we are.

“I would like to think they don’t want us to fail for political reasons but would be prepared to take on board and do things differently, and if we succeed, this could be a model for local authorities going forward.”

The new council leader said housing was the number one issue for the administration and added that it is looking to bid for funding from a £1.67 billion pot recently announced by mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

He said: “We are aiming to take a thousand people off our waiting list. It might not seem like a lot, but it is compared to what has been done recently. We are looking to give them more housing options across the borough.”

But while scepticism of private sector developer Lendlease led to the demise of the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) and helped to end former leader Claire Kober’s tenure, Cllr Ejiofor did not completely rule out working with private partners.

“While I would like to do everything within the public sector, the reality is we will need some form of partnership with the private sector,” he said.

“I think the issue is the balance between the public and private sector. A number of people were uncomfortable with the HDV, but we will not rule out working with private sector companies to help us deliver our agenda.”