Table of Contents

Can’t wait – won’t wait

- the Residents Federation renews demands for Haringey Council to set up a 'Community Toilets' scheme

There is enormous support from the public for a Haringey 'Community Toilets' scheme - ie free public access to toilets in cafes, pubs, shops and public buildings throughout all areas of Haringey. Such schemes already exist in some London boroughs.

The Haringey Federation of Residents Associations and the Haringey Forum for Older People have lobbied together for this since December 2007. We were promised in November 2008 that the Council was preparing a report on the possible workings of such a scheme, but have heard nothing.

Meanwhile things are moving ahead on the issue around London - this week John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Borders, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, through the Greater London Authority, all announced their support for such a scheme and have already opened their facilities to the public in this way.

The lack of adequate public toilet facilities is no longer acceptable. We now expect immediate action to roll out a Haringey-wide scheme to make Community Toilet facilities available in every main road and area of the borough.


Rents Update

Govt caves in over Council rents controversy!

13.3.09 Haringey Defend Council Housing Update: On Friday lunchtime, the government halved the rent increase for council tenants!
The increases have been reduced from 6.1% to 3.1%, because tenants argued, grumbled and campaigned against these inflation-busting increases at a time when jobs are insecure, and money is tight. Some Councils (but not Haringey) objected to the increases too. On average, this will make a difference of £2.39 per week in Haringey.

We have issued leaflets, lobbied councillors, visited the sheltered housing schemes set for the biggest increases, and argued with officers. We have had excellent press coverage, but when we stood outside the Civic Centre with placards reading "Freeze Rents", really, we were the ones who were freezing. Well, thanks to everybody who helped - this announcement shows how right we were to campaign.

When we question the housing policy agenda, council tenants seem always to be led to believe that government policy is set in stone. Governments and councils tend to push tenants into fatalism and passivity, but now we have proved that what we say and do matters - because we are the paying customers. More than ever in the credit crunch, we need more and better council housing!

I do not think we should say "thank you" to the government for this decision - they should never have been pushing 6.1% rises in the first place, and they should bring back the 'caps' on service charges to protect us from excess increases.



Tenants protest at "disgraceful" rent rise

26th February 2009
Haringey Independent
Full report and photo

TROUBLED council tenants pleaded for councillors to do reconsider an “inflation busting” 6.1 per cent rent and 50 plus per cent service charge increase from April. While redundancies and pay freezes hit workers and pensioners find the return on their savings has dwindled, a Government decree has forced councils to raise rents so it can siphon off £294 million from council tax accounts next year to pay for other priorities, such as education or defence.

Disgruntled renters lobbied councillors arriving for Haringey Council’s full council meeting on Monday in a protest outside the Civic Centre, High Road, Wood Green.

Representing Homes for Haringey’s 16,000 tenants Paul Burnham, 54, of Partridge Way, Wood Green, said: “It’s absolutely disgraceful they’re increasing our rents by more than double inflation and it’s wrong the Government is telling them to do this. People shouldn’t have to stand the risk of being evicted.”

Mr Burnham calculates that with service charge increases factored in tenants, including the elderly, disabled and vulnerable are facing a real rise of 18 per cent in costs, a figure he calls “disgusting”. Speaking in the meeting, Mr Burnham said elderly tenants who take power from estate boilers were hit by rises of £16 a week on average and accused council officers of using service charges to get extra money which would not be taken by Government. He urged councillors to go back to the Government and get a better deal for Haringey tenants.



Some coming events of interest

21st feb - 12th March 2009



Valentines Day 'We Love Our NHS' protests

- Residents call for increased opposition to cuts, closures and threats of privatisation of the borough's health services
Full Report

There were Valentines Day 'We Love Our NHS' protests in Haringey on Saturday 14th February, demanding improvements to local healthcare services - not cuts, closures and privatisation. Local groups were marching and rallying to also save Haringey's local GP surgeries, the majority of which could be forced away from their local neighbourhoods and into 4 polyclinics around Haringey.

The day's events were co-ordinated by the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition, who'd printed 10,000 informative 'We Love the NHS' leaflets for distribution over the last 2 weeks. The protests consisted of two local marches. The first was from Hornsey Central Health Centre in Park Road, through Crouch End and Hornsey to Ducketts Common, called by the Better Local Healthcare Campaign. The second, called by the Laurels Action Group, was from The Laurels Wellbeing Centre, Cornwall Rd, South Tottenham, past St Ann's Hospital to Ducketts Common. Marchers carried an impressive range of banners, and home made placards and flags.

At 1pm at Ducketts Common there was a United Haringey Rally opposite Turnpike Lane tube which included powerful speeches



Council Faces Wards Corner Legal Challenge

- The Wards Corner Community Coalition (WCC) has formally notified Haringey council of plans to bring a legal challenge to its decision to pass the Grainger PLC plan for Wards Corner, Seven Sisters.

In a ‘Letter Before Claim’ dated 29th January 2009, John Halford of Bindmans Solicitors informed Haringey Council that the decision to grant planning permission and consent to demolish was unlawful and could not withstand judicial review.The challenge highlights failings by Haringey Council to assess planning applications with an open-mind, taking into account all relevant planning issues.

Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Sheila Peacock, had made known her bias in favour of ‘new-build’ on Wards Corner. She failed to stand down when requested and remained as Chair following through her predisposition to cast the deciding vote on the passing of the Grainger application. Significantly a Race Equalities Impact Assessment was not conducted, even though the community surrounding Wards Corner predominantly represents ethnic minority groups.

Further, vital information and clarity necessary to determine the social housing objective of the 2004 development brief was omitted, thus planning committee members could not make a fully-informed decision regarding the Grainger application. [Note: There is to be no affordable housing within the development]

Overall there was a necessity for the Planning Committee to be scrupulously fair-minded, impartial and fully informed when determining the Grainger application as the Council is a ‘development partner’ in the Grainger plan, owns land on the development site, has representation on the New Deal for Communities board and had handed over £1.5 million of public money to Grainger before any planning decision.

At this stage Haringey Council has the opportunity to revoke the planning permission and consent to demolish the Wards Corner site and agree to re-determine the application in a lawful manner, thus minimizing costs. But if Haringey Council stands by its decision then an application for permission to seek judicial review will be filed in the High Court.

The WCC 'alternative' application for Wards Corner based on community-led regeneration and restoration of historical buildings remains outstanding. The WCC application was submitted before the Grainger application.

Wendy Keenan from the WCC said “The Council once more have an opportunity to do the right thing and save the people of Haringey enormous expense. There is nothing to lose and only much to gain by Haringey Council making the decision to re-determine this application in a fair and just manner”

Full Pre Action letter: http://wardscorner.wikispaces.com/





Some coming events of interest

24th January to 10th March 2009



No Rent Rises Lobby

Lobby Haringey Council, Civic Centre
Monday 26th January, 6.45pm
No to inflation-busting 6.1% rent rises!
Stop the 18-20% rent increases for elderly tenants

16,000 Haringey Council tenants face inflation-busting 6.1% rent rises in April, double the current rate of price inflation. The increases would increase Housing Benefit costs, and drive hundreds more into the poverty trap.

On top of this, the Council wants to treble communal lighting charges in blocks, and increase 'District Heating' charges for 626, mainly elderly tenants by 104.7% to an average £22.95 per week in February, without waiting for the start of the new financial year. The 626 tenants will have average aggregate rent rises of £16.17 p.w. (18.4%), and 150 of them will have rises of over 20%. This is a scandal, because the Council has a duty of care for these elderly tenants.

Haringey's rent consultation letter went to only 320 tenants and those most affected by the service charge crunch know nothing at all about it. Two of us attended the Residents Finance Panel on 6th January, and the meeting decided NOT to endorse the increases in 'District Heating'. Management should have foreseen the increases in lighting and heating costs, but they did not. Now they are trying to pass the full cost of their business failures onto tenants, and this is completely unacceptable.

Tenants around the country are rebelling against these huge rent rises, coming at a time when families face increasing economic uncertainty. Behind the increases is a 'billion pound tax on tenants' that could see the Government taking £7.5 billion from housing rent accounts over the next fifteen years, "with no guarantees that any of it will be spent improving tenants' homes". (Inside Housing, 10/01/08).

Haringey should drop these pointless and unnecessary rent increases. Haringey Council and Homes for Haringey should stand with tenants, trade unionists and MPs to demand decent funding for council housing. We will be lobbying Haringey's Cabinet on Monday 26 January, and taking part in Defend Council Housing's evidence session at Parliament on 25 February. Please visit www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk for more details. Please come and join us, and together, we will win!

Haringey Defend Council Housing



Community Noticeboards


At the Federation meeting on 13th January 2009, attended by 13 residents associations, we discussed the fact that more and more local RAs in all corners of Haringey are getting their own community noticeboards which they run themselves. Also, most of the Friends of Parks groups also manage the noticeboards in their local park. By residents groups managing their own noticeboards they are ensuring that the information will be local, relevant, up to date and hopefully empowering and inspiring!
Full information about this



Our Green Spaces - Update

Report of Haringey Friends of Parks Forum



Billboard removed

- taken down after threat of enforcement action
See before and after photos!

16.12.08 The large billboard has been removed from outside the former British Legion Club (now Tottenham Chances community centre) on the High Road, Tottenham. Cllr Alan Stanton reported this in October 2007 and an Enforcement Notice was subsequently served. Initially the company (JCDecaux) applied for 'retrospective'planning permission, claiming the hoarding was 'authorised'. Tottenham conservationists objected and the company have now removed it. It's now possible get better views of the nearby group of buildings and trees - including the former Library (now Library Court).

All residents are urged to demand similar enforcement action against all such hoardings defiling and cluttering up our streets.



New ads threat to green spaces

- residents' groups object, and call for adequate funding for parks' maintenance
Objection letter - 13.12.08

The Haringey Friends of Parks Forum, backed by the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations, have objected to a renewed drive by Haringey Council to seek advertising and sponsorship in or around parks, green spaces, flower beds and verges. Their joint letter of objection has been sent this week to Cllr Dhiren Basu, and all other Haringey Cllrs, Haringey's Friends of Parks Groups, and Haringey's Residents Associations.

According to the Council's Pre Business Plan Review 2009-12, currently being discussed by Councillors, the Council proposes to continue the highly-controversial scheme first introduced in April, and extend it from the present roadside sites into some of the borough's parks. This new threat has caused outrage among many of the borough's Friends groups.

The objections are that such advertising:

- seriously disfigures green spaces and is a threat to their integrity
- makes a laughing stock of the Council's 'Greenest Borough' publicity (which claims to promote green spaces and aims to remove environmental clutter)
- undermines the work of Friends groups and others who try to green their local streetscape and green spaces
- is an insult to the intelligence of the borough's residents

The Council is aware that this is a highly controversial measure, but is forging ahead regardless of the views of Friends groups and residents generally. The Forum objected to this when it was first floated earlier this year, and some Friends groups indicated at that time that they would support 'direct action' to protect their green space from any advertising signs. The Council promised to the Forum in May 2008 that the hated money-making scheme would not be extended to parks. This promise will be broken if the revised scheme is not scrapped.

In addition the Forum notes that the core funding for the borough's parks is wholly inadequate, and is only around £13.63 per resident compared to the range of £12.81 - £29.42 allocated by other London boroughs. Yet the Review proposes to reduce this budget even further, for example proposing an '8-10% cost reduction in grounds maintenance'. It is clear that unacceptable efforts to make money from adverts in green spaces is a desperation measure to compensate for unacceptable cuts and the lack of adequate core funding.

The Forum and Federation call for the basic parks budget to be significantly raised to ensure adequate maintenance and management of all our open green spaces.

'This is a highly inappropriate and shocking proposal which needs to be cancelled immediately. Green spaces are for relaxing in and enjoying the beauty of a natural environment. People want to get away from the pressures of the rat race, including the constant bombardment of advertising.'
- Joan Curtis, Secretary of the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum



VOTE FOR LORDSHIP REC!

Calling all residents - You are urged to take part in a Green Space Referendum VOTE NOW!! VOTE NOW!! VOTE NOW!!
To vote, click on the link www.london.gov.uk/parksvote/region/north/lordship.jsp between November 25th and January 30th

The people of Haringey, by demonstrating our support for the regeneration of Lordship Rec, Tottenham's largest park, can win £400,000 for improvements there. We need your vote, and the votes of all your friends, family, school mates, neighbours, colleagues and everyone you can think of!

The Mayor of London’s ‘Help a London Park’ campaign is asking Londoners to show support for their local parks. 10 parks across London will each receive £400k. But the decision as to which parks get the funding is to be decided by an online vote. Lordship Rec has been shortlisted, and the more votes the Park gets, the more chance we will receive the funding. The result will be announced by the Mayor of London in February.

Over the years the Rec has suffered from a lack of resources and under usage. But years of dedication, hard work and partnership-building between park users, the Friends of Lordship Rec, community organisations and Haringey Council are finally paying off. A vision for the park has been agreed and some improvements have already been implemented. However this money would be vital in helping us to carry out our ambitious plans which will transform this park into a major attraction for all. Plans include a new city farm, environmental centre, restoration of the River Moselle, improved entrances, play facilities and landscape works.

We need to demonstrate that the regeneration plans have mass local support. So please show YOUR support by voting for green space, helping to make Lordship Rec a park the people of Tottenham, Haringey and North East London can be proud of.

PLEASE PASS THIS ON, AND ENCOURAGE EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO VOTE - AND VOTE NOW!!!

Click on
www.london.gov.uk/parksvote/region/north/lordship.jsp to show your support

Supported by the Friends of Lordship Rec, Haringey Friends of Parks Forum, Haringey Council, Haringey Federation of Residents Associations and many other local organisations...





HFRA Update - Nov 2008


Full Update [Summary below]

1. Green space campaigners succeed in halting Tottenham land sell off
2. 200+ lobby planning committee to save Wards Corner
3. Mayor announces £3.8m boost to local transport in Haringey
4. Public access to businesses' loos demanded


1. Green space campaigners succeed in halting Tottenham land sell off

After 20 years of campaigning, the Council have agreed to give the Weir Hall Action Group and Community Action Sport an additional 6 months to secure the future of Bull Lane Playing Fields. The Fields are a green space under threat in North Tottenham which the Council own and wish to sell part of for housing. All residents and organisations are asked to back the campaign groups in their efforts - see contact details at end. More details are to follow soon...


2. 200+ lobby planning committee to save Wards Corner
- Despite mass opposition, Councillors vote to back private developer over the needs of the community and local traders
- The Mayor of London has yet to give consent to the developer's controversial proposal
- The residents/traders' own Community Plan application is still to be heard and could also be approved
- Traders, residents and campaigners dig in for a long battle

Despite a mass protest, challenges to the impartiality of Committee members, and detailed objections on planning grounds to the destruction of Wards Corner, Haringey Council's Planning Committee narrowly approved (by 5 votes to 4) Grainger plc's plans for Wards Corner on Monday 17th November.

In front of a packed public gallery, objections were voiced by all three local Councillors, the Conservation Area Advisory Committee and community representatives, reflecting the hundreds of objections received by the Council. The objections revealed that the proposal, with virtually no public support, would destroy a significant local heritage site, cause destruction of the increasingly vibrant and internationally famous latin american indoor market, and evict all the long-established small business in the area - all to create a gated 7-storey development of luxury homes with no social housing, and mainly 'clone town' corporate shop units. It was also pointed out that the current economic crisis, and the collapse of Grainger's share price, meant that their plans were unlikely to be viable and could lead to decades of blight at the site.

The Coalition of local residents associations, market traders and small businesses, in consultation with the local community (including calling the largest residents' meetings in Tottenham for decades), have developed a popular plan for the intelligent restoration and regeneration of the site ensuring that all the buildings of quality and local traders would be able to remain. For some reason, despite the Community Plan being formally submitted earlier than the Grainger application, the Committee has so far refused to consider it. The Chair of the Planning Committee allowed supposedly 'neutral' planning officers to make long speeches promoting the proposal, but refused to allow time for members to discuss the Grainger proposal together or to propose additional conditions if it was ever to go ahead.

The Wards Corner Community Coalition's alternative plan for the site, which has the backing of the local traders, local communities and the Princes Regeneration Trust, will be heard by the Committee soon.

'THE FIGHT FOR COMMUNITY-LED REGENERATION OF TOTTENHAM GOES ON - THE BATTLE HAS JUST BEGUN'

  • The Coalition is to meet the head planning advisor to the Greater London Authority on Wednesday 26th. The Mayor of London will be asked to refuse consent to the developer's controversial proposal, in line with promises he made during his election campaign. He will also be asked to impose conditions on any such development to prevent evictions and blight.
  • The local traders and residents are also considering legal action against the Planning Committee's procedure, decision and refusal to hear the Community Plan
  • They are calling on the Council, the NDC (regeneration body) and Transport for London to withdraw their support for the demolition plan.
  • The Coalition plan a Wards Corner Winter Warmer party on December 5th, from 8pm @ Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, N17 6QN
(opposite police station). 'Join us for a night filled with great food, live music and good company . . .Everyone welcome.'

'WE WILL NOT BE EVICTED, WE WILL NOT BE MOVED, WE WILL RESIST SHOP BY SHOP, BRICK BY BRICK, PAVING STONE BY PAVING STONE!'


3. Mayor announces £3.8m boost to local transport in Haringey
Fri Nov 21, 2008

Funding and greater freedom over spending for Haringey to cut road deaths, improve town centres and cycling facilities, tackle the school run and carry out essential main road maintenance. The Mayor of London Boris Johnson today announced £3.8m of funding from Transport for London for Haringey to deliver local transport improvements during the financial year 2009/10.

As well as increasing next year’s local transport funding from TfL - up to £168.3m from £161m in 2008/09 ­ the Mayor also confirmed that London’s boroughs will have greater freedom in choosing local transport projects. TfL has included £100,000 for the borough council to spend locally on transport as it chooses. The £3.8m package will allow the borough to finance several schemes to improve local transport for residents including

4. Public access to businesses' loos demanded

HFRA note: The Community Toilet Scheme (see below) that the Residents Federation and the Forum for Older People have been pushing for is at last being investigated. It should lead to access to scores of free toilets in cafes, pubs and public buildings across the borough. There are still concerns that the existing public toilets also need to be maintained.

The Journal - 19 November 2008

PEOPLE caught short while out and about in Haringey may be able to use toilets in cafes and restaurants - if the council has its way. Haringey Council wants to work with businesses to make their toilets available for public use, Councillor George Meehan, leader of the council, has revealed. He said: "Richmond [council] have done this deal with businesses that people can go in and use the toilets, I think we have a duty to look at that here. Everybody needs to use toilets now and again."

But a member of the Muswell Hill and Highgate Pensioners' Action Group shouted "disgusting" while others complained of the "sell-off" of public loos as he laid out the plan at a group meeting. He responded: "The bottom line is toilets get abused. It's all very well to say you have these facilities but if people abuse them, Joe Public abuses them, you have to take this into account."

At the moment there are just eight public toilets operated across the borough. In October the community and local government select committee called for local authorities to reverse a national decline in the number of public toilets - estimated at 40 per cent in the last eight years. The committee recommended each borough develop a "public toilet strategy" in consultation with residents.

Dr Phyllis Starkey, chairwoman of the committee, said: "This will go a long way towards achieving the right of people to have accessible and clean toilets, wherever they live, work or visit.




Baby P


HFRA Statement, 24.11.08

We have been contacted a number of times by individual residents and the media for our views about the tragic death of 'Baby P' and who may be responsible. We have declined, as the Federation, to make any public statement for reasons set out on the linked page. We've not been formally contacted by any local residents association about the issue, but we feel that we owe it to local RAs and residents to inform you of our internal discussions on this matter and circulate some informative material. We will certainly put this issue onto the Agenda for the next Federation meeting in January.

Please see the full Statement, which includes the following:
- Article for publiciation by Sue Hessel (HFRA Vulnerable Groups officer) written in her personal capacity
- HFRA Secretary's letter to local resident
- Article with views of a St Ann's Hospital mental health professional
- Article from an experienced former Haringey social worker



Patients' revolt vs GP privatisation threat

- health bosses forced to suspend privatisation threat to Tottenham GP Surgery

- PCT agrees to carry out consultation first
- PCT plans for Polyclinic may be 'improper' use of The Laurels Healthy Living Centre
- Council 'watchdog' committee to 'review the situation' next month
- Action group plan major lobby of the next PCT Board meeting on 26th November

On Thursday 13th November at the Civic Centre a special meeting of the Council's 'Overview & Scrutiny' sub-Committee intervened in the growing controversy over the threat of privatisation of The Laurels 'PMS' GP practice. The practice is based in the Laurels Healthy Living Centre, South Tottenham, which is earmarked by Haringey's health managers for one of their proposed Polyclinics.

There was a powerful presentation to Haringey Councillors on the Committee, made on behalf of The Laurels Action Group by Simon Hester, a patient at the practice. As a result the Haringey Primary Care Trust, present at the hearing, had to agree to suspend their tendering process and carry out a full consultion with patients of the surgery. Patients are also challenging the development of a Polyclinic at The Laurels due to the unusual legal status of the Centre, for which the Council are the leaseholders - the PCT's plans are considered to constitute an 'improper' use of this special community facility built with public regeneration funding.

Simon Hester, explained that the Laurels Action Group was a user group launched at the beginnning of the month at an angry 50-strong public protest meeting. He told the Councillors they had a statutory duty to exercise their 'watchdog' powers over unacceptable proposals for the borough's health services. He said that these latest plans - in which the Haringey Primary Care Trust had scandalously already advertised the surgery for sale - are highly controversial and totally unacceptable because:

- privatisation is an insult to the public service ethos of the NHS and 'those in charge of our healthcare should be committed to patients’ welfare rather than to their shareholders' profits'
- there has been a scandalous lack of consultation with patients and users of the Centre who had been kept in the dark whilst the PCT developed the plans behind the scenes
- The Laurels is a special community-based healthy living centre bought and set up in 2004 by public regeneration funding for the people of South Tottenham. It was never intended for it to be taken over by the PCT for one of their controversial Polyclinics. Such Polyclinics, if set up, are also in danger of being sold off to multinational corporations by the PCT.
- The Council, as leaseholder of The Laurels, will be implicated. They only hold the lease on trust for the people of South Tottenham and should immediately investigate the legal status of the Centre and any plans which would transgress its aims.

Mario Petrou (Save St Ann's Hospital Campaign Group) criticised the plans for a Polyclinic, and spoke up for St Ann's Hospital over the road from The Laurels. He called on the PCT to expand services on the hospital site rather than run them down - it made no sense to move services (like blood testing) into already overcrowded buildings like The Laurels which in any case was set up to complement not replace existing health services.

Cllr Bob Harris (Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Social Services) also spoke out against the plans. Cllr Harris, local Councillor for St Ann's ward in which The Laurels is based, reported that there is a massive mood against the plans locally. He added that he was strongly opposed to the privatisation of NHS services. Cllr Gideon Bull, Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee, also spoke out against the privatisation of public services, mentioning the shambles of the railways in particular as a bad example for the NHS to follow. In the light of the current economic crisis he wanted to know from the PCT what would happen if a private supplier went bust.

The PCT have now suspended their privatisation process and have agreed to consult with patients in early December, whilst the Council 'watchdog' committee will reconvene next month following further investigation and updates.

The Laurels Action Group this week launched a public petition and a protest campaign, backed by leaflets and posters. Patients and users will call on the PCT Board to abandon its privatisation plans.

Protest lobby of the Primary Care Trust Board meeting
Wed 26th November, 2.30pm at St Ann's Hospital (Unit 6), St Ann's Rd, N15

The weekly Save Our Surgeries / Save St Ann's Hospital patients' protests (which started on June 10th - over 5 months!) continue at the entrance of St Ann's Hopsital (HQ of the PCT), Tuesdays. 9am - 10am.
The next Laurels Action Group planning meeting will be on Monday 24th November, 7.30pm @ Chestnuts Community Centre, St Ann's Rd.

' This climbdown by the PCT proves that protests pay. We will be making our point again at the PCT Board meeting on the 26th, and call on patients and healthworkers throughout the borough to fight any attempts to privatise any parts of our public health services.' - Simon Hester (Laurels PMS surgery patient), for the Laurels Action Group

Laurels Action Group's Full Objection to the PCT plans



SAVE WARD'S CORNER

No to the threat of demolition and evictions - yes to the Community Plan!

Mass lobby of the Council's Planning Committee
Monday 17th November
6.15pm - Civic Centre, High Road, N22


Numbers matter. Every single person really counts. Please be there.

Private developers, Grainger's, have applied to demolish this historic and important site in the heart of Tottenham (by Seven Sisters tube), evict local family businesses there, diminish the thriving Latin American market and build a 'clone town' development of gated luxury flats and corporate chain stores. Graingers' reworked plans for the Wards Corner site will be considered by Haringey Council's Planning Cttee on 17th November. But the whole proposal is not only an insult to all the people living and working in the area, but also - considering the current financial climate - total madness. It is likely to be left empty for years.

The Wards Corner Community Coalition - an alliance of the market traders, local shopkeepers, local residents and residents associations, and a wide range of key organisations - have worked together to develop a genuine, inspirational and practical Community Plan for the protection, restoration and vibrant regeneration of the site and surrounding area. The Community Plan puts the community and their needs at the heart of the regeneration process.

If you oppose what's proposed by the developer [revised application (HGY/2008/0303)], please object now - click here! <http://www.planningservices.haringey.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=173237>

Wards Corner Community Coalition. Telephone: www.wardscornercommunity.org.uk

COUNCILLOR RESIGNS FROM BOARD OVER WARDS CORNER

Cllr Isidoros Diakides has resigned from the board of the New Deal for Communities (South Tottenham) over their handling of the Wards Corner development. He says the other 2 local Councillors are also backing the Community Coalition rather than the private developers' plans which are backed by the NDC and Haringey Council (and virtually no-one else)..



Financial uncertainty over Council services

Federation Statement, 13.10.08

The Council had up to £37million invested in the collapsed Icelandic bank - with £5m invested only a week ago. According to reports this particular Council investment is responsible for the monthly payment of staff wages - which are due to be paid into staff accounts on Wednesday 15th October. Obviously they must be paid, and all the Council's public services also need to be guaranteed.

The Federation have been in touch with the Haringey Trades Union Council about all this and have been informed that on Monday the Council held emergency discussions with trades union reps and reassured them that wages will be paid on time. The Council have also temporarily halted the planned sale of the Civic Centre, stating: "With the current financial situation now having a real impact on local councils, it's right that we review our programmes to make sure that everything is fully focused at this time on essential services for our residents." Many local authorities and other public bodies are affected by the banking crisis, and public sector Unions and local Councils are currently in negotiations with the Government seeking the necessary financial guarantees for public services.

As residents associations we know the vital importance of ensuring that the Council's front-line jobs and services are fully maintained and protected from the economic crisis.



No to racism and fascism in Haringey


STOP PRESS - 12,000 anti-fascist leaflets (see text below) were distributed throughout Alexandra Ward in the 2 weeks before the election. 60 people attended our public meeting. Only 27 people voted for the BNP on October 9th...

The Truth about the British National Party

The British National Party are standing in the Alexandra Ward Bye-Election on October 9th. They pose as a respectable political party. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are a fascist party with openly racist views. The BNP's politics of hate and division have no place in Haringey. It is vital that people who live and work in the borough show our disgust and opposition.

What the BNP stands for... Terrorism and violence: David Copeland, who killed and maimed people in pub bombings said “My aim was political. It was to cause a racial war ….then all the white people would go and vote BNP.” Recent BNP candidates and organisers include people convicted for drug dealing, domestic violence, gang rape, child porn, racist attacks & possession of explosives & bomb-making manuals. Racist violence: The BNP want to increase state racism, make all 'non-white' people into second class citizens subject to violent harassment and deportation. Denying the Holocaust: Over 15 million Jews, trade unionists, socialists, gypsies, Slavs, black, lesbian, gay and disabled people were murdered as a result of Nazi Germany’s policies. The current BNP leader was convicted for inciting racial hatred after a BNP magazine he published denied the reality of the Holocaust. Opposing our welfare state: The BNP wants to end income tax, leading to the end of vital public services that we all value like schools, hospitals and pensions.
Full details

Lets ensure the BNP doesn't get a toehold in Haringey
Let's work together and support each other


PUBLIC MEETING - THURSDAY OCTOBER 2nd, 7.30pm
NO TO RACISM - YES TO COMMUNITY SOLIDARITY!

Speakers and discussion @ St Andrews Centre, Alexandra Pk Rd [nr Windermere Rd] N10
Bus 102/299 to the door + bus 43/134/234/184 nearby
Meeting called by Haringey Trades Union Council, Haringey UNISON and the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations

WHAT WE CAN DO We are sure that you and your neighbours find racist and fascist views repugnant. Of course many aspects of our society need to be improved & issues tackled. We need to improve our neighbourhoods & local public services, to address hardship, poverty and discrimination, and to respond to global environmental concerns and so on. We can do this by working together in our communities and workplaces to build up solidarity and to celebrate the rich diversity all around us. In contrast, fascist groups aim to stir up hatred and division in our communities - using lies, propaganda, thuggery and terrorism to get power on the streets and eventually in local and national government. We must all ensure such views and activities are always challenged, and never tolerated. This we've done successfully in Haringey up till now and must continue to do.

Haringey Anti-Fascist Coalition has been set up, backed by Haringey Trades Union Council, UNISON & the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations in order to alert local residents to the reality of what the BNP & other fascist groups stand for; encourage all local people to speak out against racist and fascist views; support efforts to prevent the dissemination of racist and fascist propaganda.

Contact HAFC c/o Haringey UNISON, 14a Willoughby Rd, London, N8 0HR




RA's history revealed

The 'CASCH' Residents Association in Crouch End has uploaded online its Newsletters going back to 1973!
www.caschresidents.org



Tottenham residents lay on their own Community Festival

- 3,000 participate in a wide range of activities in Lordship Rec, Tottenham's largest park
- event showcases and celebrates the enormous potential of the park
- residents underline again their widespread support for the continuing efforts to regenerate the park


On Saturday 13th September 2008 around 3,000 local residents attended an afternoon of fun-packed participatory sports, exercise, horticulture, play, arts, nature, leisure and educational activities for all ages in Lordship Recreation Ground, N17 - Tottenham's largest open green space. Activities included: Tottenham Flower & Produce Show, Dog Agility Show, Peace Bikeride, Fun Run, Performance Showcase (in the Community Centre), Pedal-Powered Stage (in the park), Community Kitchen, Rugby Skills Clinic, Football Tournament, Skateboarding/BMXing, Fun Bikes, Pony Rides, Arts and Crafts for U-5s, History Displays, Pond-Dipping & Bug Hunt, Health Checks, Adventure Play, Peace Picnic and Community Stalls

The festival was organised by the Lordship Rec Users Forum, a resident-led coalition of community groups (including the Friends of Lordship Rec and local residents associations), the Council's Parks Dept, Back To Earth local charity, and other concerned organisations.

The aim of the festival was to showcase the park's great potential, and the community's continuing support for the Council's application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for money to regenerate the beautiful but run-down green space. Planned improvements include the restoration of the river and the historic Model Traffic Area, and creation of an environmental centre and a city farm.

The bid has been successful in passing its first and most crucial hurdle - earlier this year £4m of Lottery funding was set aside for the Rec, subject to certain conditions being fulfilled. There is still a long way to go - plans are now being developed in more detail and £2.5m extra match funding being sought. If all goes well the £4m Lottery money will be handed over at the end of 2009 and the long process of implementing and overseeing the improvements will begin. Separate funding sources have enabled some improvements to be completed already, and the children's playground is due to be completely refurbished this winter.

The vision for the regeneration of the Rec has been developed over the last 6 years through the Lordship Rec Users Forum and through public consultation, and the plans were on display for further public comment at the festival.

The incredible range of activities at the festival put on by & for local people throughout the park included:

- Tottenham Flower & Produce Show, with displays and competitions for home grown and home made vegetables, fruit, flower-arrangements, cakes, emboidery and much more [organised by Back To Earth]
- Dog training and agility show and competitions [organised by Lordship Rec Dog Club]
- Peace Bikeride [organised by Haringey Peace Alliance]
- 1km Fun Run around the Rec [organised by Haringey Sports Council]
- Performance Showcase, youth music and dance in the Broadwater Farm Community Centre by the park [organised by ukunsigned and the Centre]
- 2 community cafes [laid on by the Lordship Rec Mother & Toddler Group in the children's playground, and by Back To Earth at the Broadwater Farm Community Kitchen]
- Freestyle area skateboarding/BMXing, with scores of casual riders/skaters and expert participants [including a visit from Peckham BMX Club]
- Football tournament for youth teams [organised by Clasford Sterling of Broadwater Farm Community Centre]
- Rugby Skills Clinic [organised by London Skolars]
- Cycling activities, including: specialist bikes for people with mobility difficulties [organised by Brakethru Club based at the Rec], fun bikes for free hire in the Model Traffic Area [organised by Company of Cyclists], and also 'Dr Bike' bike repairs and information [organised by Chestnuts Northside Residents Association, and Haringey Cycling Campaign]
- Pony Rides [organised by Campaign For Riding in Haringey, and Gillian's Riding School]
- Arts and Crafts for the Under 5s [organised by the local Children's Centres]
- History stalls and displays [organised by Tottenham Civic Society, and Friends of Lordship Rec]
- Nature activities, including pond-dipping, bug hunts, and nature walks and talks around the lake and woodland [organised by Haringey BTCV, and Froglife] and tree information [by Lordship Rec Friends of Graham Lee]
- Health-related activities, including a walk, health checks and advice [organised by Haringey Primary Care Trust]
- Children's adventure play activities [organised by Haringey Play Association]
- Peace Picnic [organised by local SGI buddhist organisation]
- Tottenham Food Co-op stall [organised by Sustainable Haringey Food Group and Back To Earth]
- Pedal-powered Impromptu Performance Stage in the park, for bands and DJing [organised by Back To Earth and Magnificent Revolution]
- Community stalls [including from Broadwater Farm Residents Association, Bruce Grove Residents Network and other residents associations from the surrounding communities, the Broadwater Farm 'Just 4 Girlz' group, Wards Corner Community Coalition, Wood Green Animal Shelter, the local Friends of the Earth group, and from the Friends of Lordship Rec]
- Ambulance Service [organised by local charity, Little Flame]
- Information point, and display about Lordship Rec Future Plans [organised by Friends of Lordship Rec and Haringey Council's Parks Dept]


" This was our most ambitious and exciting event yet, and provided a fine showcase for the potential of the park and the range of talent in our local communities. The organisations involved in the festival will continue to work together to ensure that the necessary funding is secured to restore and regenerate Tottenham's largest park. "

- Dave Morris, Chair of the Lordship Rec Users Forum



- Save Bull Lane Playing Fields!

The people of Tottenham should decide its future

The Weir Hall Action Group is stepping up its 20-year long campaign to save the Bull Lane Playing Fields on the Haringey/Enfield border near the new Sixth Form Centre in North Tottenham. They are supported by the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum and the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations.

They are opposing Council plans to sell off some of the Council-owned green space for housing, and are developing their own community plan to manage the site for much needed sports and related activities. A decision is due to be made on September 16th.

In a statement issued this week the Weir Hall Action Group say:

One of the last remaining sports playing fields that serve the people of Tottenham is now under real threat of being lost. Anyone who lives in Tottenham will know the dire shortage of open space in the east of the Borough. With the exception of the Frederick Knight Sports Ground in Willoughby Lane (which is booked to capacity) there are no other sports grounds left in the area other than Bull Lane Playing Fields.

For Haringey Borough Council to pursue such a policy does without doubt destroy any green credentials that they might claim to have. Why should Tottenham be asset-stripped of its access to open spaces, more and more people are being crammed in the east of Haringey with less and less open space?

What kind of signal is the existing Haringey Borough Council (Labour) giving the youth of the Borough when, with the Olympic games in sight, they now want to destroy the very green fields that will be needed to produce participants?

There has already put forward a proposal to save the site with the funds being raised through the Lottery and the Marathon Trust.

Haringey Borough Council are due to make a decision at their Cabinet meeting at the Civic Centre, Wood Green on Wednesday 16th September 2008.

To support the campaign send your views by letter/email to:
George.meehan@haringey.gov.uk, Gideon.bull@haringey.gov.uk Charles.adje@haringey.gov.uk, liz.santry@haringey.gov.uk

- Please copy in: Weir Hall Action Group: casport@btconnect.com




- Federation calls for more Council Housing resources


On July 31st the Federation responded to a Government Review of Council Housing Finances in the UK by demanding that the government makes adequate resources available to cover the management, maintenance, repair and improvement of council housing to the ‘level of need’ and provide the means by which the council can start building new council homes. As we explain in our Response:

The Federation is the umbrella organisation for the 163 RAs of all kinds and in all corners of Haringey. Of these 163, around 40 involve mainly residents of Council housing, and many more involve substantial numbers of Council homes as part of their local neighbourhood. There are around 20,000 Council homes in Haringey, about 20% of housing stock.

Council housing is not just an issue for the tenants and leaseholders living in such housing, but is a public resource and asset benefitting the whole community. As such the protection, improvement and expansion of Council housing is as important as efforts to protect, improve and expand the public and community services of all kinds which local residents and communities rely on for our quality of life.

There are growing concerns from tenant and leaseholder organisations that for years money accumulated through Council Housing rents and ‘right to buy’ receipts has been creamed off by the current financial arrangements, rather than ring fenced for public housing needs.

We are concerned that government is trying to pressurise councils to get rid of first class public (council) housing providing secure tenancies, lower rents and an accountable landlord in order to force more people into the private housing sector (RSLs, shared ownership, private rent etc) which provide less security, higher rents or charges and are unaccountable.

At our special meeting on housing in March 2008 attended by 19 local residents associations we agreed we should be taking up more often strategic issues to do with Council housing and other social housing. Federation reps continue to attend meetings of the London Tenants Federation, as we have done over the last 4 years, in order to co-ordinate with other boroughs' tenant/leaseholder organisations on issues related to public housing.

Full Statement



- 500 Form Wards Corner Human-Chain

Developers pull out of planning hearing


On Saturday 19th July, 500 residents, market traders, local shopkeepers, campaigners and passers-by formed a human chain around the whole Wards Corner block by Seven Sisters tube in order to say No to evictions, No to demolition, and YES to restoration as set out in the Community Plan created by local people.

Following the protest, the private developers pulled out of the planning hearing scheduled to rule on their application at the Civic Centre on Thursday July 24th. This has been seen by campaigners as a great victory for people power.

Photos and the full story: wardscorner.wikispaces.com

Background:

Private developers have applied to demolish this historic and important site, evict the thriving latin american market and local family businesses there, and build a 'clone town' development of gated luxury flats and corporate chain stores.

There has been widespread public opposition including the largest public meeting organised by Tottenham residents for decades. Members of local residents associations in co-operation with the market traders, local businesses and community groups of all kinds have worked together to develop a genuine Community Plan for the protection, restoration and regeneration of the site and surrounding area.

The Wards Corner Community Coalition campaigns for the community-led regeneration of Seven Sisters through:

- Development of locally-based businesses and the talents of local people
- Strengthening and empowering local communities
- Active respect for diverse cultures, social groups and people of all ages
- Conservation and celebration of local heritage and history
- The highest standards of environmental and social sustainability
- Rejection of big business, 'clone' solutions to local needs
- Development of the cultural, recreational and artistic life of the area

Wards Corner Community Coalition. www.wardscornercommunity.org.uk



- Improve Wood Green Town Centre

- Some comments by the HFRA on the Wood Green Town Centre Draft Supplementary Planning Document - which will guide future development in this important area in the centre of the borough

1. The HFRA welcomes the detailed and well-explained written proposals of local Wood Green residents associations which should be considered very carefully as the views of people who understand the area best. In particular we refer back to the Wood Green Audit, 2006 compiled and supported by local residents associations and broadly endosed by the Federation, which contains a great amount of highly relevant and useful additional detail within its 45 pages. http://hfra.wikispaces.com/planning+-+Local+Issues+-+Wood+Green+Audit

The views of other specialist community organisations should carry similar weight regarding any development affecting the street scene (eg Living Streets), history and conservation (eg Conservation Area Advisory Committees and Tottenham Civic Society), green spaces (eg Friends of Ducketts Common) and sustainability (eg Sustainable Haringey and Friends of the Earth) .

2. It should be noted that, despite the current high-density retail and commercial character of the High Rd itself, Wood Green is a predominantly residential area of the borough with mainly low-rise terraced streets all around the High Rd. This residential character should be appreciated and protected, as should the interests and views of the communities in the area (including those who live above shopping city).

3. We generally support measures which:

- improve pedestrian usage, enjoyment and safety
- make the street scene greener, less cluttered and more user-friendly (particularly with wider pavements and improved network of attractive public squares)
- create play spaces for children
- improve public transport
- reduce traffic through the High Road and surrounding areas, with the proviso that local communities must have effective protection from through traffic
- respect and protect the history and historical character of the area
- improve Library Square as a focal point for pedestrians (eg. increase the size, openness, greenery, seating and conviviality etc)
- reduce advertising displays
- improve the often austere, unfriendly and inactive 'backs' and sides of High Rd buildings
- mitigate the overbearing and overdeveloped nature of Shopping City, especially the oppressive bridge across the High Rd

4. We don't support:

- the artificial and inappropriate extention of the Town Centre northwards (for the reasons set out by Avenue Gardens Residents Association)
- any threat to demolish or relocate the Central Library
- any loss of green space on Duckett's Common, or elsewhere in the area
- any loss of any open space (all of which should be safeguarded and improved for public access and usage)
- any intensification of development, as the Town Centre is already over-developed

5. We propose a Community Toilet Scheme be implemented immediately involving free community access to the toilets in public buildings, cafes and pubs in the area. This should be added to the SPD.

6. We propose there should be a full sustainability analysis of the current Town Centre to ascertain whether its current retail/commercial/business uses and practices are viable in the light of the urgent and compelling need to move towards a sustainable low-carbon economy and society. Policies should be added to the Town Centre SPD which will guide all economic activity and development in the area in that direction.




- NHS is 60!

Notice of local events to mark the 60th anniversary of the NHS (founded 5th July 1948):

Sat 5th July, 2pm - 6pm : NHS is 60: Defend Our NHS - Save our local GP surgeries
Old British Legion, 399 Tottenham High Rd, N17
Opposite the police station. Free entry. All welcome.
Film Show: SiCKO by Michael Moore - shocking, hilarious, inspiring
Speakers: Healthworkers and user groups, GPs, campaigners, trade unions, older people’s groups, and residents

Tues 8th July - 9am-10am: Save Our Surgeries patients' protest
At the gates of St Ann's Hospital (Haringey Primary Care Trust HQ), N15
As the NHS 60th anniversary approaches, Evergreen House Surgery patients call on other patients to come and join them in defending local GP surgeries, the cornerstone of the NHS - Tuesdays 9am-10am at the gates of St Ann's Hospital. All welcome.
Organised by Haringey patients - supported by the Evergreen House Surgery, St Ann's Hospital Campaign Group and the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition.

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More join the weekly protests

More join the weekly protests





- 'Save Our Surgeries' Patients' Protests

Patients Pickets at PCT HQ continue to put pressure on health bosses
Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition Statement - 17th June 2008

In the second of the weekly Patients Protests (Tuesdays 9am at the gates of St Ann's Hospital), Saba Rahi and Christina, patients at the Evergreen House Surgery in Wood Green, were joined by patients from the GP surgeries in Philip Lane, Tynemouth House and The Laurels in Tottenham.


Enough is enough: patient Saba Rahi protests outside St Ann's Hospital
Enough is enough: patient Saba Rahi protests outside St Ann's Hospital

Enough is enough: patient Saba Rahi protests outside St Ann's Hospital


Saba Rahi said: ' We are demanding that the Haringey Primary Care Trust give a written guarantee that our local GP surgery will not be undermined or forced to close. We are inviting all other patients concerned about the threat of closure of their own surgeries to come and join us.'

The protestors have been gathering signatures on a 'Save Our Surgeries' petition. The petition, drawn up by the GPs' national organisation the British Medical Association, was signed by over 1 million people across the UK in its first week. It calls for opposition to local surgery closures and to the increasing commercialisation in primary care. Patients visiting St Ann's Hospital and health workers at the site have been queuing up to sign.

UK Government Health Secretary Alan Johnson writing on Sunday 8th June [in The Observer] - about the national polyclinics/GP surgeries controversy which has been escalating all over the UK in recent weeks - categorically pledged: 'No current GP practices will be closed, as the new services will be in addition to existing ones and come with extra money.'

With Haringey PCT's '10 year Primary care Strategy' outlining the closure of 45 local surgeries (out of Haringey's total of 60), patients, GPs and campaigners are demanding it be suspended and re-drafted. There are also concerns about the PCT's recent commitment to 'contestability', ie privatisation - including the current threat to put The Laurels PMS GP practice out to private tender, and the same for the management of any future polyclinics.

'Thanks to the fast growing protests in Haringey and across the country the Government has been forced onto the defensive. In the light of the Government's statements that no practices will be closed and that any new facilities will be in addition to existing services, we demand that Haringey PCT withdraw and rethink their highly controversial strategy. We call on all GPs and patients to demand guarantees that their surgeries will be removed from the PCT's discredited closure programme. All patients are welcome to come and join the Tuesday morning protests on behalf of their local surgeries.' Dave Morris - Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition, Secretary


The protests are on Tuesdays 9am at the gates of St Ann's Hospital (Haringey Primary Care Trust HQ), N15. All welcome. Organised by Haringey patients - supported by the Evergreen House Surgery and the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition.


Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition: Union Office, St Ann’s Hospital, N15 SHHCC



- Council tenants charges hike row

Haringey tenants oppose 7 new weekly service charges.
A statement from Haringey Defend Council Housing campaign, June 2008:

Homes for Haringey are consulting us on SEVEN new weekly service charges for the 16,700 council tenants and the 4,000 leaseholders. Only ten weeks ago we had rent and service charge increases that averaged 9.1%, and that exceeded ten per cent for 7,187 tenant households. The proposed new charges are for cleaning the outside of communal windows in blocks, cleaning the outside of all windows in flats, sweeping and litter picking on bank holidays, more weeding of planted areas, more weed spraying of paths, more sweeping and cleaning corridors and balconies, and sweeping and cleaning outside flat doors. A further possible charge is for upgrading existing TV aerials to receive digital television. That would make sixteen weekly service charges, in addition to the rent.

The existing service charges were 'unpooled' from the rent in 2003, and this year the 16,700 tenants were hit with a 51.4% increase in the service charge bill. It looks as if the Almo plans to do more of the same. Four of the seven new charges are for improvements in services that the Almo already provides; but they are committed to improving services on a 'value for money' basis, which means providing a better service at the same or a lower cost.

These cynical charges are money-spinners at our expense. We want the Almo to defer these increases, and to join us in pressing for a decent financial settlement for council housing.

We have written open letters to Mike Jones, chair of the Almo, and to Cllr John Bevan, Haringey's new Executive Member for Housing. We hope they will take the heat off us, and start addressing the real problems alongside us instead. Amongst other actions... we will otherwise be complaining to the Tenant Services Authority, the industry regulator formerly known as Oftenant. We have a Stage 2 official complaint with Haringey against the April service charge increases. Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, has tabled a Parliamentary Question about the service charge increases affecting London council tenants, querying the government's policy on the matter, and asking for a statement. The reply is expected shortly.

Haringey Defend Council Housing Meeting have called a meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 25th June 2008
Upstairs at Kitap Evi Book House, 410 High Road, Tottenham, London N17 9JB (parking in Chestnut Road)
All Welcome.

Haringey Defend Council Housing




- Waste Management Report Released

Haringey Council's Scrutiny Committee have produced a very interesting review of the current procedures and policies affecting the borough's waste - including waste management, recycling, collection and disposal. You can read it for yourself:
Waste and Recycling Review Report


- Health campaigners demand Council act v cuts and closures

Following protests and lobbying by 50 residents from a wide range of campaign and health groups, the Council's Scrutiny Committee expressed strong concerns over the proposed closure of a ward at St Ann's Hospital, the unclear future of the St Ann's Hospital site, and (most controversially) the proposed mass closure of Haringey's local GP surgeries (to be replaced by 5 polyclinics). The Committee agreed to set up new consultations with residents and GPs.

The Haringey Council Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting on Monday June 2nd at the Civic Centre discussed a number of recent controversial issues to do with Haringey's health services. Officials from the Primary Care Trust and the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust were quizzed about their current proposals and strategy. A number of residents and community organisations made heartfelt and effective presentations about their concerns and disbelief over the lack of consultation, and the cuts and closures affecting much needed services. The main such issues included..

1. The threat of closure of yet another mental health ward at St Ann's Hospital in Tottenham. This was opposed at the meeting by rep from a group representing mental health services users; by Nick Bishop of the Haringey Mental Health Carers Association; and by Lesley Fisher, branch secretary of the healthworkers union, UNISON (who pointed out in their written statement that there are currently not even enough beds for existing patients there, with 20 people having to sleep on sofas and other wards). As a result it was agreed there be a comprehensive 12 week consultation on the proposal.

2. The threat of 'development' and 'reconfiguration' at the St Ann's Hospital site leading to the selling off of land there. The Save St Ann's Hospital Campaign Group had protested outside the Civic Centre before the meeting. As a result of their efforts to defend the ever-dwindling health care facilities at the site the Scrutiny Committee strongly quizzed the PCT over the lack of any consultation with residents, and agreed to set aside a future Committee meeting on July 28th to discuss the proposals for St Ann's in depth.

3. The threat of closure of 45-48 of Haringey's 60 local GP surgeries. Dave Morris, the Secretary of the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition, made a detailed presentation (see presentation in full, below) on the PCT's '10 year strategy for Primary Care', saying: 'These dramatic plans involving the closure of the vast majority of GP surgeries in the borough have been bulldozed through with no consultation, are highly unpopular and are being imposed against the wishes and interests of local residents. This is probably the biggest, most radical, controversial and risky proposal ever suggested for our health services since the formation of the NHS 60 years ago.' He said that unfortunately Haringey seemed to be the guinea pigs, the first such area to face this untried strategy - 'the hand of history is on the Committee's shoulders demanding you take action or else be seen to be collaborating with the plans'. He pointed out that the same Committee had objected in April to the proposals to close down 7 local Post Office branches for all the same reasons that they should now be objecting to the even more serious threats to our local surgeries. He called for the Councillors on the Committee to 'exercise your power and therefore your duty to refer the plans to the Secretary of State as unacceptable.'

Dr Helen Pelendrides, a GP representing the Evergreen House Surgery in Wood Green, also made a presentation (see Appendix 5, below at the end). She explained that her colleagues and patients were opposed to the proposed closures, and pointed out that Haringey's GPs 'have not been consulted at all' about the PCT's '10 year strategy'. She added that although she could see the benefits of additional services in health centres she saw no reason for 'the annhiliation of Haringey's local surgeries' to achieve this.

Councillors on the Committee accepted many of the arguments and concerns put forward. But they decided that they would 'need more evidence' if they were to formally reject the proposals. They agreed they would 'keep our options open' and initiate a range of consultation and conferences with GPs and the public to find out what people think about the PCT's strategy. The PCT's Acting Deputy Chief Executive Helen Brown defended the proposals, conceded that the proposed surgery closures and moves towards 'contestability' and privatisation were 'controversial', but added that they were 'flexible' and not set in stone: 'Maybe there should be more than 20 surgeries.' ...'If we need to scrap the 10 year strategy then we will have to do so.'




- Haringey Sustainability Weeks

June 1st - 22nd

As part of London Sustainability Weeks we are promoting a range of local activities focusing on what we can do to respond to the problems of climate change, and to encourage the development of long-term sustainable policies and practices throughout our society.
www.sustainableharingey.org.uk

Saturday 31st May, 12noon - 'MAKE-A-NOISE' NATIONAL PROTEST - Many Haringey residents will be attending a national demonstration/carnival against the proposed expansion of Heathrow airport and the aviation industry, and in support of Sipton residents resisting the destruction of their village. Assemble at Hatton Cross tube, 12 noon. www.make-a-noise.org

Thursday 5th June, 7.30pm - SUSTAINABILITY AND JOBS - Will climate change and peak oil inevitably lead to recession and unemployment? Does the transition to a low-carbon society provide opportunities for new jobs and a fairer society? Speakers include Dave Timms - Economics Campaigner at Friends of the Earth; and Suzanne Jeffreys from Campaign Against Climate Change. A public meeting organised by Sustainable Haringey Work & Economy Group and Haringey Trades Council. Upstairs at The Bookhouse, 410 High Road, Tottenham N17 at 7:30pm.

Friday 6th June - HARINGEY GREEN FAIR - SCHOOLS & KIDS DAY - School's day at which hundreds of pupils will be encouraged to think about ways they can help the environment. Noon to 5pm. Tottenham Green in front of Tottenham Town Hall and the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, High Street, Tottenham, N15. Organised by Haringey Council. www.haringey.gov.uk

Saturday 7th June, Noon to 5pm - HARINGEY GREEN FAIR - GENERAL PUBLIC DAY - Haringey Council's second annual Green Fair comes to the East of the borough this year - outside Tottenham Town Hall. Whether you're passionate about recycling, interested in reducing your carbon footprint or simply after a fun day out, Haringey's second Green Fair promises something for you. There will be a wide range of stalls with many local community groups (including Sustainable Haringey and many of our supporting organisations) represented; plus entertainment, games, demonstrations, food and drink. But the main emphasis will be on green issues with practical tips and advice on how you can better care for the environment. You'll have the chance to test a range of cylces, receive free bike repairs, learn more about recycling, sample organic food and drink and much else besides. Noon to 5pm. Tottenham Green in front of Tottenham Town Hall and the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, High Street, Tottenham, N15. Organised by Haringey Council.

Friday 13th June, 10am to 4.30pm - LONDON MULTICULTURAL ENVIRONMENTAL FAIR AND CONFERENCE. Opportunities and Issues for Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee Groups in Environmental Action. The London 21 Sustainability Network is inviting people to attend a one-day conference to support and develop the engagement of the diverse communities of London in work on environment and sustainability issues. It will include workshop sessions on: Food, Waste and Recycling, Climate Change, Green Spaces, Built Environment, Transport and Cycling. Ibi Campbell and Ify Adenuga from the Sustainable Haringey network (BME working group) will be addressing the conference. London Metropolitan University (Graduate Centre), Holloway Road. London N7 - 10am to 4.30pm. The Conference is free, but advance booking will be essential: contact andys@ivac.org.uk Tel: 020 7354 6368. www.london21.org

Saturday 14th June, 12noon - SUSTAINABILITY BIKE RIDE AND PICNIC - Assemble Midday at Bruce Castle. Arrive for Mass Picnic at 1:30pm at Crouch End (Town Hall). Haringey Sustainability Weeks Bike Ride is a mass participation cycling event which aims to challenge you to get out of your car or off your sofa and onto your bike! The event marks National Bike Week (14th-22nd June 2008) and London Sustainability Weeks. Everyone of all ages - from novices to passionate cyclists is invited. Come along to participate in the benefits and enjoyment of cycling together. We want to promote safer streets, less pollution and more fun! The ride will take under an hour to complete. It is about 8km. We will assemble at 12am outside Bruce Castle Museum, leave around 12:30pm and finish at Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End around 1:30pm for a mass picnic and sustainable food event. If you want, just join us at the picnic - please bring some food and drink to share. There will be bike safety checks and advice on getting started. Several organisations have helped with the idea including Haringey Cycling Campaign, Living Streets, Sustainable Haringey and Haringey Solidarity Group. All groups would welcome more people getting involved. More info: 020 8809 9621. LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING MANY OF YOU THERE!!!

Saturday 14th June - INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE FORUM (CAMDEN) - 2 day international conference about what we can all do about climate change. There will be dozens of discussions and workshops. Dave Morris of Sustainable Haringey will introduce a discussion on "Organising Community-based Networks" at 3pm-4:30pm. Conference organised by the national Campaign Against Climate Change. At the London School of Economics. Full details at: www.campaigncc.org/forum.shtml

Thursday 19th June, 7pm - HARINGEY INDEPENDENT CINEMA SUSTAINABILITY FILM EVENING - HIC will be showing the following films at West Green Learning Centre, N15 at 7pm. The Carbon Connection (40 mins). A documentary showing people from Brazil and from Grangemouth in Scotland and the little films they made to send to each other - from Grangemouth showing the pollution they live under from BP's oil refinery and from a rural community in Brazil where monoculture eucalyptus plantation is affecting their water supply and environment - and it's partly funded by BP paying to offset their carbon emissions in Grangemouth. Cheatneutral (13 mins) A quirky little film about two guys who set out to expose the absurdity of carbon offsetting by using the same mechanism to offset your adultery - pay someone else to be faithful. Those Who Dance (49 mins) About the small community in Rossport, County Mayo which has been resisting Shell's attempts to put in a gas pipeline and refinery across their land, making comparison with the Ogoni people of the Niger Delta and Shell's devastating impact there.

Saturday 21st June, 11am-5pm - OPEN DAY AT THE QUEEN'S WOOD ORGANIC GARDEN - Plant sale, beehives, solar panels with information/ advice on gardening organically, reused material for plant containers, compost making, wild flower area, green manure, comfry liquid feed etc. Contact: Lucy Roots: 020 8883 8875. 11am to 5pm. www.fqw.org.uk

Saturday 21st June - ENERGY AUDIT TRAINING - Third in a series of training sessions run by Sustainable Haringey Homes Group. Free training to help Haringey residents to reduce the carbon footprints of their homes at Wood Green Library N22. Our homes account for 40% of London's carbon footprint (excluding aviation). For every £3 spent on home heating, £1 is just wasted. There are lots of easy, simple and cheap ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home - saving you money, making you more comfortable and saving the planet too! Many people are entitled to these improvements free - or to grants which substantially bring down the cost. But lots of people don't take up the available offers. So the Sustainable Haringey Network and Haringey Council together plan to train an army of volunteers to visit people in their home; conduct a quick non-technical assessment of how they could be improved; and explain what home energy improvements they are entitled to and how to get them. Refreshments will be provided and there will be lots of opportunities for questions. The training will be in a small group, so places are limited and need to be booked in advance - first come first served! If you are interested in being a volunteer, or in helping to train others in your residents' group, please get in touch with Ruth at homes@sustainableharingey.org.uk or by phone on 07957 313 404 to register for a place on the training session. Supported by the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations.

Sunday 22nd June - HILLFIELD PARK STREET PARTY + GROW YOUR OWN COMPETITION - Hillfield Park, N10 Organised by the residents of Hillfield Park. www.hillfieldpark.com




- 'Save Our Surgeries' protest at PCT Board

Angry residents protest at health bosses plans to close 45 of Haringey's 60 GP surgeries. Haringey Primary Care Trust Board defy public opinion and vote through a 10yr strategy involving the highly controversial creation of 5 polyclinics in place of neighbourhood-based services (especially local GP practices). Full story

On Wed 21st May at 3pm about 50 people took part in a protest lobby and deputation to the Haringey Primary Trust Board meeting in St Ann's Hospital. The 'Save Our Surgeries' protest was called by the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition at 3 days notice as the PCT had only released the details of their 'polyclinics' plans on Friday evening, 16th May. The PCT's new proposals were for 5 polyclinics 'hubs' with 15 GP practices 'spokes' (45 local practices being closed down).The PCT had not publicised their plans - which they know are unpopular and highly controversial - in any way and it had been left up to the Coalition to alert their members as best they could.

Before the meeting started many of the campaigners protested outside, some holding their organisation's banners - including the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition, Better Local Healthcare Campaign, Haringey Federation of Residents Associations and the Haringey Trades Union Council. [photo available on request]. There were also reps from other groups including the Haringey Forum for Older People, Young At Heart, and the Mobility Forum.

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South Tottenham resident Mario Petrou criticised the Board for misleading the public and the Council's Scrutiny Committee (which has a duty to monitor and protect Haringey's health services) about the public consultation, or lack of it. Dave Morris, Secretary of the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition, made a presentation to the Board calling for the strategy to be rejected as 'irresponsible', 'unpopular' and 'unacceptable'. Alternatively he proposed the decision be postponed to allow for public consultation, the general public being entirely unaware of the details of the proposals. During the meeting members of the public present tried to address the Board with their concerns, many shouting out: 'let the public decide!'

Unfortunately, the Board agreed to adopt the strategy and said they would develop and refine it over the coming year, with its implementation starting in 2009. Residents stormed out of the meeting and vowed to continue to campaign to save Haringey's neighbourhood-based health services, especially local GP surgeries.

Background info:

The official proposals (released only late on Friday) for our GP practices:

North Tottenham Currently 16 local surgeries and Lordship Lane clinic. Proposed to be cut to 3 local surgeries (Northumberland Park, White Hart Lane and Broadwater Farm) and a Lordship Lane 'polyclinic'.

South Tottenham Currently 15 local surgeries and The Laurels and Tynemouth Rd clinics. Proposed to be cut to 4 local surgeries (High Rd near Hackney, West Green, Noel Park South East and Harringay Green Lanes station) and the Laurels and Tynemouth Rd 'polyclinics'.

Central Haringey Currently 14 local surgeries. Proposed to be cut to 2 local surgeries (Bounds Green and Wood Green) and a 'polyclinic' (no site identified yet).

West Haringey Currently 15 local surgeries and Hornsey Central Hospital site. Proposed to be cut to 3 local surgeries (Muswell Hill, Highgate and Stroud Green) and a Hornsey Central 'polyclinic'.





- Federation holds successful AGM


Residents Associations from around Haringey held a successful Annual General Meeting on 13th May. Reps present looked back over the previous 12 months of activity (see below, and the Annual Report 2007-8), and discussed how to strengthen borough-wide networking and , campaigning and general activities.

Over the last year we’ve continued to do our best to support the work of local associations, & to support the principle that residents in every street, block or neighbourhood can organise ourselves, speak out & take action for ourselves and our communities. And as always we've helped a number of new RAs to get going.

At our monthly meetings we’ve continued to exchange a wide range of local reports, to discuss & identify some of the key concerns, and to develop ways in which the Federation and the borough’s residents’ movement can support and take these concerns forward effectively. These include issues relating to Planning and Development, Green Spaces, Street Scene and Road Safety, Local Services (including campaigns around health services and post offices), Housing, Heritage & Conservation, Long-term Sustainability, Waste Management, Licensing, opposing Anti-Social Behaviour and promoting Community Spirit.See our latest Community Action bulletin for more details.

We have been instrumental in developing increasing communication and co-operation between associations regarding matters of common interest eg planning issues; and have helped to increase the general publicity and influence that we and local residents associations are having in the borough. We’ve also continued to promote effective consultation, engagement and empowerment of residents generally, and supported partnership-working among Haringey’s community organisations and with various Council depts.

There are now 162 RAs in Haringey, all of which are on our mailing list (including 116 RAs via our internal email updates). Over 75 RAs have either attended our meetings or sent messages of support this year.


To make the kind of long-lasting improvements we'd all like to see, RAs need to share information and experiences, combine forces and build up our influence. Over the last year this potential has slowly and surely developed. However, much more could be achieved with greater involvement and focus!




- Lordship Rec Lottery Success!

May 2008

The Lordship Rec bid to the Lottery to regenerate Tottenham's largest green space has been successful. This is great news for the people of Tottenham and their largest and - until recently - most neglected green space. Congratulations goes to all those who contributed to, publicised or supported the Lordship Rec improvement efforts during the last 6-7 years, especially the Friends of Lordship Rec and the Council's Recreation Services. All that hard work, determination, care and patience - and most of all vision and belief - has paid off....

Lottery grant paves way for Lordship Recreation Ground transformation
Joint Lottery/Council Official Statement - 7.5.2008

Plans to restore a 1930s park to its former glory have taken a major stride forward after Haringey Council was awarded a £235,000 development grant from the National Lottery.

The award for Lordship Recreation Ground from the Parks for People initiative, run by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Big Lottery Fund, will further develop the council’s £6.274million scheme to transform and regenerate this much-loved park.

The redevelopment plans, drawn up in consultation with the park’s Friends group and local residents, include building a new environment centre and a city farm within the N17 park.

If successful in its second funding bid, the council will also uncover the currently culverted River Moselle, which runs through the park, and restore the Shell Theatre and Model Traffic Area, set up in 1938 to teach children about road safety by enabling them to ride bikes and toy cars in a safe environment.

In addition, there are planned improvements to planting, trees, paths, fencing and the park’s lake.

The council hopes that the transformation proposals would lead to a seven-fold increase in visitors to the park, from 55,000 to 355,000 people a year.

Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Lifelong Learning, Cllr Dhiren Basu, said: “I’m delighted that the Lottery has recognised the potential of our plans, which we hope would transform Lordship Rec into one of the most popular parks in north London. The park has some extremely unusual features, but it needs a major facelift to restore it to its former glory. I’m also very excited about the plans for the new environmental centre and the city farm. I’d like to thank the local community – and in particular the Friends of Lordship Rec – for their valuable contribution to these plans, and I hope our second funding bid proves successful.”

Dave Morris from the Friends of Lordship Rec said: "We and the council have worked very hard together over the last five years and have demonstrated what can be achieved by determined community-led partnership working. We are thrilled that the much needed improvements can now go ahead. It’s no more than the people of Tottenham deserve for our largest green space."

Head of HLF in London, Sue Bowers, said: “We’re delighted that Haringey has been given the green light to develop their exciting plans. Heritage lottery money has already played a vital role in the renaissance of the UK’s parks for more than a decade but there is much more to be done. This scheme is designed to get the local community really involved and to ensure a much-improved environment and standard of living for all those who use the park.”




- Vulnerable groups


- see our new page on this site!



- Haringey Independence Day

Saturday 26th April
12-6pm (children's films from 10.30am)
- stalls, discussions, practical workshops, films, food, networking
West Green Learning Centre - Park View Academy
West Green Road (next to Downhills Park), N15
Buses: 41, 341, 67, 230 Turnpike Lane or Seven Sisters tube
FREE ENTRY

Haringey Independence Day is a gathering for everyone involved or interested in community activities and campaigns across the borough to share news and experiences, to find out what s going on, to get inspired or get involved. Full programme at www.haringey.org.uk/independenceday

The Haringey Federation of Residents Associations is doing a stall to encourage people to get involved with local RAs.
And also holding a Public Meeting at 1.30pm:

Community Action in our Neighbourhoods - How can we all, as residents, get together in our local communities to support each other and improve our lives and environment? Showing of the 2007 25min documentary about Haringey's residents associations - 'Community Action - Residents United' - followed by an open discussion about how people are taking action around some of the key issues affecting our local neighbourhoods. This is likely to include traffic calming, parks and green spaces, housing conditions, planning and development, public services and amenities (eg health, libraries, schools, youth and community centres etc), community spirit and anti-social behaviour...




- Federation meetings updates

A reminder that we carry the reports of the monthly meetings for Haringey's residents associations. The the most recent report is of the March meeting, attended by 19 associations from all corners of the borough. Discussions included local reports, campaigning to save local Post Offices, Council housing repairs and refurbishment, access to community centres, planning and development controversies, health services and GP surgeries, sustainability and climate change, licensing laws and more....
March 11 2008



- Green spaces ads threat

Friends of Parks Forum opposes advertising and sponsorship threat to Haringey's green spaces
9.4.08

The Haringey Friends of Parks Forum have noted a new drive by Haringey Council to seek advertising and sponsorship in or around parks, green spaces, flower beds and verges. According to the Council's press release of 3rd April, 'The council is offering sponsorship opportunities for an initial group of 21 sites that are managed by its parks service. For an annual fee, suitable organisations can have corporate signs with contact information installed at the sites, which include open spaces in Highgate, Muswell Hill, Crouch End, Tottenham Hale and Wood Green.'

The Council is aware that this is a highly controversial measure, but is forging ahead regardless of the views of Friends groups and residents generally. The Forum discussed this when it was first floated and were generally opposed to such 'sponsorship'. Some Friends groups have indicated they would support 'direct action' to protect their green space from any advertising signs.

Friends groups and the Council have been working hard in partnership to ensure adequate funding and staffing for our parks. Recent cuts have not helped, but this unilateral proposal from the Council is unacceptable.

'This is a highly inappropriate and shocking idea which needs to be cancelled immediately. Green spaces are for relaxing in and enjoying the beauty of a natural environment. People want to get away from the pressures of the rat race, including the constant bombardment of advertising.'
- Joan Curtis, Secretary of the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum

The Haringey Friends of Parks Forum is the umbrella organisation/network run by and for the local Friends groups for all public green spaces throughout the borough (including parks, nature reserves and recreation grounds). There are 30 such groups. The Forum meets bi-monthly to discuss and pursue issues of common concern over efforts to improve the borough's green spaces. http://haringeyfriendsofparks.org.uk/




- Access all areas?

Residents Associations demand access to their local meeting spaces
8.4.08

Federation Letter to Cllr Lorna Reith - LBH Cabinet Member for Community Engagement

1. At the last meeting of the Federation, attended by 17 RAs from all corners of the borough, we had a discussion about a matter of great concern - that residents associations should have effective access to community meeting places in their estate or neighbourhood which are owned and managed by the Council. As we are sure you will know and appreciate, all local RAs desperately need places to meet (easy to access, and for free or at 'peppercorn' hire charges) if they are to be able to function effectively.

Due to unnecessary problems with access (inappropriate insurance conditions, lack of LBH officer time, RAs not being able to collect keys, confusion over LBH/HfH responsibilities etc) many local RAs seem to be seriously inconvenienced. In many cases the said premises are there specifically for local residents, sometimes having been purpose-built to that end.

There were a number of examples that came up - and we can provide further details if needed. As an illustration, they include the Milton Rd and Willow Walk Community Centre N15, and also the Downhills Cabin / Philip Lane N15 (ex-Warden's Block).

2. Meanwhile many RAs report no problems and some run their own meeting rooms and Centres without any problems - which of course saves a great deal of LBH officer time, money, effort and bureaucracy. It also ensures that residents aren't treated like second-class citizens on their own estate or in their own neighbourhood.

3. In this day and age, even the Government is committed to Community Empowerment and community groups' access to local meeting rooms and centres. New laws have been passed empowering Councils to be able to sell under-used facilities to local community groups for as little as £1 if it would be to the benefit of the community.

4. We have been informed that officers in the Neighbourhood Management dept are aware and keen to resolve this problem as quickly as possible to ensure RAs' access. We have also been informed that Property Services have been asked to look into and amend the relevant insurance policies.

5. Just to give one example: at a recent meeting of a local RA in Tottenham on this issue, which I had been asked to attend, lack of access to their community centre on their estate had led to great animosity from residents to LBH officers. Homes For Haringey officers present stated clearly to all present that they were happy to immediately do whatever needed to be done to resolve the issue but 'it is the Council, not us' who deal with insurance policies. Local Councillors present also agreed that something should be done, and done quickly.
6. Neighbourhood Management officers I have spoken to regarding that and other examples have also taken the same view that the matter could and should be swiftly resolved, but it is something which needs action 'from above'.

7. The Federation meeting agreed we should ask for your active support and intervention in this matter, as the relevant Cabinet Member. Please let us know if we have it, and please provide an update about how this problem is being looked into and hopefully being speedily resolved to the satisfaction of local RAs.






- Save Our Post Offices!

On March 29th, the last Saturday before the consultation deadline over the threat of Post Office closures, Haringey residents took to the streets for the final time to oppose Post Office closures, once again demanding 'Save Our Post Offices!'

Local protest in West Green Road, at noon: Almost 100 people, mainly from nearby residents associations, took part in a protest outside the Post Office at 434 West Green Road, N15, their local branch under threat. People had made their own placards, flags and banners including: ''No Post Office Closures', 'Save Our Post Office', 'Residents Unite', 'Postman Pat Says: Save My Office', 'Join in - let's make a difference together' and 'No To Privatisation'. It was notable how many older people took part throughout. Participants chanted 'Save Our Post Office', blocked the road on a number of occasions, and then around 25 participants held an impromptu march to join the borough-wide rally outside Wood Green Library. The West Green Rd protest was called by members of Black Boy Lane Residents Association, Chestnuts Northside Residents Association, Edgecot Grove Residents Association, Milton Rd Willow Walk & West Green Residents Association, West Green Residents Association, and Woodlands Park Residents Association.

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Part of the West Green Rd rally


Borough-wide rally in Wood Green, at 2pm: Around 70 residents representing all the local campaigns to save the 7 threatened PO branches around Haringey held a rally on the concourse outside Wood Green Library and Post Office, High Rd, N22. They gathered petitions and held speeches despite the rain. Many of the West Green Rd placards, flags and banners had been brought along, with many additional ones brought from around the borough - including a large umbrella painted with 'Save Our Post Offices'.

The speeches consisted of reports and views from the local campaigns and residents associations, including many references to the importance of local services and facilities if we are to have sustainable and stable communities, and objections to the waste of money on wars abroad instead of greater resources for our public services. There were some additional thoughts from the Secretary of the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations, and a message of support from Cllr Bob Harris (Cabinet member for Adult Social care & Wellbeing) on behalf of Haringey Council. The rally was called by the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations and supported by members of the Haringey Forum of Older People, and a number of Councillors and political organisations.

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Haringey rally continues despite rain

The day's protests were the last in a series of protests organised by local residents over the last 6 weeks. These included: local demonstrations at all the affected branches (including 200 residents at each of the protests outside the branches in Alexandra Park Rd and Crouch End); a number of well-attended public meetings; well over 5,000 residents signing protest petitions; and at least 10,000 leaflets being distributed in local areas.

' Over the last 6 weeks Haringey residents have responded magnificently to the outrageous threat of Post Office closures. The well-attended local protests, public meetings, and the thousands signing petitions have once again demonstrated that people are angry that yet another public service is being deliberately run down. All over the country there has been uproar and we hope that this will force the government to withdraw the whole national closure programme, as they had to in 2004 after similar protests.'

'The most positive thing to come out of this is the ever-growing strength of local residents associations and the borough-wide co-ordination we are building up. With more proposed closures looming on the horizon - this time by the Haringey Primary Care Trust to force local GP surgeries into 'polyclinics' - such neighbourhood-based campaigning is essential. Its up to all of us to fight for the needs of our communities, and to that end we call on all residents to join or set up residents groups in every street, neighbourhood and block of flats.' - Dave Morris, Secretary of the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations




- Licensing policies criticised

The Federation has articulated concerns from residents associations about the effect of late night licensing policies on local communities.
Full statement



- Save threatened Post Offices!

In February 200 residents demonstrated outside one of the Haringey branches facing closure, calling on people to speak out now! the full report

The following Haringey Post Offices are under threat (February 2008):

89 Weston Park, N8
Ferme Park Road, N4
100 Alexandra Park Road, N10
Salisbury Road, N22
7 Highgate High Street, N6
434 West Green Road, N15
87 Broad Lane, N15


These threatened closures are unacceptable and we demand they be halted. We call on residents throughout the borough to speak out in defence of their communities, especially as it’s the most vulnerable who’ll suffer the hardest - including the elderly, disabled and those with kids.

This week 200 residents demonstrated outside the threatened Alexandra Park Road office and Haringey Council have condemned the closures. We will back local campaigns supported by RAs.

Anger: Protesters gather to vent their fury at the planned closure of fhe post office at Alexandra Park Road, Muswell Hill
Anger: Protesters gather to vent their fury at the planned closure of fhe post office at Alexandra Park Road, Muswell Hill

Anger: Protesters gather to vent their fury at the planned closure of fhe post office at Alexandra Park Road, Muswell Hill


More details can be found in the full report including:
- report of the Alexandra Park Road residents' protest
- statement from Haringey Council
- reports of the last campaign to save POs around Haringey in 2004.





- No cuts to the parks service!


More, not less resources are desperately needed!
15.2.08

On Monday 18th February, at a full Council meeting, Councillors are being asked to make £400,000 cuts to the Parks Service over the next 3 years. This comes at a time when Friends groups have been lobbying for the greater on-site staffing and resources that our parks and open spaces desperately need if they are to fulfil their unique role in the 21st century. If such massive cuts are voted through they will be a kick in the teeth for Friends groups who have been working so hard for improvements to the management, maintenance and amenities in our parks. It would also be a blow to those who work so hard in our parks but who are already over-stretched.

Over the last year the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum has lobbied for the resources currently being spent on the largely ineffective Parks Constabulary - part of the Parks Service - to be re-channelled into the more effective general on-site gardeners and park wardens that everyone agrees are needed. However, it looks like the Councillors are being asked to support a 'double-cut' - ie not only the axing of the Parks Constabulary (with the loss of 13 staff and £200,000 of their total £436,000 costs), but also another £200,000 cut from the Parks Service grounds maintenance budget.

We are calling for the full £436,000 Parks Constabulary funding to be used instead to increase on-site staffing throughout the borough's parks and green open spaces.

No cuts! More not less resources for our parks and open spaces!


Joan Curtis
Secretary, Haringey Friends of Parks Forum






- Housing - some key questions

The Residents Federation responds to a Council consultation about housing planning policies by setting out 12 key concerns and proposals if we are to have sustainable communities throughout Haringey, and the right kind of additional housing.. [7.2.08]
The full HFRA housing policies statement

1. Over-high housing densities – do they undermine the need to ensure sustainable communities? The scale, character and density of housing development is probably the most radically new, untested, risky and controversial of all the current planning policies in the Unitary Development Plan, and in urgent need of appraisal and amendment. Current social and environmental infrastructure is inadequate to deal with the needs of current population levels, let alone greater and denser population levels. And do we really want to see a return to the failed tower blocks and estates of the past?

2. ‘Affordable’ and social housing: the failure to reach even the very modest % targets from new housing completions. Despite targets of 50% ‘affordable’ and 35% social housing of housing completions each year, the Council's own official figures for the latest three recorded years show that only 34%, 32% and 30% of homes built were ‘affordable’, and only 22%, 11% and 22.5% of homes built were social housing. In any case, isn’t most so-called ‘affordable’ housing well out of the reach of the vast majority of those who need it? It is currently defined in the HUDP as housing 'affordable by households on incomes of less than £49,000 (as at Sept 2005).' Shouldn’t it be redefined to ensure it is genuinely for those who need it most? Isn’t social housing the only genuinely affordable, permanent housing? The low percentages of social housing in new build mean that those in need are being excluded from the overwhelming majority of homes being built, when the homes should be being built for them. These issues, along with finding ways to prevent the controversial ‘buy-to-let’ domination of new ‘market’ housing, are in urgent need of appraisal and amendment.

3. Are the current HUDP policies (especially re housing) capable of ensuring sustainable communities? The Council’s own officially stated views to the Mayor of London are highly critical of the home-building targets and densities, and the lack of adequate social infrastructure for the current population, let alone the increased population predictions.

4. What can be done about over-development and failure to ensure adequate social and environmental infrastructure? What can be concluded from the contrast between the drive for new residential building (even though the vast majority of it is of the wrong type) and the failure to adequately recognise let alone reduce open space deficiency? What does this say about LBH and GLA commitment to policies which protect community interests?

5. Do S106 agreements lead to actual planning gains? In Haringey where there is stress and competition over land usage, community facilities and amenities of all kinds essential to sustainable communities (eg open spaces, childrens’ play areas, health, education, sports, leisure and meeting places, local shopping parades etc) are not only failing to be extended to address existing deficiencies, let alone the ever greater population pressures, but in fact they are under threat and being eroded on a daily basis in local neighbourhoods and town centres alike. There is clearly an inherent flaw in the policies: ie that policies promoting highly intensive residential development in Haringey are at odds with policies promoting sustainable communities, and that no amount of S106 contributions can mitigate the real effects on the ground.

6. What can be done about the failure to ensure that a majority of new build housing consists of family-sized housing, especially family-sized genuinely affordable and social housing? As the Scoping Report recognises at para 1.5.1. ‘The requirement for affordable housing is most acute for 3 or 4 bedroom properties’. In Haringey: 'The recommended mix for affordable housing developments is: 26% 3-bed, and 32% 4-bed.' Yet the 2006/7 UDP Annual Monitoring Report states: 'Of the total housing completions in 2006/7 94% were one and two bed units. Of the affordable housing completed in 2006-7 only 11% were 3 or 4 bedrooms.'

7. How do we halt the spread of Houses In Multiple Occupation? Homes are being divided into ever smaller units, causing not only loss of much-needed family accommodation but also unacceptable over-crowding.

8. How do we ensure that all new housing, including all ‘affordable’ and social housing, is designed to conform to accepted, good quality standards? This relates to the interior and exterior of every home. It should apply to all aspects of the design (eg space, materials, energy usage and energy generation, greenery etc). It also includes every development’s impact on and contribution to the street scene (eg ensuring green, set-back, convivial, active frontages rather than buildings slap bang next to the highway).

9. How do we ensure that every residential development contributes effectively to improving public open spaces and recreational facilities of all kinds? This issue is largely being debated in current consultation over the Open Spaces and Recreational Standards SPD. Please see the joint response from the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum / Haringey Federation of Residents Associations.

10. How can we ensure that, in a borough with serious land stress and competition, that all available land is earmarked for community needs rather than for what developers can grab in order to make the most profit out of? What kind of policies do we need to put in place in order to ensure effective protection for existing amenity land (eg land currently used for health services, education, and community facilities and services of all kinds) from being whittled away and sold off for housing by cash-strapped bodies like the Council and Primary Care Trust?

11. What can be done to respond to ever-increasing house prices, rents and insecurity? And could there be more effective action to prevent homes being left empty for unnecessarily long periods?

12. Bearing in mind the need for urgent and drastic cuts in carbon emissions to avoid dangerous climate change, what comprehensive policies and practices need to be imposed on all housing development eg regarding energy, materials, design, space, greenery and green space, recycling etc? Despite the pro-environmental sentiments in the HUDP only 4 Haringey development applications in 2005-6 had travel plans (3 of them schools), only I application had an energy statement, and there were only 3 applications for renewable energy sources. These shocking figures apply to all development, not just housing development – but they indicate that all new LDF policies and SPDs need to be very carefully appraised and strengthened regarding environmental sustainability if they are to be taken seriously on such matters.




- Climate Change action call

The Sustainable haringey network, in response to the Council's 'Greenest Borough Strategy' consultation, publicly call for an effective borough-wide action plan to immediately start to transform Haringey into a sustainable borough.

The full 18-page response can be read at:
http://sustainable-haringey.wikispaces.com/draft_greenest_borough_strategy_response

Sustainable Haringey welcome the fact that LBH is starting to move seriously on this issue, and the opportunity to take part in today's 'Going Green' conference and respond to the draft strategy.

SH was formed March 2007, we now have 100s on our email list and a growing number of working groups looking at different aspects.

Why do we exist?

1. We have a conviction that Climate Change is the most urgent issue facing us. I don’t need to elaborate on that after Mark Lynas’s excellent presentation. Also, that our dependence on fossil fuels makes us vulnerable as a society to shortages and price rises. The current economic slow-down caused partly by rising oil prices. It could be that wee are seeing “peak oil” the turning point where oil supplies start to diminish and prices rises become continual. By reducing our fossil fuel dependency we reduce climate impacts and make ourselves more resilient.

2. A recognition that government bodies need to be pushed. I quote from the report of the Local Government Association’s (that’s the association that all borough, county and district councils belong to) Climate Change Commission, published in December 2007:

“Tackling climate change must be at the centre of local authorities’ vision for their communities. It is not another priority amongst the many that compete for local government leaders’ attention. It is clear from the scientific evidence that it is the single priority which overrides all others, now and for the foreseeable future.

Community leadership on climate change is a moral imperative. To mitigate the most serious threat to our communities, for today’s young people and their children, and the world’s poorest countries - those that face the greatest risk from climate change. Local government has a moral obligation to protect those people in lower-income households who are currently most exposed to the risks of extreme weather events. If we do not stabilise emissions within eight years, we risk unpredictable climate change and with it, catastrophic consequences for our communities and communities across the globe.”

But it is not yet the case that all local authorities share this urgency. It is not the case that all councillors share this understanding. While all mainstream parties say climate change is urgent, you can find examples of councils of all political colours backing airport expansion, new roads and other follies. Locally some councillors still see the environment as a special interest, not as about the essentials for survival for us all.

3. Even where government bodies are convinced and willing, we recognise that they cannot do it alone. We need a mass mobilisation not dissimilar in some ways from 1940s wartime. We need change at borough, neighbourhood, street, household and individual levels.

4. Government where it is moving on this issue still needs support or at the very least acquiescence from public to take the drastic measures required. This is not guaranteed. As Councillor Haley pointed out,carbon-related parking charges can be controversial. Not surprisingly. The government spends a few £million each year on climate change awareness, but the motor industry spends £1billion every year in UK alone, majority of it promoting high emission vehicles and gas guzzlers. So We need to generate public support from below, to counter the pernicious propaganda of motor and aviation industries, turn it into pressure for change.

5. We need to start that change happening anyway, independently of government bodies, to turn support into action and reality. Sustainable Haringey is encouraging people to use less energy at home, through better insulation, installing renewables, and changing behaviour. To use cars less. To make better purchasing decisions, whether about the energy efficiency of white goods, or food, or in some cases whether to purchase at all. Encourage people to come together locally to celebrate other things in life than shopping and consumption.

6. We recognise that we can only tackle climate change through creating a new social cohesion in local communities, but that at the same time the task of tackling climate change will create a social cohesion and sense of common purpose that will itself overcome many of the problems of social cohesion, of crime and so on.

7. I won’t go into the details of what we do, please pick up the information from our stall, join a working group, get involved. In particular we are encouraging all community groups to put on an event during Sustainability Weeks in June.

8. We have produced a long response to the council’s consultation document, about 18 pages long, and we have also produced a short summary. We are saying that the Council needs to produce a clear strategy for tackling climate change, and that it needs to be clear this is the priority, not bury it in a document that puts it on a par with clean streets. Not that we object to clean streets, quite the contrary. We need a climate change strategy that will involve residents, businesses, public sector bodies and voluntary organisations in changing behaviour, investing in new infrastructure, renewing housing, achieving a step change away from car use. Climate change needs to be at the top of the priorities of the new Local Area Agreement between the council and its strategic partners.

9. Haringey is notable for its diversity. One of the weaknesses of the environmental movement in the UK, although not thankfully of environmental movements globally, is that we haven’t reflected that diversity in our membership and activists. It isn’t true that we haven’t reflected diverse people’s concerns, and I could tell you many anecdotes from my 15 years of campaigning on the streets of Haringey to back that up.

10. But we need to turn that wide concern and support into active and visible membership. Sustainable Haringey is keenly aware of this, and we have set up a working group on black and minority ethnic involvement. I am going to close my remarks now but hand over to Ify Adenuga who is in that working group to say more about it.


Taken from a presentation by Quentin Given to Haringey Council's 'Going Green' conference, 26th January 2008. Note: Ify Adenuga then made a presentation about being aware of the need to involve all Haringey's diverse communities in this vital movement for change.






- Open space deficiency

- the Friends of Parks Forum and Residents Federation jointly call on the Council to recognise the full extent of open space deficiency in the borough regarding parks, nature reserves, children's play space, sports pitches and allotments.

The two borough-wide organisations welcome the extremely important Open Space and Recreational Standards - Supplementary Planning Document [November 2007], and the establishment of formalised standards for creating and improving open spaces and recreational amenities in Haringey neighbourhoods. This is something that we argued and campaigned for during the consultation over the Haringey UDP in 2003-6, and which, as a result, the HUDP Inquiry Inspector stated in his report that he expected the Council to produce. The proposed document, if properly drafted, will profoundly affect development in Haringey and the funding for improvements to open spaces.

In particular we welcome the recognition that those engaged in development in the borough have an obligation to contribute to creating and improving open spaces and recreational amenities.

The Haringey UDP 2006 itself states: ‘Haringey’s open space falls below the National Playing Field Association’s 2.43ha per 1000 of the population, standing at only 1.7ha’. This is a substantial a shortfall showing a deficiency of 43% below minimum standards. The Haringey Open Space and Sports Assessment 2003 shows that Haringey residents have far less open space per resident (590 residents per hectare) than the London average (363 per ha).

The deficiency is further exacerbated by the artificially low census calculations (which the Council has estimated as 5-10% below the true population figure). And the population of Haringey is projected to rise 35,000 by 2016.

We have concerns that some of the key proposals in the current draft Supplementary Planning Document fail to conform to the recognised official minimum standards to which Haringey residents are entitled. Remedying this, and ensuring that these proposals are amended to conform to the official Guidelines, will make a real difference to all residents and communities throughout the borough, and ensure that the Council receives the funding from developers to which it is entitled.

The Joint Statement in full




- Lordship Rec News - Jan 2008


There has been a lot going on over the last few years, planning a better future for Lordship Rec - the largest green space in the east of the borough. The Friends of Lordship Rec, a group of residents and park users, have been working in partnership with the Council, local residents associations and others to regenerate and restore this beautiful but neglected park. The council has recently put in a bid for 3.6 million pound to the Lottery Fund for major works including improvement to park entrances, paths and buildings and the bringing back of the river to make a beautiful feature across the park. Also included is an eco-centre near the lake with toilets and a cafe and also plans for a city farm! The result of the Lottery bid will be known by the end of March.

Meanwhile the Friends, like all of the Friends groups around Haringey, are continuing their work to encourage greater use of the park. This includes managing projects to restore the lake area and the woodland.

A large Community Festival is planned for September 13th 2008 - all community groups are being invited to help organise activities there.

Read the Friends bulletin in full




- Volunteering in our neighbourhoods

There is a huge range of everyday mutual aid among neighbours, and thousands of Haringey residents committed to their involvement in grass-roots groups like residents associations, parents groups, user groups, faith groups, and clubs and societies of all kinds. Such vital local activities are the lifeblood of our communities and should be recognised and fully supported. More detailed statement




- Various Planning Issues: Update (17.1.08)


1. WARDS CORNER (Seven Sisters)
2. Keep major planning decisions in public domain
3. Support the community campaign to save Cecile Park backlands
4. Oppose an application for an 'Adult Gaming Centre'
5. Have your say on new planning requirements (Council consultation currently in progress)


Full bulletin: Planning Issues Update




- The low % of new affordable and social housing

The statistics that show that those most in need are denied access to new housing being built in Haringey...
The detailed and shocking statistics




- Defend Council Housing , Jan 08 Update

Some recent news and issues affecting the 50,000 residents (tenants and leaseholders) in the borough's council housing...

No Rent Rises! the council are proposing an above-inflation rent rise of 6.5% for 2008-09. We were told in past years that higher rent rises were needed because of rent restructuring, but now we are told that even higher rises are needed due to government cuts in management and maintenance allowances. There will be a protest/lobby of the Council on 21st January, 6.30pm at the Civic Centre. All welcome.

We are opposing this increase. Haringey Council’s own surveys show the severe housing affordability crisis in the borough. As suggested by the Audit Commission, Haringey must ring-fence right-to-buy receipts for housing purposes. At present the receipts are used as a funding stream for non-housing activities. The borough, with the support of tenants and leaseholders, should stand up to government, and demand a decent settlement on housing finance.

External decorations cancelled! It has emerged that Haringey has cancelled the external decorations programme for its housing stock for the whole of the current year. There has been no ‘externals decs’ programme in 2004-05, 2005-06 and now 2007-08, and there was only a limited programme in 2006-07. The council is not meeting its obligations under its Ttenant’s Charter - or the tenancy agreement. Because of these cuts, many estates look dire, for instance the ‘alphabet blocks’ in Wood Green N22. Most importantly, the ‘external decs’ also include communal areas of blocks of flats. "These cuts are disgusting", said Paul Burnham of Newbury House, Partridge Way, Wood Green. "The communal areas need a consistent rotational programme of painting", he added. "The council must stick to the tenancy agreement – just as we have to."

Haringey fails to secure decent homes money Despite winning ‘two stars’ for performance, Homes for Haringey was unsuccessful in confirming its place in the government’s long-awaited ‘decent homes’ funding round. Announced on 12th December. Neither Haringey Council nor the Almo, Homes for Haringey, are disclosing the reason why the much-needed investment is still being withheld.

Evidence session and rally. House of Commons, Tuesday 22 January Local tenants and leaseholders are demanding answers from the Almo and the Council on all these issues. And on January 22 we will be attending an evidence session and rally at the House of Commons, where we will be lobbying our own MPs, and building the campaign for the ‘Fourth Option’ of direct investment in council housing.

On Tuesday 22 January we will be meeting at 10.00am at Wood Green tube. Please come and join us. Travel card expenses can be covered. Please phone, text or Email to reserve your place.

More details from: Paul Burnham, Haringey Defend Council Housing
paul959burnham@btinternet.com
020 8888 7836 07847 714158




- Save Cecile Park backlands

HFRA letter in full

Haringey Federation of Residents Associations letter to Paul Smith, Head of Development Control South, Planning Policy and Development, London Borough of Haringey

Re: Land rear of 60-88 Cecile Park, N8 9AU - Applications for full Planning Permission and Conservation Area Consent for demolition of 38 garages and erection of two 3.5m-high, luxury villas [HGY/2007/1866 & 1867]

Dear Mr Smith,

At the 9th October 2007 monthly general meeting of the Federation, the HFRA agreed to support the objection from the Gladwell, Landrock and Cecile Park Residents Action Group to the current applications for planning permission and conservation area consent with respect to this important 'backland' site overlooked by over 150 households.

I have made a site visit to satisfy myself that the GLC-RAG case is a strong one, and one that raises the kind of concerns affecting backland sites in neighbourhoods throughout Haringey. The Federation has an ongoing concern about the loss of similar backland sites, and hence are pleased to have an opportunity to raise some objections to the proposed development in this case.

GLC-RAG, backed by the local community, has fought an exemplary, well-informed and successful campaign for the last 7 or 8 years against a series of applications over this site by private developer Paul Simon Ltd. We believe that the needs of the community should now be fully appreciated, recognised and protected by your department and indeed by all those who care about the need for strong and sustainable communities.

The GLC-RAG objection to proposed housing development on this site has been vindicated by 2 November 2006 decision dismissing all appeals by the applicant against the Council’s refusals of consent for the previous schemes.

...More....




- Progress over Community Toilet scheme

investigation launched into residents' proposal for setting up of a 'Community Toilets' scheme for cafes, pubs, shops and public buildings to provide public toilets
HFRA Statement, 18.12.07

See also: Public Toilets

At a meeting of the Better Places Partnership on Monday evening, 17th December, the Council [Cllr Lorna Reith, Cabinet Member for Community Cohesion and Involvement (and also Deputy Leader) and Niall Bolger, Director of the Urban Environment department] agreed to launch an investigation into the development of a 'Community Toilets' scheme for cafes, pubs and public buildings to provide public toilets throughout all areas of Haringey. Dave Morris, the Secretary of the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations, successfully presented a joint proposal on behalf of the HFRA and the Haringey Forum for Older People. This follows separate lobbying from both organisations over the last couple of years, a recent publicity drive and the joining of forces.

The lack of public toilets around the borough is a serious issue adversely affecting thousands of people. Many other Councils, including most recently neighbouring Waltham Forest (26 'Community Toilets' so far), have begun to introduce similar schemes ensuring easy public access to Community Toilets - through existing cafes, pubs and shops.

There are currently only 7 functioning public toilets run by Haringey Council. The new scheme could be established through negotiating agreements with cafe/pub/shop owners as in the London Borough of Richmond where there are now 70 such public toilets identified by a 'Community Toilet Scheme' sticker in their windows at the front of their premises. The Richmond and Waltham Forest schemes include many chains with branches in Haringey (eg Marks & Spencers, KFC and Waitrose) and many independent pubs and cafes, so there should be no problem getting local agreement.

Such a scheme can ensure not only very many public toilets, but also better, cheaper, cleaner, safer and well-looked after ones. The scheme could also include those in public buildings, such as libraries and community centres. The Council is also being encouraged to look into passing bye-laws or making it a condition of a trading licence for pubs and cafes. The locations, when agreed, could be publicised on street signs, noticeboards and special maps.

It seems to be an issue whose time for action has arrived....

“Haringey Forum for Older People supports all initiatives to work together on this longstanding issue that affects most older people. The Council developing a community toilets scheme will encourage older people to retain their independence, as at present many are reluctant to leave their homes to go to the shops, post office, library, community centre or other local facility if they can’t access public toilets. Getting out and about is one of the priorities of “Experience Counts” - Haringey’s Strategy for Older People.” - Abdool Alli, Chair Haringey Forum for Older People

'We're very pleased that the lobbying and publicity efforts by residents have at last paid off, and we're calling for the scheme to be implemented as soon as possible.' - Dave Morris, Secretary of the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations

The Richmond Scheme:
http://www.richmond.gov.uk/press_office/business_pride/community_toilet_scheme.htm
The Waltham Forest Scheme:
http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/index/transport/road-highway/public-conveniences/community-toilet-scheme.htm__






- Uproar over school threat to annexe public open space


Haslemere Road Residents Association in Crouch End is campaigning to protect a local public open space under threat. Coleridge School have applied to annexe the much loved and well used little park next to the main road on Crouch End Hill. Local residents recently secured public funding to improve the open space and planted hundreds of bulbs there only last month! As Sue Hessel, the chair of the association, says: 'I am alerting all Residents' Associations because if agreed this could begin a very alarming planning precedent. ie Highgate Wood secondary school could claim that the adjacent allotments should become part of their school grounds, or St. Mary's Junior school could say that the public green space in front might be better used by the school etc etc. Indeed any public building in the borough with some adjacent public green space could claim a special case!'

The Secretary of the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations sent a protest letter on December 15th, stating that 'the highly controversial application by the school to annexe public green space for itself flies in the face of all policy considerations and promises made by Haringey Council during the consultation in 2002-2005 over the borough's planning policies, ie the Haringey Unitary Development Plan. Policies proposed in 2002 by the Council and planning officers that could have allowed such institutional theft of public open space were publicly scrapped after a massive campaign by residents, Friends of Parks groups and residents associations throughout the borough. I can only think that this application is a mistake by the school. I would therefore expect it to be withdrawn immediately and a public apology offered.'

The full objection letter can be viewed at:
Federation's calls for 'outrageous' proposal to be withdrawn




- Community Action #7

The winter 2007/8 update from the Federation is now available for distribution. Contact us for copies, or check out:
Community Action bulletin, winter 07-08




- Public pressure forces 'Super health Clinics' re-think

Haringey PCT forced to delay, rethink, revise, and re-consult over 'Super Health Centres' plan. The controversial proposal for super health clinics to replace many local GPs surgeries and chemists is proving very unpopular

Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition Statement 4.12.07

December 3rd saw the culmination of a month of growing public concern and objections, 2 public meetings (organised by the Save St Ann's Hospital Campaign Group), and a week of protests including lobbies of the PCT Board meeting on 28th November at St Ann's Hospital and of the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on the 3rd December at the Civic Centre (both protests co-ordinated by the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition)

As a result the Haringey Primary Care Trust has been forced to delay, rethink, revise, and re-consult over their controversial proposals for 4 Super Health Clinics (and 2 based outside the borough at the Whittington and North Mid hospitals) which would threaten the existence of many local GP surgeries and chemists.

At the Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Christina Gradowski and Gerry Taylor from Haringey PCT tried to justify their proposals and their public consultation in the face of opposition and concerns raised by the Committee and by Dave Morris, the Secretary of the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition. Cllr Gideon Bull, the Chair of the Committee, had presented a paper (dated 29.11.07) on behalf of the Committee which stated the proposals were 'a substantial variation or development to local services' [and hence the Committee has powers to object and refer them to the Secretary of State for review]. His paper stated that the PCT's 'consultation did not provide sufficient detail to allow the public to fully appraise the proposals or assess the likely impact of the planned changes..'. There were 'reservations about the financial framework' and 'sceptical that the level of new investment would be sufficient for delivering fully on the strategy'. The statement concluded that the Committee 'were not able to conclude that the proposals were in the interests of local health services'.

Dave Morris, the Secretary of the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition, presented a detailed response, saying that 'the HPCT's public consultation on this matter was fatally flawed and therefore worthless as it failed to let people know the key information - that their controversial proposal for Super Health Clinics in the borough included the threat of closure of many local GP services. The public response, a mere 120 written forms sent back (most of them critical) out of over 8,500 distributed, would have been far greater If the PCT had told the truth as the vast majority of people would be totally opposed to the proposals.

'The threat of
closure of local GP surgeries, the cornerstone for access into the NHS for the whole population, is unacceptable. I seem to remember that when we were lobbying the O&S Cttee in 2006 to oppose the PCT's proposed cuts to sexual health services the PCT persuaded the Cttee that local neighbourhood-based GP surgeries were the way forward for these and other services, eg mental health, as they were based in local communities. Such views were either intended to mislead the Cttee or otherwise the PCT clearly has no coherent and credible strategy but merely a series of cost cutting measures.

'Even more seriously, these closures are likely to cause hardship to patients forced to travel long distances, are likely to lead to less access and take up of services, and are against Council policy of promoting sustainable communities.

'It has been well documented and accepted by the Cttee and the Cabinet Member for Social Services that cuts in NHS services lead to more pressure on the Council's underfunded and struggling social services.
Last year's PCT cuts programme led to an additional £1m burden on the Council's budget.

'The financial basis of such proposed 'Super Health Centres' is unclear. They may well be reliant on the highly controversial and ludicrously expensive PFI schemes (which generally have huge cost over-runs and saddle the taxpayer with massive repayments for decades), and be used as a trojan horse by greedy and ruthless private corporations who are preying like vultures around the edges of our public healthcare system.

'In the light of these points the Cttee have the power and therefore the duty to refer the proposals to the Secretary of State as a substantial variation which is unclear, inadequately costed, inadequately consulted over, and in any event totally unacceptable. We believe that this is clearly the only meaningful and credible action that the Cttee can take, based on the facts. More importantly its the only action that the Cttee can take which can halt the PCT's drive to implement such a highly damaging proposal which will adversely affect tens of thousands of local residents.'


Christina Gradowski from Haringey PCT admitted that valid concerns had been expressed and that the PCT would need to re-think and revise the proposals in the light of what had been said. She admitted a 'more networked approach' was needed for the way any proposed Super Health Clinics would work with local GP surgeries in the surrounding area, with 'more surgeries left open than originally envisaged'. They would 'develop criteria for such closures eg transport issues, local population needs, condition of facilities'. However she admitted that they could not force GP surgeries to close, and that all GPs surgeries under threat of closure would have to consult with their patients first.

Under further questioning, they guaranteed they would bring a revised proposal to the Committee in the new year and re-consult with the public in a more effective way afterwards.

After the meeting, Dave Morris said: 'Public pressure has successfully forced the PCT to think again. However, it is clear that the battle is far from over and that all those who care about their health services need to fight to protect and improve them.'




- Protest over 'Polyclinics' threat to local GPs

Campaigners protest against the PCT’s controversial ‘polyclinics’ proposals which threaten to close local GPs surgeries and chemists
Press Release from the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition, 1.12.07

Full report on this site @ Public services - health services - local campaigns - protest 28.11.07

On Wednesday 28th November 40 people turned up to lobby the Board Meeting of the Haringey Primary Care Trust (held at St Ann’s Hospital) to protest against the PCT’s ‘polyclinics’ proposals which would threaten the existence of local GP surgeries and local chemists. The controversial proposal is for 4 such clinics in Haringey (plus one at the Whittington and one at the North Middx hospital), each serving over 50,000 patients. Those present at the protest included representatives of older people’s organisations, patients’ groups, residents associations, health campaigns and trades unions.

Dave Morris, the Secretary of the Stop Haringey Health Cuts Coalition, and Mario Petrou, the Chair of the Save St Ann’s Hospital Campaign Group made presentations to the Board explaining why the proposals were unacceptable and why the PCT's 'consultation' was worthless due to the PCT failing to let the public know the truth about the implications for local GP surgeries and also pharmacies.

Campaigners present called for a lobby of the special Council Overview & Scrutiny meeting on Monday 3rd December at the Civic Centre (6.30pm). They will be demanding that the Cttee exercise their powers and therefore their duty to condemn the PCT’s consultation tactics, to object to the threat to local services and to refer the proposals to the Secretary of State as unacceptable.

Monday 3rd December, 6.30pm - Lobby Council's Scrutiny Committee, Civic Centre
Monday 10th December, 6.30pm - SHHC Coalition planning meeting, Chestnuts Community Centre





- We need more staffing in our parks!

- Parks' Friends groups call for parks resources to be redirected from an ineffective and costly constabulary to the popular on-site park keepers everyone wants in the borough's parks
30.11.07
You can read the full report of this issue on this site @ green spaces - bits and pieces - more staffing

At the end of November the Council proposed a review of the parks constabulary service leading to a "reduced function in terms of current constabulary service but resources redirected into specific open space wardening and rangering service".

This follows 2 years of extensive lobbying by the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum (the network of 30 local Friends groups) and the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations (the umbrella organisation for the borough's 150 local residents associations) for on-site staffing in parks. At the moment very few parks have any on-site staffing due to swingeing cuts made over the last 20 years, and a skeleton service is provided by teams of roving gardeners, cleansing operatives and parks constables. Where on-site staff exist the parks are much better maintained, more widely used by the public, and generally safer.

Recognising the need to improve on-site staffing the Council, like many other local authorities throughout London and the UK, has signed up to the national Parkforce Pledge recognising 'the value of having staff on site during daylight hours in every significant park' across Haringey. As a result, the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum have been participating in a detailed review of staffing, including questioning whether the money spent on parks constabulary (currently 11 staff) could be better spent on additional on-site staffing during daylight hours. In any case, there are now Safer Neighbourhood Teams with a remit which includes park patrols.

The Forum's position is summed up in the correspondence with the Council last March, and this week (see enclosed below).

To quote from this week's statement by the Forum to all Cllrs, the Council
'must ensure that any resources saved from reducing or scrapping the parks constabulary [which are more expensive than parks staff] must be redirected into additional front-line parks staffing/wardens. The Council need to publicly guarantee and explain that if the proposal goes ahead then this is what would happen, and that this would therefore be an improvement and a cause for celebration.'

'I don't understand why the Lib Dems are trying to make this a party political issue. Everyone knows that our parks need a daily presence by park keepers in order to ensure good maintenance, management, public liaison and general safety. In contrast the parks' police service is ineffective, inefficient and an unnecessarily expensive chunk out of the parks' budget. The resources need to be refocused where they are most needed - on the ground. A great example is in my own local park, Lordship Rec in Tottenham, where thanks to pressure from the Friends group the Council finally brought in 2 dedicated gardeners this summer. And what a difference they have made!' Joan Curtis - Secretary, Haringey Friends of Parks Forum






- Residents celebrate new pedestrian crossing

by Finsbury park and call for more throughout Haringey

On Saturday 24th November, 2007 at 3.30pm over a dozen local campaigners celebrated the new pedestrian crossing at the Junction of Endymion Road and Green Lanes, N4.

The crossing was finally installed following over 2 years of pressure from local residents and Haringey Living Streets. Those present at the celebration included a ‘Green Man’ who helped passers by cross safely. Many of those passing signed the Green Man Petition calling for such crossings at all traffic lights in Haringey and London.

The event was organised by Haringey Living Streets and supported by the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations.

See report of previous Green Man event, below:

[22nd June 2007] Residents call for Green Man crossings throughout Haringey
- real live 'Green Man' helps put dangerous Green Lanes junction onto London's 'Top 100 priority action' list.
Haringey Federation of Residents Associations Press release, 24.6.07

On Friday 22nd June the Haringey Living Streets campaign backed by the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations organised a local launch for a London-wide campaign for Green Men pedestrian lights at thousands of traffic light crossings across the capital. From 3pm-4pm in the afternoon, a real 'Green Man' all dressed in green with a green wig (actually Simon Barnett, Walkability Officer of London Living Streets) helped hundreds of pedestrians to cross the dangerous Green Lanes & Frobisher Road junction near Turnpike Lane.

The dangers of this particular junction were highlighted at a time when scores of children were coming out of nearby schools - many of them and others trying to cross were very pleased that a 'Green Man' was there to make the junction safer. A man and his daughter (who had been knocked down at this junction only a month ago) joined with campaigners to demand permanent pedestrian lights. 5 years ago, 50 local parents and children blocked the road nearby in protest at the lack of safe crossings across such a busy road.

This time around 20 campaigners, mainly from local residents associations, were joined by the Living Streets 'Green Man', and Joanne McCartney MEP. Hundreds of passers-by signed the new London-wide petition calling for Green Men at all similar junctions, leaflets were handed out and there were placards and banners reading 'LIVING STREETS', 'RESIDENTS DEMAND SAFER STREETS', and 'RESIDENTS UNITE'. The Green Lanes junction is expected to be added to London Living Streets 'Top 100 priority action' list, which will be presented to Transport for London and local boroughs for action to be taken.

“This junction is terrible for people on foot, especially for local schoolchildren. Feeling able to cross the road safely is a key part of ensuring that people choose to walk. Green men at this junction, and then across the whole of Haringey, would be a step in the right direction”. Paul McKay (local parent) - Haringey Living Streets and Living Streets officer of the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations.
For more info, contact Paul McKay: paulomckay@yahoo.co.uk






- Yes - Let's Make Haringey a 20mph Zone

Letter to local press (11.07)

We, as the umbrella organisation for the borough's residents associations, strongly welcome the Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment calling at the end of October for 20mph maximum traffic speeds throughout Haringey. 20mph zones are proven to have slashed accidents and injuries to local people across London, especially to children and other vulnerable members of our communities.

In 2003 we organised a well-attended public conference on traffic calming and safer streets. At the end it was unanimously agreed to call for a 20mph 'default' speed limit. We then lobbied hard to ensure that it became Council policy.

Most local neighbourhoods are campaigning for safer streets, but are often forced to wait for years for funding for expensive calming measures to be implemented. If 20mph gradually became the norm all over London it could save a fortune as drivers would just get used to it.

And while we're at it, let's make all our streets genuinely liveable for residents - with less clutter, more greenery, more attractive features, less rubbish, and better maintenance of lights and pavements.

Dave Morris
Secretary, Haringey Federation of Residents Associations





- Cafes, pubs and shops can provide public toilets

November 2007

You can read the full report on this site... @ street scene - bits and pieces - public toilets

The lack of public toilets around the borough is a serious issue adversely affecting thousands of people. Richmond and other Councils are at last ensuring easy access to public toilets - through existing cafes, pubs and shops. The Haringey Federation of Residents Associations have suggested similar proposals at meetings of the Haringey Better Places Partnership over the last couple of years (including at the last meeting on October 1st). It could be done by small annual payments to cafe/pub/shop owners as in Richmond (for only £600 per year there for each Community Toilet) or by looking into passing bye-laws or making it a condition of a trading licence.

It seems to be an issue whose time for action has arrived....





- Save Our Local GPs

- What's wrong with Polyclinics?

November 2007

You can read the full report on this site... @ Public services - health services - Local campaigns - Save Our Local GPs

The Better Local Healthcare Campaign has slammed the proposal that the former Hornsey Central Hospital site now becomes a Polyclinic. The consultation period has just ended. Please take a look as it probably is the most comprehensive local critique of the venture! Co-written by Linda Lennard (Consumer Policy Consultant) and Sue Hessel (background Social Policy and Social Work ) it condenses the issues for you. Although it relates mostly to the Hornsey proposal the issues relate to all four proposed polyclinics in Haringey.

The $64 million questions are which local GP surgeries will be forced to close, and what will actually be in there in this polyclinic in, say, ten years time. (The foundation stone of the original cottage hospital read 'To the glory of God for the benefit of the poor').

In 1998 it was publicly stated that Hornsey Central Hospital would be retained. By 2000 we were told it would be replaced with sheltered housing and 64 respite and continuing care beds. In 2004 we were told it would be a 'community hospital', in 2006 that we were getting £7m. from central government towards it. (We got only a fraction).

We were not informed that they were selling off Fortis Green Clinic, the public have never been consulted on that sale or the sale of the Nurses Home land. We have now learned that they are closing local GP surgeries and putting them in this polyclinic together with their 50,000 patients.

There have been no services provided by the PCT for dementia in the west of the borough for 7 years now. The needs of the elderly and those with learning disabilities have been shamefully disregarded. The PCT continue to refuse to fund any facilities on this site for patients who require overnight treatment or care.

There is now no hospital in Haringey and impending closures and reductions of surrounding hospitals! (The polyclinic may offer some diagnosis but not hospital care.)

All of this has occurred against a shameful lack of public consultation, public debate, public meetings (they held none in 2005) and public truth.




- Who Cares?

- Councils putting older Londoners’ care at risk because of inadequate central Government funding

[You can read the full report on this site... @ Older People - services - who cares?]

On 29th October 2007 Age Concern London called for ‘Justice in Care for Older
Londoners’
by releasing evidence that London Boroughs are failing to
provide sufficient care for vulnerable older people due to central Government
budget constraints.

The report suggests that many older people in London are being left isolated
and unsupported because 24 out the 32 London Councils judge that they can
now only afford to provide services for those with the highest care needs.

Councils have been reassessing older people’s care needs and withdrawing
some or all of an individual’s care because of the change in criteria. This is
leaving many people without support they had previously relied on. Some
London boroughs are now charging as much as £17.50 per hour for care
services following increases of up to 131% this year. These increases can
result in older people on low incomes withdrawing from receiving a service
they need because they are no longer able to afford it.

At the “Justice in Care for Older Londoners” conference on 29th October 2007
Age Concern London called for central Government to provide sufficient
funding for care services for older people and ask councils to give care and
preventative services for vulnerable older people the highest priority in their
strategic planning. Without action by central and local Government now, older
people’s health will continue to be put at risk, and the danger is that quality
care services will not be there for future generations.

Care services can be a vital support for older people. Each year they enable
many thousands of older people to continue to live independently in their
homes and remain active members of their communities. Due to tight
budgets, set by central Government, local Councils are changing their
eligibility criteria and denying older people services they used to be eligible
for. This coupled with increased charges for services such as help with
personal care and meals on wheels, means that many older people cannot
afford the help they really need. This is leaving vulnerable older people
unsupported and at risk of deteriorating health problems. In the long run this is
likely to cost more than initially providing preventative services to people with
lower care needs now.
none
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