From Friends of Finsbury Park email:
On Earth Day, 22 April, Haringey Council officers order 200 new trees to be ripped-out from Finsbury Park!
Read on; but reflect on the culture of Haringey Council staff and who is in charge.
A month ago we planted a lot of trees in agreement with park staff. Located around the Richard Hope Play Space, they sought to give shade to a recessed area that lacks tree cover and gets overly warm.
Two week ago, we heard informally that Parks HQ didn't like the location. And a *suggestion* that it infringes on Event space for Wireless Festival (you read right – trees might marginally infringe on their ability to put up a three metre high fence through the summer). We asked for clarification.
Late on Thursday night, we finally received a formal reply – 'a mistake’s been made' and they shouldn't be planted there. Nothing to do with Events, of course. We met park staff on Friday and stepped through concerns – all manageable and not requiring 200 trees to be ripped out.
They proposed moving the trees inside the play area – but they are about to lay a 1.2m wide disabled access track … so where exactly would you put the trees?
Beyond space for path (and play …), the southern side is a bit dry. We don't think putting them inside the fence would work, but; perhaps it would on the northern edge near the cafe; and maybe a mistake was made? We proposed an urgent meeting and ask that no action were taken.
At 4 PM on Friday 22 April 2022—within hours of meeting—all the trees were literally ripped out of the ground. They were already sprouting and now, will likely die.
It's hard to engage on council talk of community 'co-production' when residents are so often ignored; and Manifestos, that talk of planting lots more trees, when council staff are ripping them out!
Incredibly frustrating and totally avoidable. Environment Cabinet Member Cllr @mikehakata has been supportive but the council officer culture has got to change.
Too many mistakes by Haringey Labour? Yes.
Changes needed? Of course.
I was a councillor for sixteen years pointing out mistakes outside the Council when raising issues inside the Labour Group didn't work.
I too dream of change. Are my dreams anything like your dreams, Doodle?
Yesterday I tweeted that I hoped a few more decent honest, open & democratic socialist councillors are elected on 5 May 2022. I joked that they might "unlock wherever the Seven Nolan Principles of Public Life are kept. Brush off the dust, (& mouse droppings?) & take it as a guide."
The Magnificent Seven:
● Selflessness ● Integrity ● Objectivity ● Accountability ● Openness ● Honesty ● Leadership
Of course, these seven principles aren't really locked away. No tin box or secret cupboard. No curling corners, nor mustiness. No rodent nor insect damage. In fact they're in full view in the Council's Constitution. Part Five, Section A of the Members’ Code of Conduct. (Although they also apply to staff.)
We know, don't we that it's now usual for a few very senior elected politicians to apologise profusely. Not for what they did but for the anger and hurt which others feel. In other words the classic fauxpology. So no contrition and no intent or promises to change.
Now, though I may be wrong, I don't remember that many simple apologies coming from leading Haringey councillors in the past. It was more likely for them to plead ignorance and/or blame other people.
To sum up. Check facts honestly - apologise for errors - fix errors. "Fail forward" learning from errors and making needed changes . Not a big dream, I know.
The best thing to do is to vote Labour out. That probably won't happen, but we need a strong opposition to keep Labour in check. And don't vote for people like Khaled Moyeed in Noel Park. Absolutely useless, sense of entitlement, has no respect for residents. James
A park of benefit to local residents is more important than a site for a music festival that inconvneniences locals.
By "Parks" ! assume you mean Commercial Lettings Assets Portfolio?
The festival is attended and really liked by plenty of locals particularly younger ones. Not everything has to suit everyone.
I just have to share my own Haringey tree story cos I am so cross about it. A few weeks ago I contacted Haringey to let them know about a tree outside our property on Endymion road that has been dead for two years, asking if it could be removed and replaced with a living tree. Last week the contractors turned up and chopped down a perfectly healthy tree on the next block, which was in leaf and with berries sprouting. Unbelievable incompetence.
So now we have a dead tree and no tree. Grrrrrr.
I am part of a local tree protection group called Haringey Tree Protectors (set up during the fellings on the Parkland Walk bridge inspection works). We are shocked to hear of this mistake and compiling a spread sheet tally and map of all Haringey's tree work for use in our meetings with them - please could you send me a picture of this tree as it is cut, the exact location and possbly one of it before (if you have it?)
This alss happened in the Parish peace garden earlier this year when they forgot to cancel a tree cutting job and cut a stunning lime tree in half. I have heard other cases too.
Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
The tree dep (clare Pappalardo, senior tree officer, and Alex Fraser, manager) are supposed to notify residents of tree work and communicate clearly. Astonished that the tree surgeous wouldn't have seen it was a healthy tree.
Haringey Tree protectors