Below is my response to an application to erect a marquee in Down Lane Park and run exercise classes to inform people about the 'future regeneration of Tottenham Hale'.
I am happy to be involved - yes, even the council's mass open-air exercise classes - but have called for the notice period to be longer to ensure local people can make arrangements to attend and also prepare by researching the issues. The debate needs to be more grown-up than the standard council con-insulting event where vague questions are asked and the outcome is that we need to bring in the Friends from Cannes to re-build Tottenham.
The regen exhibition begins on Wednesday 10th June, which is three weeks today. But there has not been any publicity for it. Apart from the concerns I have raised about the notice and the need to ensure fair play in how attendees are surveyed.
Happy to answer any questions.
Thanks for the notice of the application for a regeneration consultation event on Saturday 13th June. and the exhibition promotion from Wednesday 10th, in Down Lane Park.
The Friends of Down Lane Park welcome the opportunity to participate, and look forward to expressing our view that the council's regeneration proposals not only threatens the park but also other green spaces in Tottenham. In our response to the recent planning consultation we stated our opposition to the green road link pushing through Down Lane Park without any consideration of the play facilities it would displace. We also stated our concerns about the impact on the Tottenham Hale area of the building ambition that proposes approximately 75 - yes, seventy five - tower blocks in the area. A 19 storey tower block in the Hale Village "hole", an eight storey tower above the tube station, terraced tower blocks along the reservoirs, a four storey car park for the rebuilt retail park. and various other way-finding land-marking monstrosities bidding to out-shine the orange and green Hale Village facade.
The Friends of Down Lane Park want to be actively involved in the consultation event. Ideally we would like to have a table as part of the exhibition so that we can be advocates for the residents alongside the paid-for PR machinery of the council. In this we want to ensure that the wording of information leaflets is not biased into pre-determining the outcome which the council and its developer masters want. We want fair play. And grown-up questions, with real information on the consequences of the proposals. No more: 'Would you like free apple pie with that promised twenty year future?'
We would also expect the leaflets announcing the event to reach residents in advance. Not through the letterbox on the day as was the case with the last Tottenham Hale information day in March. Nor would we see it as sufficient to give people only very short notice.
In fact, the three week notice for the event is inadequate. It reveals that you are not genuinely interested in engaging with the community and are going for another quick "consultation-kill". Please consider carefully the ruling of the Supreme Court which found against Haringey for 'unfair and unlawful' consultation. The Court clearly set out the parameters required for a lawful consultation. Haringey Council may believe it flies high; but the law still remains above you.
Even if the application was approved today and the publicity push also began today, that is still not reasonable notice. In my view an event as important as this for people's homes and futures should have at least an initial two months notice with reminders closer to the event. Such advance notice would give people the opportunity to read available details about the particulars of the plans. This should be a reasonably comprehensive briefing note with links to online documents. With language translations of the literature.
Moving the dates forward to at least July means a better chance of local people putting it in their diaries. It would also enable community groups to get involved in the event and therefore making it a more widely attended event. There is very little detail in the application about the programme for the community event and I hope you can provide more. Much more. We suggest that the programme has a panel question time at some point so that Councillor Strickland can take direct questions from public.
Please can you also clarify some points in the application? Will the exhibition be in Down Lame Park on all three days? If not, where will it be? Please tell us where the marquee is to be located? And why does it need to be put up the night before? We are keen to ensure as little disturbance as possible to normal park use. These are our organisational concerns with this application.
I await your answer, and am happy to meet to discuss if required. Or speak on the phone.
Chair, Friends of Down Lane Park
Date: Tue, 19 May 2015 18:00:22 +0100
Subject: General Notification for Application - 'Tottenham Hale Community Information Day' , Application No - 'HGY01487'
Haringey Event Office
Ref No HGY01487
This notification has been sent to the following:
Martin Ball, Lorna Reith, Reg Rice, Vincent Carroll
Notification of Tottenham Hale Community Information Day On 13 June
Title of event: Tottenham Hale Community Information Day
Venue: Down Lane Park
On site at (Prep): 12/06/2015 15:00:00
Start time: 13/06/2015 10:00:00
Finish time: 13/06/2015 16:00:00
Off site (clear up): 13/06/2015 17:30:00
Max number of attendees: 100
Audience Profile: Families, Young People, Older People, Other
Is the event ticketed:? No
Is the event open to public:? Yes
Invited guests only:? No
Type of Event: Community, Sporting
We will be holding an exhibition on the future regeneration of Tottenham Hale between 10-13 June. The event in Down Lane Park will be the culmination of this. We would like to erect a marquee in the park, this will house the exhibition. We would also like to run three free exercise classes in the park too. These will be lead by Our Parks, currently retained through the Tottenham Active programme.
What benefits will this event bring to the local community?
This event is to inform them of the regeneration activity in Tottenham Hale. This affects each residents as it will impact on all of them - whether that be new housing, new businesses, additional healthcare provision