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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

A statement from Founder Members of the Green Lanes Strategy Group

It is with great disappointment that we announce that the founder members of the Green Lanes Strategy Group (GLSG) - Woodlands Park Resident Assoc. (WPRA), Ladder Community Safety Partnership (LCSP), Gardens Resident Assoc. (GRA) and Harringay Green Lanes Traders Assoc. (HGLTA) - have voted to withdraw from the GLSG.  Sadly this means the end of the Green Lanes Strategy Group.

We have reached this decision with great reluctance and sadness but equal determination. We find that we no longer have the energy, effort and will power needed to continue in the face of the relentless criticism, lack of trust and conflict that the whole GLSG issue has caused in recent months particularly on social media.  We are all volunteers and, having given thousands of hours of our time since 2002, have every reason to be proud of our record and achievements, whatever our critics may say.  We believe that we owe it to ourselves to step aside from the anxiety, stress, and general unpleasantness.

The Green Lanes Strategy Group (GLSG) was originally setup after the Green Lanes incident where rival gangs fought a pitched battle on the high street with knives, clubs and guns, which resulted in numerous injured and one fatality. Green Lanes was cordoned off for that entire weekend and it made national headlines on TV. This was Saturday, 29th November 2002.

GLSG was tasked to claim back Green Lanes by working with Councillors, council officers, Met Police Borough Commander, Flying Squad, Customs officers and other external agencies. The Council strategy was to set up the HET team (Heavy Enforcement Team) to help address the protection rackets, crack houses, torture chamber, 24hr culture and unlicensed premises with over 17 social clubs which then turned into scores of empty shops.

After crime and safety issues were addressed, GLSG turned its attention to greening initiatives by piloting new ways of refuse collection, tree planting, flower baskets, passage signage and cleaning, removal of bridge graffiti and pigeon mess and installing pigeon proofing enabling the bridge to become a gateway.

In 2009 GLSG delivered the first ever Green Lanes Festival before the Council cuts started in 2010 and, without Council support, continued to deliver the second Festival in 2011 and the first Winter Festival that same year. In 2012, GLSG won a £1.7m bid from The Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund (OLF), £1.2m from the Transport for London (TFL) Corridor scheme for Green Lanes regeneration, and £40k from TFL under the Pocket Park scheme.

We would like to thank the elected members, other residents and council officers who have done great things with us over the years. We would especially like to thank Cllr Nilgun Canver for providing leadership in setting up of the GLSG and chairing for most of its life, for her commitment to the area and for using her influence to ensure co-operation from the Council.

Committee members of all our associations, as appropriate, will continue to ensure that the outstanding OLF & TFL regeneration is brought to a successful conclusion. This includes shop fronts, the bridge, highways, paving, micro-squares, street furniture, plantings and the pocket park. As associations we will also liaise with Council Officers to ensure that any other incomplete work of the former GLSG, such as the Insect Hotel, is completed.

Regrettably it will not be possible to proceed with future projects such as the Green Lanes Food Festival planned for this September. We know that this will be disappointing news for many local people, who were already looking forward to this event.

Of course, none of this can ever take away the outstanding success of the GLSG over the past 12 years, culminating in our winning bids for the regeneration of Green Lanes. We also have no intention of abandoning our commitment to the area through our individual and prize-winning associations, which will continue to serve the best interests of local people for many years to come.



17 April 2014­­­­

Tags for Forum Posts: glsg

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Blaming social media is typical. Like politicians that blame "the media" for their demise. There is nothing different here. Democracy and transparency first, food festivals second.

Nobody responded to Ant's wonderful parody of the GLSG squirming to be democratic because they couldn't. There has been vague criticism of the GLSG on Harringay Online for years. The final cacophony coming as you tried to engineer the group so that no one councillor could wield the kind of power over it that Nilgun did (benignly) in the face of the expected election result in St Ann's which the GLSG did NOTHING to publicly criticise (Geoff being a notable exception).

Thank you for trashing people at your meetings who attended to question you. Thank you for tolerating the thuggish behaviour of some of your members at these meetings (and to think it's ME with the Harassment Notice). Thank you for obstructing our requests for meeting minutes.

I've heard a rumour that they were struggling to get funding for it but presumably if that can be sorted then the ball has only been dropped a couple of days.

Thanks Jessica! I'm sure you'd help make it great. I've heard the same rumours as John about lack of money - something about £25k being needed to close Green Lanes and divert the buses etc, and no one has the money this year? Might be worth asking Nilgun if that is the case or if they did have any ideas where the money might come from. Otherwise look at alternative options - maybe instead of along Green Lanes have it along a few neighbouring Ladder and Gardens roads which can be closed for just £80 each which i'm sure we could raise, join them up with some arty things along the passage and that type of thing?  (sorry, probably not the best thread for this discussion!)

We hadn't finished getting the funding, but funding was not an issue.

Check http://www.harringayfoodfestival.com/ .


Hi Geoff,

I think this is a real shame. Thanks for all the work you and others have put in over the years; it'll have a lasting legacy that will far outlive any sour taste left by recent difficulties. All good things come to an end, and perhaps this was the right time for the GLSG to go, but we will be lucky if we find something to replace it that does half the good you guys have.


Really sad news. Thanks to everyone involved over the years, what a shame that a few small minded individuals have had such an impact on this volunteer group. :(

This is a shame that due to criticisms (some of a personal nature) have brought about the demise if the GLSG.

Although no group is perfect, there should be a real recognition of the many changes & improvements made in & around the Green Lanes area.

Green Lanes is now totally unrecognisable from that of the one at the time of the Harringay incident.

Many thanks to all who have been involved on the group, & who have given so freely if their time & talents to bring about the many achievements of the last 12 years.

I hope that we will not ultimately be the poorer with the prospect of less community co-working that this group provided an opportunity to participate in.

I would like to thank the all the members of the GLSG  for all their hard work over the years. They have selflessly given so much of their free time to set up projects and secured the funding to make the improvements for our community.

I do remember that terrible day 12 years ago and saw the violence first hand with two men bleeding outside our house having been shot in the leg and back shouting for help. To think back to that time and to see how much has changed I think it is fair to say that we as residents owe a debt of gratitude to the GLSG for what they have achieved.

It is sad to see that no other organisation exists that can coordinate and get so many people involved in improving our community.

I totally agree with Dominic and Alison's comments. The members of the GLSG have worked so hard over the years to improve our area with fantastic results, and I would like to say a big thank u to them. Shame on those whose unfounded criticism has forced the group to fold, much to the detriment of the local community.

I'm also in total agreement with Dominic and Alison.  As a relative newcomer to the area I have been very impressed by the dedication and hard work of GLSG and the amazing results its members have achieved. I'm  extremely grateful for the many hours they have devoted to improving my neighbourhood.  My life is richer and happier for it, and I thank them all for that.  I know just how much hard work, tenacity and determination was needed.  So sorry it had to end like this.

Can I clarify that funding was not issue in making this decision to cancel the festival, quite the contrary as main sponsors and road closure costs were in place. As with both previous festivals we would need to raise funds for the street entertainers and children's activities. In 2009 the GRA fundraised this through Awards for All. In 2011 the GLSG were successful in an OLF round one festival bid. For 2014 we were about to launch a fundraiser for these activities in May.
The reason there is no festival is there is no group now to organise and deliver it as the statement.

Andy - Street Entertainment and Children's Activity organiser
GRA rep on the ex- GLSG

Does that mean that if an organising committee could be put in place that the Festival could still run? 



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