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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

As promised, here you go.  This draft was agreed at the GLSG meeting last Tuesday 8 April.  Sorry about some of the formatting!:

DRAFT

Terms of Reference for the Green Lanes Strategy Group

 

Aim:

The Association’s aim is to work to make the Green Lanes area thrive economically, flourish socially, and be regenerated for current and future residents and businesses.  The Association aims to foster an area where people are proud to live and work without fear of crime. In this it will be guided by principles of the Green Lanes Charter or superseding local plan.

Defined Area:

 

The Green Lanes Area shall be defined as that area bounded to the south by Endymion Road and Arena Trading Estate, to the west by Wightman Road, to the north by Turnpike Lane and West Green Road, and to the east by Black Boy Lane and Warwick Gardens.

 

Membership:

 

Members:

 

The key constituted umbrella organisations within the above defined area, (ie. Woodlands Park Resident Association (WPRA), Ladder Community Safety Partnership (LCSP), Gardens Residents Association (GRA) and Harringay Green Lanes Traders Association (HGLTA) as at April 2014) each with up to 2 representatives plus 1 deputy appointed by meetings of those organisations; and the elected ward Councillors of Harringay and St. Ann’s.

 

In addition:

 

  • One representative appointed by meetings of established/constituted local groups as agreed by the members. Groups may be invited to join or may apply to join the GLSG. 
  • Key local individuals co-opted or invited by the GLSG to contribute in their areas of interest or expertise.

Metropolitan Police and Council officers will also attend as appropriate.

 

Officers:

 

1.   Chair, Vice Chair/Treasurer, Secretary and such other officers as the GLSG shall decide, elected from and by the members. Officers will be appointed for no longer than two years.

 

  1. The Chair and Vice Chair will:

 

  1. Ensure the efficient conduct of meetings;
  2. Ensure all members are treated equitably and have a proper opportunity to express their views when debating decisions of the Group;
  3. Ensure the GLSG receives appropriate professional advice from LBH officers or external advisers or others when necessary;
  4. Represent the GLSG where necessary.

 

 

Chair’s Action:

 

  1. The Chair may be approached to take decisions on urgent matters that require advancement before the next scheduled meeting. In such circumstances, the Chair is delegated to take such decisions, after involving as many other Members as possible. The Chair shall report any Chair’s Actions to the next meeting.
  2. It is intended that Chair’s Actions will be kept to the absolute minimum possible.
  3. In the absence or unavailability of the Chair, a Vice-Chair will act for him or her.

 

Sub-Groups

 

  1. The GLSG may establish such working groups, panels, forums or advisory groups as it considers necessary. All bodies established shall have clear terms of reference.
  2. The GLSG may terminate any Sub-Group at any time.
  3. Sub-Groups may co-opt individuals who have particular expertise or experience to contribute.

 

 

Remit of Green Lanes Strategy Group:

 

The following list is to act as a guide to the remit of the GLSG.  It is not intended to be exhaustive.

  1. Terms of Reference, Constitution and Membership.
  2. Initiatives and Funding bids.
  3. Income and Budget.
  4. Bridge and Gateways.
  5. Street Scene and Enforcement.
  6. HMOs.
  7. Crime and Policing (including Safer Neighbourhoods Teams).
  8. Parking and Highways.
  9. Planning and Licencing.
  10. Green Spaces.
  11. Green Lanes Festival.
  12. Christmas Events.
  13. Bug Hotel.
  14. Other projects as agreed by members.

 

 

Meetings:

 

  1. The GLSG shall meet on a regular cycle, with a minimum of 4 meetings per year.
  2. Meetings will normally last no longer than two hours.
  3. Notices of meetings will be circulated to members at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.
  4. Special meetings may be called for urgent business by the Chair or Vice Chair, provided at least three clear days notice is given to members.
  5. Items for inclusion on the agenda shall be submitted to the Secretary at least seven days prior to the meeting. Inclusion of any item shall be at the discretion of the Chair.
  6. All meetings of the GLSG shall be minuted.  Minutes will be made publicly available following approval by the Chair.
  7. Minutes of meetings shall be circulated with the agenda for the next meeting.
  8. Meetings shall be chaired by the Chair or in his/her absence the Vice Chair.
  9. The Chair will move that the minutes of the previous meeting be agreed as a correct record.
  10. The GLSG may accept deputations of people with a local connection who wish to raise an issue in person with the GLSG. Those wishing to form a deputation shall contact the Chair to seek agreement. Deputations shall only be allowed at the discretion of the Chair.

 

Decisions:

 

  1. Consensus

Unless these Terms of Reference provide otherwise, any matter will be decided by consensus between the members.

  1. Chair's decision

If no consensus can be reached, the Chair may request a vote on the matter under consideration.  Unless otherwise provided for in these Terms of Reference, the matter shall then be decided by a simple majority of the members present and voting by show of hands.  The Chair shall have a casting vote.

I have attached a copy of the Neighbourhood Vision/Green Lanes Charter referred to above.

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These Terms of Reference are open for comment until 15 June 2014.

They have been discussed at the LCSP meeting tonight, and will be on the agenda for the next GRA (June, not the AGM) and WPRA (14 May) meetings.

Feedback please to whichever you choose below if you can't make a meeting:

WPRA: woodlandsparkra@gmail.com

LCSP: lcsp@blueyonder.co.uk

GRA: gardensresidents@yahoogroups.co.uk

HGLTA: rob@harringay4shops.com

Adam Coffman for Friends of Harringay Passage, Friends of Fairland Park and Friends of Ducketts Common.

Thanks.

Geoff

Tags for Forum Posts: glsg

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Dang it!  I thought you were offering for a moment.

I did for almost two years, Geoff, and you saw for yourself what happened.

Phil,

No-one is stopping you.

Do it.

This is a good start, but if this document is intended to give reassurance that the group is democratically constituted and will act in an open and transparent way, questions remain for me.

Here are my specific questions/comments:

a. What is the legal status of this body in the formal democratic process?

b. What informal authority will it be granted by the Council?

c. How will it interface with the Area Assembly and Area Forum and why is this body being given the responsibilities that might normally be in the scope of the Area Assembly and Area Forum?

d. Since part of Seven Sisters ward is included, why is there no councillor representation from that ward?

e. It seems that "key constituted umbrella organisations" are those organisations that are currently members. Surely rather than just including those who are already in, a number of key criteria ought to be established to specify which groups qualify for membership - number of members, level of activity of those members, minimum constitution criteria etc.

f. What are the criteria that will qualify / disqualify other groups to join? Why is it assumed that they will be junior and be entitled to one representative vs the three of "key constituted umbrella organisations"?

g. As is the case in council committees, the chair is in effect given delegated powers. Whilst I'm sure no member of the GLSG would abuse those powers, there is a track record of delegated decisions being made which warrant question. What limits will be placed on the delegated powers described by this document.

h. In most neighbourhoods, the Area Assembly and Area Forum would cover much of the ground described in the document. Those meetings are open to the public. Will the GLSG meetings be open to the public?

J. Why will advance notice of the meetings not be published rather than only circulated to group members?

k. What will constitute reasonable grounds for the chair refusing to accept a deputation of local people and what will be the group's responsibility to respond the any such deputation?

l. The GLSG has always insisted that it is not seeking to rename Harringay. The area it describes as the one it seeks to act on behalf of is clearly Harringay. Why does the document refer to Harringay only as Green Lanes?

Why do we need them?

Hi Hugh,

As with my reply to Ant, personal comments.  I do not speak for the group.

a. I don't think it has a legal status.  I guess it is an unincorporated association. It is not part of the fomal democratic process.

b. I don't know.

c. What Area Assemblies? The plug was pulled on them when Neighbourhood Management was destroyed, and I wouldn't be surprised if Area Forums go the same way.

d.  Good point.

e/f/g. Do you have any suggestions?

h. Don't see why not, but it might be hard to get anything done.  To take a recent example, how would you propose that the group handle decisions about major funding bids with some of our local characters present?

j.  See my reply to Ant.

k. Do you have any suggestions?  When I chaired the SRB board in West Green I talked to the people wanting to speak, then bounced my impressions off my vice-chair before going back to them.  The one time I remember saying that I didn't think it appropriate, they accepted my reasoning.

l. To be frank, this sort of stuff leaves me cold.  Sorry!

To repeat, for those like me with short memories, these are personal comments.

Thanks for getting back to me, Geoff. I do appreciate it.

a. I thought the GLSG is a committee of the Council which is why it's always had to have a councillor at its chair. Has that changed?

b. Worth checking both a and b before finalising TOR?

c. Sorry I mean the "Area Forum and Committee". My understanding is that they do actually function effectively in other parts of the borough. The forum is the residents' talking shop; the committee is the bit after the forum where the councillors meet to discuss area issues and plan how to tackle them. The public are allowed to watch and listen.

In most areas, a large part of the agenda outlined in the TOR would be handled by one or other of these bodies. They don't work well in Harringay, but I think there's a reason for that. The comment of one of the resident group reps at an area Forum last year summed it up for me. Referring to a decision that needed to be made, he said, "Oh well, we'll refer it up to the GLSG".

However people care to describe the GLSG, for many years now it has been seen as, and in many ways has acted as, the 'senior' neighbourhood governing mechanism. In some ways it's worked well, but it does leave a democratic deficit which really ought to be attended to. While it exists, there is no will to make the forum and committee work effectively.

d. Phew - one at least! :o)

e/f/g. Not off the top of my head, but you can bet your bottom dollar that if the group decide that they'd like to create a more substantial and democratically based TOR, I'd be quite happy to contribute some suggestions.

h. I know what you mean Geoff and I certainly understand the desire to lock the doors and get on with business. I would feel the same. The benefits of that approach, however, have to be weighed against the downsides of a body, which has essentially been acting as our neighbourhood council, shutting out the people. It's certainly not an easy one to answer, but imagine how we'd all feel if the Council or Parliament did that.

j. Top hole.

k. I'd be very happy to leave those decisions to you Geoff. However, I think it's fair to say that the somewhat closed nature of the group does leave some legacy of distrust and I wouldn't necessarily feel as reassured by other pairs of hands at the tiller. So, for me, this one gets filed along with e, f and g. Not too hard to come up with some sort of reference benchmark.

l. And many people don't give a damn, I know, but then many others do care deeply. The group's stubborn adherence to the made-up area name of Green Lanes suggests that there's a passion of some sort somewhere in the group and whatever that passion wants it certainly doesn't love the name our neighbourhood grew up with.

Hi Hugh,

Advice from Legal is that GLSG is not a council sub-committee, but a 'key consultative group'.

e/f/g  that's why I'm blathering on here.  I'd like to tease out some constructive ideas. OMG! Asking the community for their views!  Back to the bunker...

Wassat then, "a key consultative group" - sounds like there no longer has to be a councillor as chair then?

Very perceptive....

Where in the draft does it say that a councillor has to chair the group?

<blank space>

This is so that you can avoid Ali Gul Ozbek becoming chair isn't it?

Given the gaps in the current draft, I'm still assuming at this point that it isn't aiming to be exhaustive in its coverage. So filling in the gaps and given the situation in the past, I'd say my question is reasonable, doncha think?

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