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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Last night, in his role as Member for Climate Action, Environment and Transport, and Deputy Leader of the Council, Mike Hakata addressed a group of Harringay Ladder residents through the agency of the Harringay Ladder Healthy Streets group (HLHS). 

After giving a very positive review of progress to date elsewhere in the borough, Mike turned to the 'planned' projects for Green Lanes and the Ladder. He seemed quite clear on the Green Lanes part of the project and explained that this would be the fist part to happen. He said that he'd been able to get much better trader support after explaining that part of the changes would see the pavements widened to support more of a cafe culture. 

Turning to the Ladder, things seemed much less positive. The modelling confirmed what the modelling which had been done during the bridge closure did (and subsequent experience showed) - closing Wightman Road would have "much wider impacts". The finding has sent Mike and his sub-contracted consultants back to the drawing board, apparently to find a new solution.

This gave me and others cause for concern last night. Previously, the talk had always been about considering Green Lanes, the Ladder and Turnpike Lane as one piece. Now that the fast-crystallising plan for Green Lanes will be implemented first, with nothing concrete on the board for the Ladder, the first concern is what will be the impact of those changes happening first on the Ladder. I asked Mike about this in the meeting and others followed up in the same vein. Mike gave answers designed to reassure, ultimately saying, "it is happening".

I also asked two questions about timing - was there any overall sense of timing and what would the time-gap be between the completion of Green Lanes and the start of work on the Ladder. Mike's response was:

" I've got to be honest. I am nervous about coming out and saying, 'Right. This is going to happen in this time frame'......what I prefer to say is that it is under way.......What I want to see is for it to happen as quickly as possible and the phasing to happen as quickly as possible"

I have to say that, given my experience over the past twenty years, I ended the evening feeling much more uncertain about whether anything much will ever happen to manage traffic on the Ladder. I'd begun the meeting with a little scepticism, but a general sense that Mike was going to see this through. He's believable and trustworthy, BUT, but (and ain't there always a 'but'); he began his piece with mention of how reality had hit home since he'd first started in his current role and how things were much tougher than he’d imagined.

Now I'm in a position of wondering whether that heavy dose of reality is going to kill off the Ladder project, or turn it into something toothless, something quite other than what we'd been led to believe was possible.

If "wider impacts" don't do for it, my fear is that the 'Ladder project' is now being somewhat gently toed into the long grass for the time being and while Mike may be, all things being equal, committed to it, timescales have already stretched. Will he be in post long enough to see it through even if he wants to be? Back in 2015, I had faith in one of Mike's predecessors, Stuart McNamara (he of the bridge closure days), but the post and the local party seemed to do for him and with him went HIS good intentions. Even if Mike would rather stay and see things through, he has already been the target of one wing of the local party who  tried to unseat him.

So, I'm cautious about expecting progress on this, but I'm a natural optimist. I'm not a betting man, so I won't give odds, but I do expect to see a lot of wood rubbed shiny from the touching in my trail.

The HLHS group have posted a video of last night's meeting on YouTube (about one hour). 

Tags for Forum Posts: mike hakata, traffic

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Maz,

Getting answers is incredibly difficult, and in fact on area that I'm awaiting an appropriate answer is on the legality of the School Streets scheme for residents per data protection law, including GDPR.

I cannot understand the exception they're relying on which permits them to collect and process the car registrations of residents on affected streets when implementing their camera fine system.

I have asked the question numerous times, but all I got back was this URL with general information about use of CCTV. "https://www.haringey.gov.uk/contact/information-requests/data-prote..."

Haringey have not explained the lawful basis for collecting and processing residents' car registrations, nor that a camera system is required, as restricting traffic during school hours could reasonably be achieved in a less intrusive way - such as employing lollipop traffic control staff.

It's ripe for a complaint to the ICO.

I've just looked and the official deadline for submitting questions at the council meeting has passed, but if they do happen to open up for questions, perhaps you can ask the Head of Legal Services:

"What is the lawful basis for collecting and processing residents car registrations for the purposes of complying with data protrection law?"



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