Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I'm becoming increasingly disillusioned with the readiness of our council to include residents in local or borough wide policy priorities and plans.

Two local issues have led me here. The first is the Council's handling of the Green Lanes Corridor traffic spending and their response to a petition from the residents of Harringay about draft plans. I hope to deal with that soon on a separate post.

The second issue is the long drawn out issue of the banner on Harringay Bridge. There's been much talk - mainly dissatisfaction - on the site about Harringay Bridge. So when an email arrived last year from the Council announcing that the banners would be changed and seeking resident opinion, it seemed like residents might finally get a say.


Here's what the email said

The Green Lanes Strategy Group (GLSG) will soon be considering updating the current banners on the Green Lanes Bridge in Harringay. It was previously agreed by the GLSG that advertising spaces would be made available using the two small banners on both sides of the bridge to generate an annual income in order to be able to provide regular maintenance of the surrounding area of the bridge and to ensure that the banners are updated and kept free of graffiti. It was also agreed that local businesses would be given priority to use the advertising spaces available; the only take up at that time was from McDonalds. The contract with McDonalds is now coming to an end in September 2010. There are now sufficient funds generated through the advertisement to upgrade the banners and replace the small ones to their original display identifying the two wards. However in doing this, GLSG is mindful that no further advertising space will be made available and therefore, no further income will be generated to continue the future up keep of the surrounding area of the bridge and that of the banners.

In view of this, and before any final decisions are taken by the Green Lanes Strategy Group, community representatives on the GLSG are asked to consult with their respective community groups for their views regarding:

1. the possibility of continuing to use the bridge banners for advertising / sponsorship purposes from local businesses.


2. to revert back to the original banners without any advertisements

The GLSG is due to meet in September and I look forward to receiving your comments by no later than the week beginning 30 August.
The banner design was put out to consultation. Please can you provide me with a full copy of the consultation results.


Believing the Council would want local opinion taken into account, Harringay Online ran a survey which looked at a broader set of issues on what locals would want on a new banner.  218 people responded. The survey results in full are attached to this post. Perhaps the most notable finding on the survey was on the matter of what will be written on the banner:


The only replies I received on this submission were:

1. From Nilgun Canver - Thanks Hugh. This is helpful. We’ve got time until Sept. Let’s see what the others will say. Pls. forward to Dasos for me.

2. From Dasos - Thanks again for sending me the outcome of your on line survey – what would also be helpful if you can send me the figures on the number of people in each category that contributed

3. On a side copy from the Gardens Residents Association - So far we have had 9 replies to the GRA consultation concerning the bridge do we want advertising or not on the banners. I will be sending the results to Dasos soon- so if you have not yet voted - please do let me know asap.

I am also attaching below the document I sent in reply to Dasos. message (in 2 above). In addition to providing the breakdown requested, it also summarises other responses received to the 'consultation'.

You can imagine therefore how surprised I was when my next communication on this was the following email from the Council last Monday:

The Chair (of The Green Lanes Strategy Group) has also asked me to attach for your information,  the final design for the Green Lanes Centre Bridge Banners (below). The colours of the banners are in the "Haringey Green" although this is not clear from the attached. The banners will be installed as soon as possible.

So on the same day I wrote again to the council, pretty much saying what I've said above; this time to Claire Kober (Leader) cc Nilgun Canver (Chair of Green Lanes Strategy Group & 'cabinet' member responsible). I concluded by saying:


Whilst I can understand that the Council might not want to base decisions on the results of a survey run by Harringay Online, I would expect at least that our survey would act as a flag to local opinion and the Council would run its own consultation. 90% of our survey respondents chose an option other than the one that has apparently been chosen now by the Council. However, as it stands now, no local opinion was sought by the Council on the issue of what legend will be used, despite the very clear signal our work showed about the importance of the issue.

We're trying very hard to work with the Council and support giving local people more say on their neighbourhood. The Council's response to this representation of local opinion leave me quite frankly gobsmacked. Surely this isn't worthy of Haringey.

(Yes. okay by I was miffed).


Two days later the following email arrived:

Dear All

Further to the email below I would like to clarify the last paragraph.

The final design of the 'Green Lanes Centre Bridge Banners' will be discussed and agreed at this meeting (under item 4 on the agenda).

We apologise for any confusion this may have caused.

Kind regards,

Judith Comrie


By way of an interesting footnote. someone forwarded me the following message left by the former Chair of the Gardens' Residents Group on their Yahoo Group (You have to be a Gardens' residents to join):

I know this has already been discussed, but I think the presence of a banner
on the bridge really degrades the area.


So this issue is clearly one that concerns all parts of Harringay, including informally represented as well as formally represented residents.

I guess I must take the Council at their word. Whilst the fact that they've only prepared and circulated one option leaves me more than a little sceptical, and whilst the design suggests that this is a sign for the traders and Green Lanes rather than the whole of Harringay, it may be that after all the Council is willing to find a way of at least making a decent attempt at reflecting residents' views in what is after all the gateway to our neighbourhood.

The meeting that will decide is on Thursday 17 March 2011 at 7.30 pm at Woodlands Park Nursery, Woodlands Road, London N15.

Tags for Forum Posts: consultation, glsg, harringay banner, harringay bridge

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Replies to This Discussion

The fact that I am not surprised should worry me. Why do the Harringay Traders Association get such a say in things?
I'm not sure, but I guess they'll be chipping in some money; money I mean on top of the rates both they and we pay.
I am happy to chip in some money... How much could the traders be bribingoffering?

Providing just one option is hardly seeking residents' opinion.  You are entitled to feel infuriated Hugh, go nuts.


Out of interest, are they going to put another half way up saying welcome to N8? :)

'Greens Lanes N4' ... what's that? How about Kebab8 Mile High.

No banner ! No banner ! No banner ! No banner ! AT ALL

Why do we need a banner ?

We need a banner because it is harder to graffiti a banner and apparently the bridge is easy to access and graffiti.
The St Ann's Bridge has no graffiti and is equally easy to access. How is it more difficult to graffiti a banner ?
I agree John. No banner would be best. However it was made clear that that wasn't a choice so the survey focussed on what could be realistically influenced. BTW, I voted 'Harringay'.

Agree. This is a bit of non-issue imo compared to the ones Liz has highlighted on other discussions.


Annette, what is your minority language?

Okay, I was waiting for someone to add that post Angela. I'm sure it's a valid viewpoint. Three thoughts from me though.

Firstly the council blatantly ignoring residents' views should never be seen as  a non-issue.

Secondly, since we're not in an either or situation - either attending to the big issues or trying to influence this smaller one - there's no reason we should let the smaller things slide.

Thirdly, it's important that we focus some energy where we can have impact. Talking about issues is important, but acting on what we have a chance of impacting is critical.

Hugh, I agree with what you say.


But if LBH can't/won't even take into account residents views on a seemingly minor issue,what hope for a potentially more damaging one?


As far as I can see protesting against cuts hasn't had any actual impact so far - which doesn't mean I'm about to roll over and die.  I'm all for keeping the pressure on!


Which reminds me, I still have't had a full reponse to a question I sent to Cllr Reith on behalf of Every Disabled Child Matters a month ago



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