Out of interest, has anyone got the ball rolling to create a Harringay Neighbourhood Forum in line with the Localism Act? Or perhaps an existing organisation is putting itself forward for the role (as the Highgate Society are doing)? There are a couple of such initiatives west of the tracks, and I'm curious who else is doing so locally.
But you make my point for me Arkady, with the greatest respect who are you? And what gives you the right to represent the Stroud Green Area at meetings? I know who my councillors are, and how they are elected, and how they may be removed from office.
What I am seeing here is people appearing to participate in an undemocratic grab for power including what looks like empire building.
On the same basis I can declare myself a concerned citizen and say I am setting up my own neighbourhood forum - but it seems I am too late because without any consultation with me, or my neighbours we are all in the Archway Forum except for those 100 metres away from my home who are in the Crouch Hill Forum, and those 100 metres away in another direction who, strangely, are in the Highgate Forum. And just how is THAT going to work?
So when this unelected and unaccountable group of people who have set themselves up to decide. amongst other things, what developments should be permitted submit these plans as required by law to referendum at public expense, what are going to be the rules on campaigning? Who will be funding the campaigns? What moneyed vested interests will see this as a golden opportunity? (Will the members of the forum have to make a public declaration of their interests? What about prejudicial interest?)
if the referendum passes then we are locked in but at least a majority will have agreed it.
What happens if the referendum fails?
I am not making rhetorical points here, these seem to me questions that need answers....
David, there's no problem. It can all be done at near zero cost through websites.
In the campaigning, ordinary people with boring, old-fashioned names like Alan and David can now use witty, and mysterious-sounding pseudonyms and even initials on free websites. Nobody will know who we are or what life experience or knowledge we have.
In fact we don't have to be actual people. Haven't you noticed how many website comments fail the Turing test?
Anyway, wasn't going off to visit the Mighty Oz a lot more fun before Toto pulled away the curtain?
P.S. on the basis of exhaustive research on Google StreetView and loc.al.ize.com I have declared Haringey a neighbourhood forum and appointed myself as its chair and secretary.
(Rufus T. Firefly)
I understand your point David. One or two people in the Highgate made the same argument, i.e. ‘does this not undermine representative democracy?’. Well yes and no. Yes, because it transfers some power from elected representatives to local civic groups. No because those groups must have councillors on them, must be approved by the boroughs, and must be passed by a referendum. It’s more a move towards direct democracy than an erosion of democracy per se. That’s the Act, anyway. I guess that your MP is Jeremy Corbyn – he should know about it, not just as an MP but because he was at a Finsbury Park regeneration event on Saturday where the Act came up. I don’t know whether he opposed the Act or not.
If you want to get involved in a NF for your area then do so! If you feel that your street should not fall into x or y NF then contribute to the consultation process – any proposed borders will have to be well-evidenced and approved by the borough. See this as an opportunity, rather than a theat. Regardless, the Plans can be very detailed – street by street if necessary, so it may not be very important exactly which NF your house falls into. But again, electorates require boundaries, so one will have to be drawn somewhere! Remember also that the Plans cannot contradict either borough policy or the London Plan. It is a means of refining those plans for local areas and empowering communities.
No details have been released about the referendums. April, hopefully. But one suggestion was that the ERS would run them electronically.
The NF will have to have a constitution approved by the borough, and must demonstrably represent a wide section of society (i.e. not just the conservation area folks, or the prominent local business, etc etc).
If the referendum fails then it won’t be implemented, and a new plan would presumably be submitted if and when a more popular plan was drawn up.
Oh, maybe I should have taken ‘who are you’ as non-rhetorical.
I’m Ben Myring, a member of Stroud Green CAAC and StroudGreen.org. Planning policy is obviously a perennial topic for both. I’m investigating the implications of the Localism Act on behalf of the CAAC, and keep SG.org informed, just as I am doing here.
Thanks, Ben Myring. A far more distinguished and roll-off-the-tongue name. Why the silly disguise?
Do you really believe that under the mayor/leader/cabinet nonsense that backbench councillors have much effective power to be transfered? Or that power is a zero-sum game?
Endless discussions about boundaries and who's going to be on which committee are mainly for keeping the hamsters busy on their wheels.
The real deals are done behind the curtain.
That's the first time anyone associated me with the word 'distinguished', thank you.
You're surely right there - there's no point in anyone trying to improve anything really, we might as well bend over and be irrigated. If you don't mind, though, I'm going to stick at it. Call me a fool if you will.
Irrigation indeed. My point Ben, is that if you think in terms of a year, plant and irrigate a seed. If in terms of ten years, plant trees. But first check that you have a field not a concrete carpark owned by a developer with planning permission.
This is me not volunteering to set up a Hornsey Road forum but seeing if someone else might be interested:
Thanks for all the info - on the basis of the map I've identified what might be a neighbouring neighbourhood forum
As regards the apparently undemocratic nature of the self-appointing membership of a Neighbourhood Forum, let's postulate that vegetarians, as a group, tend to be really nice individuals, concerned about the environment, society in general and prepared to devote time and energy to working for the improvement of their neighbourhood ( and I'm sure they are all of these things ) would an unelected neighbourhood forum possibly contain a higher proportion of vegetarians than the general population ?
If then the Forum has an input into the planning process how easy would it be to open a butcher's ?
Actually, the Act does allow for NPs to influence usage in order to arrest the decline of High Streets…
Vegetarians don't have time for that kind of thing. But butchers do...