Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Hi all;

About 10 people came out to help clean up the New River last Sunday. It took just over an hour.  It looks really good. I’ve contacted Thames Water about trimming back the tree about 1/2 way down the path. Hopefully that will be cut back soon. 

I hope we can do the next bit from Turnpike Lane, the bridge, to the tunnel in a couple of weeks. I’ll keep you posted. 

Thanks for your help all.



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Well done James and crew. Sorry not to have joined you this time. I just clean forgot!

Did you happen to talk to them about the accessibility of the path? It's a shame disabled members who use mobility devices are designed out of this space by gates that stop them from getting themselves and their equipment through. Disabled people are valuable community members and deserve to participate in these cleanups and activities. We should all feel like we can give back. 

Agreed. Are there examples of gates that are disabled-friendly but keep out cyclists?

Here is a great article about accessibility requirements around kissing gates. https://disabledramblers.co.uk/man-made-barriers-and-least-restrict...

They mention Radar Keys (keys many disabled people carry for disabled toilets) as a solution for these kinds of gates. That way disabled people could get through independently and a barrier is still maintained against cyclists. 

It would only take a few grand to sort it out - but unlikely to happen unless it's a privately fundraised or legal action is taken against Thames Water for breaching the Equality Act by creating a barrier which discriminates against disabled people. They have a duty to pre-empt access and to make reasonable adjustments ahead of time. Anything less is a breach. 

Hi Park;

I'm a little perplexed.  Who is 'them?'  Why do you think it's my responsibility to talk to 'them' about accessibililty?  I'm a resident who's just trying my best to keep the New River clean.  It seems your passionate about accessibility which is great, but you need to deal this not me.  I really don't mean to be harsh about this but it's not my responsibility.  I told you in the previous post who to contact, contact details and who you could turn to for support.  That's where my input ends.  I wish I could help you.  I do enough in the community and I just can't take this on.  I'm tired of hearing people complain only to do nothing about it or pass the buck to someone else.  I wish you the best of luck.  I'm going to be posting another date for a clean up on another section of the New River.  Please don't post about accessibilty.  There's nothing we can do.  You need to take it on.  If it continues I may withdraw my good heartedness and we'll see what sort of shape it's in in a few months time.  Regards, James Cowling 

When I said 'they' initially I referred to the writers of the article and was replying to Hugh's question. Thank you for asking Hugh by the way, I value the chance to take this discussion forward and find solutions. The second 'they' was concerning Thames Water having a legal duty to make spaces accessible. 

James, it's quite hostile to ask me not to post - poor or non-existent disability access is an important and ongoing issue in our community and it's all of our responsibility to address it.

The new river is a segregated space which we should all be able to enjoy on an equal basis. As someone who seems to be in contact with Thames Water and has built a relationship with them, I was rather hoping you might show some community spirit and advocate for disabled community members who also want to clean up the space and enjoy it. I've obviously been hugely naive in my assumption there. 

I will continue to advocate for disability issues in public. It might even happen occasionally in posts you create. We all have causes to champion, and I will continue to raise access issues, even if it makes the non-disabled feel uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable for me to be told not to talk and be denied space others can access. We could all live a bit more comfortably if we could rid society of barriers, and disabled people could access the city on an equal basis to their non-disabled peers. Until then I will continue to champion the Disability rights and Equality law. 

Edit: Only just spotted your threat to stop the litter pics because Im asking about access? Now that would be utterly petty


You're barking up the wrong tree.  I gave you the Thames Water contact.  I also suggested you contact Disability Action Haringey.  You could also approach the three ward councillors.  Other than this advice, there's nothing more I can do.  I have not built up a relationship with Thames Water.  I have to go through Customer Support just like you'd have to.  I'm just interested in it being clean.  Accessability seems to be a passion of yours.  Given that, you need to put in the time and effort to try to make changes.  This is something you need to pursue, not me.  And please don't talk to me about community spirit.  I do enough in the community.  Like doing this clean up for instance.   I am also the secretary of the Haringey over 50s Forum.  I am on the committee for Loos for Haringey.  I go to Ladder Safety meetings, I go to them in South Tottenham too.  I'm report flytipping, overgrown trees, I've cut down thousands of cable times.  I also have a full time job.  I spent the day trying to find out why the toilets in Morrisons have been closed for weeks on end.  So, please, don't talk to me about community spirit.  I totally understand your concern and your frustration, but a post on clean up is not about place to talk about accessability.  If you want to start a separate post about that, please do.  Regards, James 

I think this was an exemplary initiative and it is great to see that you inspired a such good bunch of volunteers.  Thanks very much James for both organising and doing this clean-up and I am sorry I was not available that morning to join in.  There is so much more that could be said in praise of this kind of communal action but, from me at least, that's enough.  I am certainly among your many admirers.

Park, I am shocked by the lack of solidarity shown to you. The response has been a very defensive ‘solve this yourself’ yet in previous postings by Cowper he has, on other issues, offered help. I really do not want to knock you James but do you not recognise that the community you help and support so passionately is an exclusive society and, as such, excludes a segment of our society? And it seems that most of the non-disabled community feel very comfortable excluding you, Park. Shocking. And not just from physically accessible areas but from certain posts on here too. Why? What is so threatening about supporting a physically disabled person?

While I understand your ‘I’m just tidying it up’ approach, James, I hope that you can understand that now the issue of access has arisen and you know about it, by continuing to tidy up that stretch of inaccessible path, you are a) helping Thames Water and therefore b) colluding in their policy of exclusion. Your sparse energy should be directed towards righting this, not litter picking on behalf of a segregated community. Those New River paths should be left to moulder, to fill with litter and become clogged and inaccessible to those not dependent on wheels. That should be the community protest in solidarity with you Park and your exclusion.

Good luck in your quest Saddic. 



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