Search

COMMENT: Idea of ‘rich west and deprived east’ in Haringey is dangerous myth

07:00 09 March 2014

Sue Hessel

Sue Hessel

Nigel Sutton 17 Redington Rd London NW3 7QX Tel 020 7794 3008 e.mail n.sutton@btinternet.com

Sue Hessel, chairman of the Haslemere Road Residents’ Association, makes a case for dividing the borough in two.

‘Haringey is a borough which can so easily be divided down the middle,” wrote Flora Drury in last week’s Ham&High Broadway. If only!

For there is a line, but it is not in the middle. The west is a third, not a half of the borough and for more than 40 years this has been a fundamental structural problem for our democracy.

In 1965, the boroughs of Hornsey, Wood Green and Tottenham were glued together for all the wrong reasons – party political and financial, not community. In one fell swoop, the west was disenfranchised: whatever our electorate voted, the power would lie with the party chosen by Wood Green and Tottenham. The west may well pay the higher proportion of Haringey council taxes, but it has no political power over how it is spent!

Haringey has consequently lacked the democratic checks and balances to work well. Forty years of same party rule is good for no one. Politicians need to be kept on their toes – they need to know that if their administration does not work, they will be overthrown.

I was not at all surprised to see that even long-standing and dedicated councillors such as Dave Winskill have finally thrown in the towel, alongside two-thirds of his “worn out” fellow opposition councillors. Why would anyone want to be an opposition councillor – for ever?

Like many well-intentioned souls before me, I have sat on local Haringey partnership boards for years, attended more meetings and filled in more consultation questionnaires than I ever want to remember, but it is bad for the spirit to constantly feel ignored.

Haringey Council is a chronically dysfunctional organisation. What Ms Drury calls “the rich west and the deprived east”, this lumping together of our communities, illustrates a dangerous political myth that there are no people in need in the west.

It has been perpetuated over the years to justify closing many Crouch End treasures – the thriving cottage hospital, the nurses’ home, pensioner luncheon clubs, our Citizens Advice Bureau, Red Gables family centre. Haringey Council doesn’t even put flower baskets up here anymore.

Even our now derelict town hall and car park, right in the heart of Crouch End, was closed – 26 years ago and counting. If Haringey had supported our community’s plans back in 2005, it would be buzzing now. The success that we see in Crouch End, its shops and cafés and now its planned cinemas, is down to the enterprise of its people, often with young families, who actually are not rich at all.

Perhaps it’s time to draw a new line. Let Tottenham run Tottenham and let the west run the west. It would be better for everyone.

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 15:16
Police arrived at the Hornsey Tavern. Photo: Crouch End TV

A man who was stabbed in the stomach area rushed into a nearby pub in Hornsey where his ‘life was saved’ by a nurse who happened to be there.

Yesterday, 10:41
Police were called to reports of a stabbing

Police responded after a man was stabbed on High Street in Hornsey yesterday evening at 9pm

Tue, 22:32
Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward will remain at the helm after seeing off a challenge from Cllr Sally Gimson

There will be no change at the top of Camden Council after leader Sarah Hayward saw off a challenge from within and defeated Labour rival Sally Gimson.

Tue, 19:08
Tom Franklin with supporters, including Green Party mayoral candidate Sian Berry, outside court

Eight campaigners cleared of any wrongdoing for their part in an arms fair protest may be dragged back to court after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lodged an appeal.

Tue, 18:06
Advertising banners on lampposts in Haverstock Hill

Residents in Belsize Park say large estate agents banners which have gone up on lampposts throughout the area are an “ugly” eyesore and should not have been allowed by Camden.

Tue, 17:38
Thames Water have discovered a well under Muswell Hill Broadway

Haringey Council has invited English Heritage to investigate the well’s history

Tue, 17:23
Tulip Siddiq MP and Chris Percy with their newborn daughter Azalea Joy Percy

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, Tulip Siddiq, has said that mums being prevented from breastfeeding in public is “depressing” after a group of women were banned from breastfeeding at the Swiss Cottage Marriott.

Tue, 17:20
Air pollution public meeting at St Stephens
Simon Birkett, founder of Clean Air London

A citizen science project has confirmed what Camden residents and environmentalists have long suspected - that we are breathing in dangerous levels of toxins right across the borough, even at the leafy heart of Hampstead Heath.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe