by Tim Lamden
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Improvements to Highgate’s high street and a facelift for its Tube station are just some of the ideas discussed by residents at the village’s new neighbourhood forum.
About 80 residents crammed into the Murugan Temple, in Archway Road, on Monday night (January 28) for the group’s second meeting.
It was truly a community affair with a presentation beamed onto a bed sheet used as a makeshift projector screen.
The meeting was the last in a series of community planning workshops organised for the forum by the Prince’s Foundation.
Residents were asked to vote with “yes” or “no” stickers on various proposals for the development of Highgate.
The ideas had been collected over weeks of consultation with residents and gathered together in an exhibition.
Many of the ideas will form part of the Neighbourhood Plan being put together by the forum, with support from the Prince’s Foundation.
But the forum does not receive funding from the foundation. Instead, it will rely on bids for local authority funds to implement the plan and look to benefit from partnerships with organisations such as Transport for London.
The forum’s chairwoman, Maggy Meade-King, said: “This is a very exciting beginning to our quest to make Highgate a better place to live and work. We hope as many people as possible will join us in trying to make our ideas a reality in our neighbourhood.
“It’s not all about the built environment. I think neighbourhood forums are also about building a sense of community across the artificial boundaries of busy roads, council jurisdiction, age, points of view or relative prosperity.
“Our forum has caught the imagination of so many people across Highgate. Fifty residents’ associations, amenity societies, business groups and arts organisations have joined us, as have hundreds of individuals.
“Our challenge now is to harness all that energy to make the improvements we want to see.”