'Our strength is in our diversity'
Cllr Peray Ahmet, Haringey Council
- Credit: Frankie Lister-Fell
I want to thank Haringey residents for putting their trust in us at the local elections. I am thrilled that we have such a strong mandate to make the big changes we promised in our manifesto.
One message from the election was clear – Haringey wants more women in power. The majority of our newest councillors are women, and the council is now made up of almost 65% women. Many of us have been working hard for decades to help more women into politics and positions of power, and it is paying off.
This is reflected in the cabinet, which for the very first time is made up of 80% women. Your new cabinet is talented, hardworking, and passionate – and most importantly, committed to getting the best for Haringey.
It’s great that so many Haringey residents share our vision for the future of our borough – empowering local people, tackling the cost of living and climate emergency, and celebrating our diverse culture.
We will put local people at the heart of everything we do. The Haringey Deal is our promise to work more closely with local people, listen to your needs, and put you at the forefront of decision making.
We know that climate justice is social justice. Around 60% of residents don’t have access to a car, yet everyone suffers from air pollution – and pollution is higher in lower-income areas where most people don’t drive. That’s why we’re designing changes to streets with local people – to reduce rat-running, reduce traffic pollution and create cleaner, safer, friendlier streets – streets for people. We will also install over 400 electric vehicle charging points by 2026 and plant 10,000 trees over the next decade.
Our strength is our diversity and we will celebrate our communities, shouting loudly about everything Haringey has to offer and putting us on the map as a cultural destination. We will promote our cultural assets as regional and national destinations and support local food and arts festivals.
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We have challenges ahead. National politics is increasingly divisive and unstable, and people are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, Brexit, and the underfunding of our public services.
But the pandemic has reminded us to focus on the things we can change, to look for answers closer to home, to engage with our communities. We can make real and lasting change on our doorsteps.
There is real power in pulling together as a community, and I know we are ready to face the challenges ahead and build a greener, fairer Haringey.
Cllr Peray Ahmet (Lab, Noel Park) is leader of Haringey Council.