'Help shape Haringey's future: Here are my thoughts, if you have a minute...'

Figures meant to be kept secret reveal the developer of Hornsey Town Hall stands to make �22.6m prof

David Winskill describes Hornsey Town Hall as 'a scandal of a disposal' - Credit: Archant

I rather let myself down a couple of weeks ago.

A couple of delightful lads stopped me on the Broadway and politely asked me if I would take part in a survey to “help shape the future of Haringey”.

I didn’t quite give them both barrels, but, as a veteran of countless Haringey “listening exercises”, I see them as a cynical harvesting of keywords that might make it into aspirational documents and press releases but rarely into action.

Haringey’s problems, I told them, started 56 years ago: born (as my pal Dave Marshall from Tottenham Careers Office explained) as an outer London borough but with inner London problems – shackled with outer London funding. I once asked how much Haringey’s primary care trust received to spend per head on health services: £1,100 – compared to Camden’s £1,600!

In terms of east-west permeability, the Berlin Wall had more crossings than the Great Northern Railway divide. Extremes of wealth in the west and baked-in inequalities in the east.

David Winskill is concerned about the impact the NHS accelerated discharge system will have on the vulnerable.

David Winskill was approached by two lads who asked him to take part in a survey - Credit: Archant

Getting into my stride, I described the stone-deaf Liveable Crouch End consultation that cost thousands; the confiscated community infrastructure money worth hundreds of thousands to several wards in the west.

I went on about the bone-headed fines for miscreants who put their rubbish out early or trespass into incomprehensibly sign-posted restricted areas. Kafka would consider Haringey’s appeal system appeal system too far-fetched.

Most Read

Oddly, as I stated describing the countless planning consultations that seem to ignore local people’s constructive responses, they said they had to go and would ring me.

Our conversation happened opposite Hornsey Town Hall – a scandal of a disposal that no Labour administration should have touched with a barge pole.

Like their peers, majority group councillors are generally thoughtful, kind and want the best for their wards and Haringey. But common sense goes out of the window when trying to make big decisions and instead take their places in a circular firing squad.

I honestly want Haringey to change but there must be an acknowledgement of mistakes, action to fix clunky and soulless comms and IT systems, appointing a minority councillor to chair of scrutiny, a pledge to treat Haringey as one borough and a commitment to properly engage with residents.

Oddly, neither of the two lads has called me back...

To get involved – haringey.gov.uk/news/together-we-can-residents-help-shape-future-haringey

David Winskill is a Crouch End campaigner and writer