23 April 2018
The recent wave of crime in Haringey and elsewhere has drawn attention to the growing challenges facing young people. Youth centres can make up a part to the solution to these challenges, but they have to be created with the participation of the community and in the community’s interest. Instead we are seeing public land and money committed with no public consultation.
Haringey Council has decided to build a 6 million pound youth center at the Woodside High School location. Haringey Council has committed to provide £3M, while the charity OnSide would fund £3.5. Furthermore, the Council has committed further £250K per annum. While OnSide would match this as well with £950K per annum, their commitment is for three years only. (1)
What happens after those three years and £3.7M of public money? Where has the Council found 3 million pounds in a tight budgetary situation? When have the young people of Haringey been asked about this plan, or for any other plan that would address their interests and aspirations? Why was Woodside High School chosen as a site? Why is the sports centre already there deemed unsuitable?
Why such a rush to sign it? As mentioned in the deputation led by Ceri Williams (2), OnSide had proposed a partnership several years ago: last year Chestnuts Park was allocated without discussing or even informing interested parties such as Chestnuts Community Centre, Friends of Chestnuts, or residents, or even checking charters (3); this year again missing are many partners and interested parties.
Haringey Green Party questions the transparency of the process undertaken in making this decision and the lack of supporting documentation for this project. The minutes of the proposal show there are still many unknown and unchecked points in this proposal. Haringey Council has a history of making quick and poorly informed decisions, especially when it comes to providing public property to private capital. The people of Haringey deserve a more transparent and responsible leadership.
Haringey Green Party candidate for Woodside ward
5th April 2018
(1) Acceptance of the proposal
(2) Points made in the Deputation
(3) Growing corporate control of parks and squares