CAMPAIGNERS CALL FOR IMPROVEMENTS NOT DEMOLITIONS
– At a joint meeting on 4th July with the Tottenham Hotspur Executive Director, Our Tottenham network community reps condemned the ‘negative’ affects of the new Stadium-led development in the surrounding area , and called for the wealthy Club to put £100m into positive improvements for local communities ‘like Arsenal had done for its new stadium’
– Our Tottenham reps to report back to this Saturday’s ‘Our Tottenham’ Street Assembly outside Wards Corner
– Our Tottenham reps to address full Council meeting on 15th July
On Thursday 4th July at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, representatives of the Football Club and the Our Tottenham network* met to discuss the regeneration of Tottenham, and in particular some of the controversial effects of the ‘Spurs-led regeneration’ of North Tottenham. Donna-Maria Cullen (The Club’s Executive Director), and Adam Davison (The Club’s Head of Community Relations) met with Tottenham residents’ delegation from the Our Tottenham network – Frank Murray (Tottenham Concerned Residents Committee), Lia-Clera Gomes (White Hart Lane shopkeepers group), Jacob Secker (Haringey Defend Council Housing), Mark MacKnight (Friends of Lord Morrison Hall), and Dave Morris (Haringey Federation of Residents Associations).
Tottenham Hotspur (THFC) had requested the meeting with the community campaigners ‘to discuss the campaign and whether there might be any areas of common ground. We certainly would welcome the opportunity to meet as we recognise the extremely important roles both organisations have to play in the renewal of Tottenham.’ [Adam Davison email to OT, 4.6.2013].
The campaigners put forward 7 written demands. These included:
– that Spurs contribute £100m as s106 planning gain ‘matching Arsenal’s funding into the local community during its own stadium development (in 2006)’. It was noted that THFC’s official contribution had originally been set at £16.436m, but THFC had managed to get this low figure reduced to a paltry £0.477m**. It was also pointed out that Tottenham last year had the 13th highest revenues of any football club in the world***.The £100m should be paid and earmarked to go towards improvements to local community facilities, homes and small businesses, and without any rent rises.
– that there be no demolitions or people made homeless. For example in the North Tottenham High Road West / Love Lane area an unnecessary ‘Stadium Approach’ road is planned to be constructed through a Council housing estate, with many nearby shops and some community facilities also facing demolition****. It was noted that the current so-called consultation about these Council proposals scandalously omits any option to reject the threat of demolitions, ensuring that many will be made homeless if the controversial plans are not halted.
– that no public money be used to subsidise any stadium-related development [The Council and GLA have earmarked £41m towards regeneration-related development around Tottenham, £8.5m of it related to the ‘Stadium Approach road’ area *********];
– that any new homes built on the Spurs development site itself should be at least 50% social housing. It was noted that 50% affordable housing was set as a planning obligation, but then scrapped after THFC lobbying.
– The Club were also invited to ‘side with the people of Tottenham’ and sign up to the Our Tottenham Community Charter [ https://ourtottenham.wordpress.com]
In response Donna-Maria Cullen said she supported many of the Community Charter points, but resisted the calls for the Club to contribute in the ways proposed by the campaigners. She agreed to respond to all the 7 demands in writing following the meeting. Meanwhile, she denied the Club was wealthy and challenged some of the figures quoted for Arsenal [but was handed a copy of the source material]; said that the Council was responsible for the controversial Love Lane area demolition proposals and many other developments in the area and that campaigners ‘should lobby the Council’ ******.
There followed an intense discussion on the above issues especially the extent of Spurs’ responsibility as a key partner and catalyst for some of the controversial regeneration ideas for Northumberland Park, and indeed for Tottenham as a whole. There was also debate about gentrification forcing local people out of the borough*******, and the pros and cons of developer-led and community-led regeneration.
Donna-Maria Cullen agreed to respond in writing to the 7 Our Tottenham network demands. The OT delegates agreed to report back to their planned Street Assembly on Saturday.********
” We are calling on the club to speak out against the threat of demolitions of nearby homes and shops, and to promise to fund the improvements people actually need. Spurs always say they want to go one better than Arsenal, so we expect them to put more money into the area than Arsenal did since they built their new stadium. ”
– Frank Murray, for the Our Tottenham network
* The Our Tottenham network was formed earlier this year in response to the Council’s ‘Plan for Tottenham’ and the growing threats of ‘large-scale development, increased rents and unaffordable housing, the loss of some independent local shops and closure of some community facilities’. The network is backed by a wide range of local community organisations [see list below]. At a conference in April these organisations adopted and launched a Community Charter calling on the people of Tottenham ‘to oppose all inappropriate planning and developments, and to campaign to defend facilities and proposals which improve neighbourhoods for our communities’. The network also calls on people to: ‘Defend community facilities and services; Stand up for decent & affordable housing for all; Support small businesses; Promote quality design and respect for heritage; Improve the street environment and green spaces; Support youth voices, services and facilities; Empower our communities; Develop our own local community plans’
** Spurs stadium s106 contributions official figures, contrasted with the Arsenal stadium: https://ourtottenham.wordpress.com/documents-info
*** Report by Deloitte, 2013: ‘Captains of Industry, Football Money League’ – p28
**** See Haringey Council’s current High Road West consultation document.
***** Report for Cabinet, 7 February 2012, Item 12. ‘Funding and Investment Package for the Tottenham Regeneration Program.’ p3. http://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/Published/C00000118/M00005356/$$ADocPackPublic.pdf
****** Our Tottenham lobby/delegation at the full Council meeting – Monday 15th July, 6.30pm @ Civic Centre, High Rd, N22
******* No Gentrification for Tottenham – published by Haringey Defend Council Housing, 2013: https://ourtottenham.wordpress.com/documents-info
******** IT’S OUR TOTTENHAM! STREET ASSEMBLY – Saturday 6th July, 12 noon @ Seven Sisters tube. Outside Wards Corner Market, Tottenham High Road, N15
The Our Tottenham network’s supporting organisations: Weir Hall Action Group / Bull Lane Playing Fields Campaign, Wards Corner Community Coalition, Lord Morrison Hall / Afro International, Friends of Lordship Rec, Tottenham Community Choir, Love Lane Action Group, Tower Gardens Residents Group, Clyde Area Residents Association, Selby Centre, Living Under One Sun, Chestnuts Community Centre, Peoples World Carnival Band, Tottenham Concerned Residents Committee, Tottenham Civic Society, Haringey Defend Council Housing, Defend Haringey Health Services, Haringey Solidarity Group, Find Your Voice, Haringey Federation of Residents Associations, Haringey Housing Action Group, North London Community House, Day-Mer, Haringey Green Party, Haringey Alliance for Public Services, The Banc