OUR TOTTENHAM – A COMMUNITY CHARTER
Planning & Regeneration by and for the Community
As agreed and launched by the Our Tottenham conference on Saturday April 6th 2013
OUR voices, OUR communities, OUR neighbourhoods, OUR TOTTENHAM!
Tottenham is a great place with a rich social and architectural history, made up of vibrant, diverse and talented communities. We want to ensure this continues!
The Council are promoting their ‘Plan for Tottenham’, backed by property developers, big business, and the Mayor of London. The Council is gifting public money and assets to the profit-driven developers, and have so far largely refused to listen to the views of residents. The plans include a range of measures, some of which will seriously impact on our lives and our communities. The plans promote corporate-led and large scale urban development; increased rents and unaffordable housing; and the loss of some independent local shops, homes, community facilities and small businesses.
Coupled with the Government’s planning policies and attacks on vital public services and people’s welfare, the major effect of all this will be to over-develop Tottenham, to threaten its positive community-scale character in many areas, to promote profiteering at the community’s expense, and the forced displacement of thousands of local people who can no longer find or keep any affordable place to live.
This is unacceptable. It doesn’t have to be like this. Together we are very powerful.
We pay tribute to all those thousands of Tottenham residents and community groups who have campaigned and worked so hard to improve their local areas and facilities.
We pledge to fight for OUR common interests, OUR neighbourhoods, OUR community facilities and for the needs of OUR communities throughout Tottenham.
We call on the people of Tottenham to oppose all inappropriate planning and developments and campaign to defend facilities and proposals which are led by local residents, for our benefit, and which improve neighbourhoods for our communities – not just for the benefit of big business.
We will show support for and help initiate new resident and community-led development plans that support the interests of local people. We support the Our Tottenham community planning and regeneration action network set up to spread co-operation and solidarity throughout Tottenham’s neighbourhoods.
Together with local people we will take action to….
Defend community facilities * Stand up for decent and affordable housing for all
Support small businesses * Promote quality design and respect for heritage
Improve the street environment * Support youth voices, services and facilities
Empower our communities * Develop local community plans
DEFEND COMMUNITY FACILITIES:
Protect and expand the ‘social infrastructure’ our communities value and rely on, including community centres, local pubs, corner shops, playgrounds & parks, GP surgeries, post offices etc
– Encourage and produce case studies from users to protect existing facilities, conduct needs assessments for what local people need, and compile a dossier to present to the relevant authorities
– Hold the Council accountable for funding choices and patterns around the borough and in comparison with other boroughs so that Tottenham gets the best facilities to serve our communities
– Support threatened community-run community centres in any lobbies or protests they organise
– Encourage community groups and centres to share resources and experiences
STAND UP FOR DECENT AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR ALL:
Ensure that new developments provide the secure, affordable housing that people need, and that ‘gentrification’ doesn’t force thousands of local residents out of our borough
– Support residents associations and residents action groups that raise, or can raise these issues
– Challenge Council policies on housing in new developments. Set our own agenda for, and definition of, genuine ‘affordability’ and ‘security of tenure’, in contrast to Council definitions.
– Raise public awareness regarding the need for genuinely affordable housing, long-term security of tenure and people’s housing needs generally, and the need to speak up for this.
– Support the residents of Love Lane Estate, and any other residents, threatened with possible relocation and demolition
SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES:
Support our local, independent, family shops and enterprises
– Build stronger alliances between residents and traders, and between residents’ groups and the Tottenham Traders Partnership
– Lobby and champion for the needs of small businesses
– Do an audit of local small businesses, their goods and services, and their issues
PROMOTE QUALITY DESIGN AND RESPECT FOR HERITAGE:
Protect Tottenham’s listed buildings, conservation areas and general positive architectural characteristics, and ensure any new development is of good quality
– Safeguard and value heritage buildings, including those outside Conservation Areas
– Campaign for at least 50% of all new homes to be genuinely affordable social rented housing
– Ensure that heritage-led regeneration benefits Tottenham residents in the short, medium and long term, and doesn’t lead to the kind of gentrification which forces people out of Tottenham
– Identify and improve quality of design, amenity and sustainability standards for all new development
IMPROVE THE STREET ENVIRONMENT:
Ensure safer, friendlier, traffic-calmed, ‘living’ streets with less clutter and more greenery
– Council to ensure that Tottenham’s air quality is as good as in the West of Haringey
– Maximise the spread of 20mph zones, car-sharing schemes, on-street cycle lock-ups, and pedestrian and cycling connections/networks across the borough
– Encourage Residents Associations (RAs) & the Haringey Federation of RAs to set up a street scene sub-group/network
– Publicise and promote options for street improvements, including Streets In Bloom, DIY Streets, Home Zones, Play Streets, improvements to front gardens, more benches and community-run notice-boards
– Campaign for High Streets to be re-designed more for people and less for cars
SUPPORT YOUTH VOICES, SERVICES AND FACILITIES:
Encourage and support our local youth speaking out for the services, centres and facilities they need
– Support young people to take make the key decisions about their needs, to demand the best possible opportunities and funding due to them (equal to the best practice elsewhere), and to take charge of their future
– Support organisations who work with young people – in a way they are happy with – to deliver future services, and publicise successful youth activities and projects as an example to emulate
– Support ex-youth workers to get together to form their own network and to conduct local outreach
– Re-establish and open additional dedicated venues for young people to meet and socialise, that are adequately supported and resourced.
– Ensure young people can access the information and skills they need
EMPOWER OUR COMMUNITIES:
Ensure real respect, engagement and empowerment for our communities and community groups so that they are driving the decision-making
– Defend and create new spaces and hubs where people can meet and organise themselves, share skills and expertise. – and form a working group to achieve this
– Develop our own outreach to involve and link in with wider groups and all sections of our communities
– Encourage and promote a range of communications among local people, including face-to-face, blogs and a newspaper.
DEVELOP LOCAL COMMUNITY PLANS:
Develop our own ideas and visions for our local sites & neighbourhoods
– Promote community planning and community plans of all scales and at all levels – for sites, streets/estates, neighbourhood and Tottenham-wide – and form a working group to achieve this.
– Organise workshops to empower people to develop community plans, especially ones that are enforceable.
– List and publicise all the positive examples of community plans
The Charter‘s Action Points were developed, discussed, amended and adopted, along with the Charter as a whole, by the Our Tottenham open conference on 6th April 2013, attended by 110 people from over 30 local community organisations. They were collectively formulated by those attending workshops at the conference, and those that have been adopted are the ones ratified by the conference as a whole (through an overwhelming show of hands in support).
It is intended that the Charter – especially its Action Points – is able to be further reviewed and developed in the future, as needed. This may be done at a recall conference or via some other appropriate inclusive process.
The Our Tottenham network includes:
Weir Hall Action Group / Bull Lane Playing Fields Campaign, Wards Corner Community Coalition, Lord Morrison Hall / Afro International, Friends of Lordship Rec, 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 Federation of Residents Associations, Haringey Housing Action Group, Find Your Voice, Haringey Solidarity Group, Day-Mer, Haringey Green Party, Haringey Alliance for Public Services