Yesterday I visited an estate in Woodside ward at the invitation of Ms Buzzacott – who is an extremely active woman who has lived on the estate (Bracknell Close, George Lansbury House etc) for a very long time. Twice a year she organises an estate inspection with Homes for Haringey, the Safer Neighbourhood Team and so on. And this time she invited me to join them.
There was clearly a feeling that Noel Park (the next door ward) received a lot more funding than they had done – with a community centre and children’s centre. However, George Meehan (ward councillor and current Leader of the Council, Labour) said that wasn’t the case. I don’t know where the truth lies – but will ask Haringey for the relative funding over the last five years for both wards.
The key issue seems to be the lack of play facilities both for younger children and youths. Whilst there is a facility on White Hart Lane, Ms Buzzacott (quite rightly) pointed out that parents want somewhere outside their flat where they can keep an eye on younger children.
The problem is that Cllr Meehan said that when people were consulted on putting to use as a play area the one suitable local site, people without children were very anti the proposals. So – the result was that the Council has put up ‘No Ball Games’ notices. This – to be fair – seems to be the outcome that flows from that consultation, but it still leaves the problem of where kids can go and play.
And there is also no community centre. The one they had was sold off and now they have nothing. So – much work to be done.
On the tour we came across a problem with a dumped rubbish black spot – and this shows how great these tours can be, as it was also resolved straight away to fence off the area and make it into a little new garden space for one of the blocks.
There were a number of other relatively small issues, such as the maintenance and trimming of ivy on ‘the alleyway’ which grew and covered the much needed security lights, shortage of parking on the estate, Accord coming in through the emergency exit using their key – but almost always failing to lock up behind themselves; trouble on Friday and Saturday nights and so on. The Safer Neighbourhood Team said they already do come quite a lot – but would make a note to come more at those times. And plenty of issues for me to follow up on too!