Wightman Road Mosque

First off on Sunday was speaking at Wightman Road Mosque – as part of an open community day – as they do each year. Wightman Road is an exemplar mosque – friendly, welcoming and open. This reaching out into the community is what we need to disperse fears and unwarranted suspicion of each other. Happily in Haringey – this sort of work that has gone on for years in our joyfully diverse borough by a whole range of groups.

Then a dash to the Priory Avenue backsite opening. Here the fight against developers who would have ruined the space in between back gardens with profit-making squashed houses has been won by local residents. After fighting off planning application after application – eventually the developer realised his best shot was to sell the land to the surrounding home owners. It was Benji Lesser who got everyone together to buy the land. They now own it between them – and we now have our equivalent to those wonderful communal gardens in Kensington where the kids can all play safely and make lifelong friends. This is real community.

And it will be a real beacon to all of those residents fighting developers who land grab behind houses – not for social or affordable housing which is desperately needed – but for profit on the luxury end of the market. Squashing stuff in is not the answer to our housing problems. Well done Benji and team – this is really stirring stories for residents!