Busy, busy day

Earlier today got the figures on the funding proposal Haringey Council is getting from the Labour Government. I’ve been campaigning on fair funding for Haringey’s schools since I discovered that our schools get £736 per child less than those in neighbouring boroughs. Well the new funding proposals adds insult to injury. The gap will widen further to a £1,000 differential. I am seeking an urgent meeting with Ed Balls.

It was also the launch of Stroud Green School Children’s Centre today. This is after a series of delays, changes in staff, etc etc – and even today the Service Level Agreements weren’t signed. However – putting all that process mess out of the way – today was a lovely occasion with children helping with ‘planting’ a tree and a whole class singing to entertain us. This is part of a program to create 18 children’s centres in Haringey. Ten down – eight to do.

This is the first one to be constructed in a primary school and cost half a million. It’s much needed in the community but because of Haringey’s delays they missed the September term time start. But they open in a week or so – and there are some very lucky children who will be going there.

Iain Dale and I were then the speakers on ‘new media’ for the NCVO. Always enjoyable to share a platform with the uber-blogger! Then to Parliament for a series of votes before heading over to the Haringey Civic Centre for a Police consultative meeting.

Packed chamber as the IPPC had come back, as they had promised, to talk to local people, campaigners and the Sylvesters (Roger Sylvester‘s parents) about their report which basically resulted in no recommendations for discipline from the police – or indeed anything much.

Well – you can understand in Haringey where we have had a number of black deaths in custody – and no action on any of them – that the people in attendance were not best pleased. Actually it is really traumatic to see and hear the pain still in the room – eight years on – because they feel that justice has not been done. It is too hard to understand how a man could be dragged naked into the freezing night and die.

At least the Haringey Community and Police Consultative Group gives a forum where the anguish can be voiced – but it’s pretty cold comfort for a family who don’t believe justice has or will ever be done for their son’s death.

0 thoughts on “Busy, busy day

  1. The Haringey CPCG remains unattached from a wide spectrum of opinions within the local community. We ought to use more dynamic mechanisms in order to reduce crime and the fear of crime. I suggest ward panels in each ward, designed purely for local people to prioritise their local policing agenda. We need to build positive relations and links on grassroots, particularly ensuring our local SN Teams are engaging with a wide spectrum of local feelings and opinions. The CPCG essentially seeks to ask police question, only based upon the police agenda. As a local resident and local youth, I feel divorced from the current community safety engagement and dialogue process. In addition, it is incredibly disappointing that local youngsters and adults alike, continue to be unaware who their SN Team officers are. This will not contribute to increasing confidence in the police, nor will it contribute to building positive links between community and police. I praise the objectives and purpose of CPCGs throughout London, however, we must never neglect the wide ranging community concern of local residents on policing. Furthermore, listening to the opinions and concerns of the communities across Haringey will become fundamental in the success of our Safer Neighbourhoods. Despite the very many youth initiatives and programmes to involve young people in building confidence in the police, we should rather be attempting to draw them into the central membership of their local CPCG, additionally their local ward panels. Having acquired the opinions of a wide spectrum of individuals and young people throughout Haringey, they all share the opinion that, meetings with police are “imperative” to the process, but police should trust the community, not feel any criticism is an opposition to the police. What I have found from my own experience, whenever I articulate my annoyance and anger against the police by raising it with officers, they adopt a defensive tactic. Either their way or no way agenda. I prefer to see the police as partners locally, not as the community’s enemies. Therefore, I would like to see more trust on both sides. The CPCGs throughout London are not fully representative or reflective of the wide spectrum of concerns and opinions of their local community. We need to draw in youth, elderly, middle aged professionals and all other under-represented groups. This must without doubt include those who have endured difficulty with the police via stop and search or other offences, where they feel they have been wrongly targeted etc. We need a true reflection to be represented, not the same people always attending. My local SN Panel fails to involve all local residents, rather they involve Cllr John Oakes and others. They do not represent me and nor do they speak for me. I have my own community safety and policing concerns, which I would like to present directly to police. Why am I and many other local people excluded from the process? I must applaud the police that over the several months, there has been enormous improvements to policing in my ward. I single out the excellent presence of police escorting school kids to leave their school premises after schooling hours. This reassurances communities that our children and young people are safe and that any anti-social behaviour can be promptly dealt with. The Safer Neighbourhood Team has on the isolated occasion done a first rate job and I myself have had many positive comments from members of the public about their work. However, there is always room for improvement. ThanksMash

  2. Mash, you are absolutely correct!!!!!! Our local MP should not be endorsing an organisation which fails to engage all sections of our community. Furthermore, I attended the public meeting of Haringey CPCG this Wednesday at Civic Centre, Wood Green, and was appalled by the lack of involvement of our youth. It is an outrage!!!!!!!! At least involve the youngsters, who are the victims of police harassment, not the elderly population LOL!