What we have heard
Helping to make our borough fairer
What could a ‘fair’ Haringey look like? What does ‘fairness’ mean to you? Just two of the big questions debated in the first public event organised by the Haringey Fairness Commission.
On 1 November 2018, more than 100 residents filled the hall at Park View School in central Haringey. They were there to discuss how the council can tackle inequality and promote fairness in the borough.
Professor Paul Watt, the Commission’s co-chair said:
"The idea is to get the residents to talk about the issues which affect them in relation to these areas and tap their brains in terms of what they think would solve these things.
“The first stage is a listening exercise and we really want this to be a bottom-up approach. We will have more public meetings and then, next summer, we will make our recommendations to the council to help make Haringey a fairer and more equal place to live and work.”
A number of tables were positioned around the room each with signs pointing out which big issues would be discussed at that particular table including: ‘Jobs’, ‘Housing’, ‘Children and Education’, ‘Debt and Poverty’, ‘Health and Well Being’ and ‘Communities and Neighbourhoods.’
Volunteer residents and Commissioners moderated the discussions at each table, ensuring that everyone had their say. At the end of half hour sessions, those at the table could vote on which issues they discussed should be a priority for the Commission to focus on.
Jefferson (aged 15) a pupil at Park View School said:
"It’s a very interesting event and, as a member of the borough, I feel like I have responsibility to come here and to speak up.
“My table discussed ‘Children and Education’ and we’ve been speaking about the lack of diversity within the education system and lack of resources. One thing I would do to help would be to introduce places for young people to go after school, so they’re not on the streets, as many youth clubs have been shut down recently.”
Catherine Kenyon, a resident said:
My major concern is air quality which is also an issue of social justice.
“There is a dramatic split between the east and the west of the borough with the less affluent areas having the most polluted air. Events like this are important to hear voices from the community and to give residents a chance to have their say.”
As well as having her say one resident also received guidance for some of her particular concerns - Abida Siddik said:
"I have issues with my housing situation. And, after voicing my concerns, I was directed to a couple of people who might be able to help me and my family.”
A representative from each table kept a record of all of the issues that were raised, and at the end of the evening attendees stood up and shared the highlights of their discussion in an ‘open-mic’ session, with the chairs, Paul Watt and Councillor Zena Brabazon, making notes of the issues raised.
Another resident, Nicola Perkins said:
"It was a great event and I’m glad it’s ongoing because you have people willing to stand up with the Fairness Commission and fight with them. I will now be sending out WhatsApp messages and emails to encourage even more people to come to the next event."
The event was a positive opportunity for residents to have their say about Fairness in Haringey, and to challenge the Commission and the Council to reduce inequality across a number of areas. Check back soon for a full summary of what was heard at the event, which will be published by the third week of November.
Please note that the Fairness Commission’s planned events for November have been moved to early January. This is to comply with electoral rules in the lead-up to the by-election in West Green ward on 13 December 2018.
- A Pop-up Stall has been organised for Saturday 12 January 2019 in Muswell Hill Broadway from 11am to 1pm, where you can come along and air your views about 'fairness'.
- The second public event takes place on Tuesday 15 January 2019, from 4.30pm to 6.30pm at St Mary’s Primary School in Hornsey. All are welcome - registration is required
For more information on our upcoming events, visit the Fairness Commission events page.
We will also be using existing sourcing of information to inform the work of the Commission. In particular:
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