Cabinet Member Focus: Cllr Mike Hakata
Since joining the Cabinet in 2021, Deputy Leader Cllr Mike Hakata has been spearheading our efforts to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies and build a fairer, greener borough.
We look back at some of our achievements in this area and what’s in store for the next 12 months.
Highlights from the last 12 months:
- Trees play a vital role in the health and wellbeing of our residents. Working alongside our partners and the community, we’ve planted 1,500 trees – a Haringey record. Planting season began with the transformation of a plot in White Hart Lane Recreation Ground into our first Tiny Forest. The local community also came together to plant a small woodland in Perth Road Playing Fields. We’ve planted 450 street trees as part of our Urban Forest programme, launched new tree web pages and expanded our trees and nature conservation team to implement a new Tree and Woodland Plan and an accelerated maintenance programme for mature trees.
- Our Streets for People programme includes the fastest growing School Streets programme with 23 currently implemented and 15 recently consulted on. We’ve also introduced three low traffic neighbourhood trials because we want to reduce the overall volume of traffic in and around the area so that the whole community can benefit from cleaner air and safer streets.
- A co-production project to boost biodiversity while bringing vivid colour to open spaces in the borough was also launched. Working with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), Friends’ groups and local community, the council is transforming land in eight parks into mini meadows where wildflowers and wildlife can flourish.
- Now in the second year of four, our ground-breaking Community Carbon Fund is supporting sustainability projects in the borough with a total pot of £300,000. This important and ambitious fund provides a fantastic opportunity to unlock the talents and creativity of our communities as part of the Haringey Deal so that together we can tackle the climate crisis and build a fairer, greener future for our borough.
- At The Paddock, we’ve been working with The Conservation Volunteers and Friends’ Group to transform the site from an underused and overgrown space into a welcoming local nature reserve.
- Earlier this month, our formal Constitution was updated so that every key decision of the council must set out how the proposals will contribute to the delivery of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- Irreplaceable ancient woodlands in the borough will benefit from a community-led restoration programme to safeguard them for future generations, with important funding secured to help manage and protect Bluebell Wood, Coldfall Wood and Queen’s Wood.
- As well as addressing biodiversity and climate resilience with our meadow planting programme, we are introducing a co-produced community green spaces programme, rainwater gardens and other flood management programmes.
- We have launched one of the most ambitious decarbonisation retrofit programmes in the country, with a pathway to making our entire council housing stock energy efficient, reducing the bills of many on the lowest incomes.
Looking forward to the next 12 months:
- We want to see tree cover spread more evenly across the borough and have set targets to increase canopy cover to at least 30 per cent in all wards. At least 10,000 trees will be planted by 2030 to kick start this process. We will continue to plant hundreds next year in partnership with Trees for Streets and the community.
- We are re-writing our Local Plan with the aim of it being one of the most ambitious and far-reaching in regards to the environment and carbon reduction, ensuring the protection of our current tree stock and natural habitats whilst expanding access to green space and biodiversity.
- We will shortly be launching the Climate Action Unit (CAU), the aim of which is to ensure a joined-up and consolidated approach between service areas and the Council and the community, working in partnership to boost our climate aims.
- We are improving our cycle lanes and will be constructing many more over the coming year. We want ours to be a walking, cycling and bussing borough with schemes prioritising areas of need. Almost 11,000 children and their families are benefiting from 6km of safe walking and cycling zones and we will continue to accelerate our School Streets programme, with dozens more planned over the next three years.
- Following community engagement, this year we will introduce the borough’s first pay-as-you-go electric bike trial, giving local people more opportunities for affordable, active travel, while also cutting pollution and congestion and improving public health. We firmly believe that a well-managed and controlled e-bike sharing scheme can help in our ambition of becoming a cycling borough. We will also introduce more cycle hangars and extend our affordable buy-a-bike scheme.
- Developing the business case for a District Energy Network which could potentially supply heat to tens of thousands of Haringey homes, releasing them from the dependency on expensive and polluting gas boilers.
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