Monday, 14 October 2013

The Sustainable Oktoberfest - a report

It went rather well, if we say so ourselves. Lots of people turned up, and several brought some really remarkable locally produced drinks. There was a wonderful bay and mint pale ale, some fabulous strawberry wine that tasted like fino sherry, sloe gin and two kinds of alcoholic ginger beer - one decidedly more dangerous than the other at 8% alcohol.

There was a  brilliant oompah band - see this amateurish and inadequate video, or this one, for some idea as to how good they were. If you have any pictures of the event please send them in or add them here if you can.

Thanks to the band, and to Hornsey Vale Community Centre, and to all those who brought drinks but also food. Exactly what sustainable community ought to be like, right?

All in all a rousing success, and to be repeated next year and every year. Lots of people claimed that they were inspired to re-start home brewing and wine-making again, and some locals heard about the network for the first time.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Crop Drop new veg box scheme in Haringey

Dear Sustainable Haringey - please spread the word.  Crop Drop is setting up a new veg box scheme in Haringey - see their website to get all the info.  Some of the stuff will be from very local producers (eg Food from the Sky)  (so food miles almost zero!)

Here are the current drop points:
  • The Selby Trust - White Hart Lane, N17 8JL
  • Blight Coffee - Finsbury Park, N4 2JF
  • Hornsey Vale Community Centre - Crouch End, N8 9LP
  • The Big Green Bookshop - Wood Green, N22 6BG

Website is  Please support this community venture.  Pamela

Monday, 23 September 2013

Apple Day at Hornsey Vale 19th October 2013

Come and join the apple fun again this year with Transition Crouch End in Hornsey Vale Community Centre, Mayfield Road N8 9LP Saturday 19 October 2-5pm.

Discovery apples.jpg

Friday, 13 September 2013

Sustainable Oktoberfest - Festival of Home Brewing on 13th October at Hornsey Vale Community Centre - 4pm

This year will see the first ever Haringey Sustainable Oktoberfest – a beer festival for local home brewers, to share and sample each other's produce. We hope to have an authentic local oompah band and some snacks too. There will be beer bloggers, expert judges and fermentation geeks present to offer advice, comment, and kibbitzing.

The idea is for as many people as possible to brew something for the event, then bring a sample along for other people to try. It takes about a month to make nice beer, and the event is in mid-October (13th October in Hornsey Vale Community Centre (60 Mayfield Rd., London, N8 9LP) starting at 4pm. So it's time to start thinking and preparing now!

Just bring the drink that you have made to the Community Centre at 4pm. Whether you are a producer or just coming along to taste and learn, bring a drinking cup; no-one will bring disposable cups to the event, on pain of instant expulsion.

If you have never made any beer before, don't worry. It is really easy to make quite decent beer without any experience and without much equipment or expenditure. You can buy a starter kit to make 10 or 25 litres from a number of different suppliers, and typically this comes with absolutely everything you need. My favourite suppliers are LoveBrewing and The Hop Shop, who do online ordering but are also really helpful on the phone.

If you are feeling more adventurous you can make some nice beer without buying a kit. There are lots of recipes online – start here. I also make some nice mildly alcoholic ginger beer, which is easier than falling off a log, and I've also made kvass, a mildly fermented bread-based drink. Or make some cider with the fantastic crop of apples we have this year. As long as you make sure that all of your preparation bottles etc. are properly cleaned with a weak solution of bleach, and you take care to release pressure when necessary to prevent the bottles bursting, you can't fail. And Wilkinsons in Wood Green sell basic home brew kits.

If you are thinking of coming please let me know via – I'd like to plan around the right sort of numbers.

The event is co-located with the Sustainable Haringey Network Autumn Gathering, so there will be a chance to hear about all the other great projects and activities going on within the network.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Our Tottenham Planning & Regeneration for the Community

Our TottenhamPlanning & Regeneration for the CommunityConference on Saturday April 6th 2013North London Community House, Moorefield Road, N17 

Joint organising meeting to help plan the conference togetherWednesday 13th February7pm at the North London Community House, 22 Moorefield Rd, N17
c/o #OurTottenham 

Organised by the Our Tottenham networkSupported by (so far): Weir Hall Action Group / Bull Lane Playing Fields Campaign, Wards Corner Community Coalition, Lord Morrison Hall / Afro International, Selby Centre, Find Your Voice, Living Under One Sun, Haringey Defend Council Housing, Chestnuts Community Centre, Defend Haringey Health Services, Peoples World Carnival Band, Haringey Federation of Residents Associations, Haringey Housing Action Group, Haringey Solidarity Group, Friends of Lordship Rec, Day-Mer
The groups above are planning a conference to bring together the key local community groups and campaigns in Tottenham who are affected by the Council’s ‘Plan for Tottenham’ and other planning and regeneration issues.  The idea is to work together and fight for our common interests, our neighbourhoods, our community facilities and for the needs our communities throughout Tottenham.

     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***     ***

‘Our Tottenham’ Conference Organising Meeting - Minutes, 30th January 2013Present:
  15 reps and members of the following organisations: Wards Corner Community Coalition,  Lord Morrison Hall, Haringey Defend Council Housing, Defend Haringey Health Services, Peoples World Carnival Band, Haringey Federation of Residents Associations, Haringey Housing Action Group, Haringey Private Tenants Group, Haringey Solidarity Group, Friends of Lordship Rec, Haringey Green Party, Sustainable Haringey   Apologies: A number of people sent apologies.

Minutes of last meeting, 16th Jan:  
41 people had attended. Reports from the key campaigns. Preparations for the conference underway. Minutes agreed to be accurate.

Conference details 
  As agreed at the last meeting, a conference planning sub-group meeting had been arranged (open to all) for Wed 23 Jan at Lord Morrison Hall. 5 people met up to draft an agenda for the conference and to discuss various practicalities. These had since been minuted and circulated and formed the basis of the discussion at this meeting.   

Venue:  LMH not available Sat 9th March. Selby offered Sun 10th or Sun 17th March. NLCH offered Sun 10th March or Sat April 6th. We agreed to go for the only Saturday available, April 6 @ NLCH. We will need to make financial contribution (to be raised). 

Basic aims and outcomes: 
These have already been circulated, and have been the basis for support for the conference:

*  Bring together local activists and campaign groups concerned about planning issues in Tottenham
*  Discuss some of the major unsuitable aspects of current local development plans 
*  Aid better understanding of the 'Plan for Tottenham' and local development generally
*  Share experiences of successful local campaigns and community-led regeneration
*  Support and initiate new campaign groups for local areas, facilities and around development plans
*  Show support for and/or help initiate new resident and community-led development plans
*  Offer a clear and viable alternative for resident-led decision-making, regeneration and development in Tottenham
*  Formation of an ongoing Tottenham community planning and regeneration action network

Proposed Agenda & Timings:10am: Registration / get info packs, check out stalls, wall displays and maps. Networking10.30am: Welcome and introduction. Brief presentations from the key affected groups/campaigns. Summary/thoughts.
11.15am. First workshop / 'breakout' session
Each workshop to discuss the campaigns and issues, and standing up for ourselves [with 3 or 4 key Qs each to focus on]
12.noon: Lunch ----------------1pm: Back together. Then second workshop / 'breakout' session - split into 8 Action Workshops 
Each workshop to discuss a specific key issue, to share experiences and how to take action together [See below]
2.15pm: Brief report-backs [eg 3 bullet points for action] from each workshop of the previous session
3pm: Final plenary to discuss community-led regeneration Charter, proposed demonstration, follow-up meeting etc
3.45pm: Final remarks and any announcements
4pm. End / clear up together  The second session of workshops: To cover various key issues, to be introduced by relevant experienced local activists [who hopefully can produce a briefing sheet for their workshop], aiming to promote awareness, solidarity and action. Discussion to be minuted. Each workshop to be asked to report back to the final plenary eg one demand to add to the Charter, and 2 or 3 key specific points for action.  Some proposed themes: 

1. COMMUNITY FACILITIES: Defending local community centres and other facilities under threat   
2. HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT: Standing up for local people's housing needs generally, plus in new developments  
3. SMALL BUSINESSES: Defending small, family businesses  
4. LEGAL CHALLENGES: How to fight and win legal challenges to various unwanted developments and 'The Plan for Tottenham' as a whole   
5. COMMUNITY PLANS: Developing our own community plans for specific sites/areas/neighbourhoods (and for Tottenham as a whole?)
6. YOUTH VOICES, SERVICES AND FACILITIES: How to defend our youth & expand the services/facilities they need? 
7. QUALITY DESIGN AND HERITAGE: promoting quality design, respect for conservation/heritage and for Tottenham’s positive characteristics
8. COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT: How to ensure effective consultation, community engagement and empowerment, with local people driving all the decision-making in Tottenham

Food: To be discussed - NLCH has a cafe. How do we ask people to pay for this? Discuss next meeting.   

Conference Documentation:  Need a welcome / agenda pack for participants as they arrive. All the key groups/campaigns doing presentations in the first plenary to write up their struggle/issues (up to one side A4 each) for a Digest. Catherine has offered to do a summary of some of the key positive conclusions from post-riot and recent Reports re Tottenham. All presenters in the second workshop session to produce a briefing sheet. A final report to be prepared afterwards. Dave and Jay offered to coordinate conference documentation generally.   

Pre-conference Statement:  It was agreed we needed an Our Tottenham statement about planning, development and regeneration in Tottenham and why the conference is needed. The draft below was circulated at the last 2 meetings and will be discussed/finalised at the next one.   

An 'Our Tottenham' Charter:  We can draw up a loose, draft 'Charter' based on the agreed aims/outcomes, plus anything extra agreed by the conference.    

Demonstration: The meeting agreed to put a proposal to the conference for an 'Our Tottenham' demonstration one Saturday or Sunday in May along Tottenham High Rd - past key development/regeneration sites eg Wards Corner to Spurs ground. For residents to come and show their feelings and solidarity with each other.  Could assemble 12 noon. Leave 1pm. With 11am assembly points/feeder marches beforehand from key sites (eg threatened community centres, St Ann’s Hospital etc) to the Seven Sisters start point.   

Follow up meeting:  To be arranged for just afterwards to take forward the decisions from the conference.   

Leaflets and publicity: Mital reported that the publicity sub-group from the last meeting (which anyone can join) has begun to draft and design a leaflet. There was some discussion about the design. More news to follow... Sub-group may also suggest how to improve publicity via social media, posters, website, press etc.   

Conference finances: We will need substantial funds for the venue and the pre-publicity etc. Sally from the People’s World Carnival Band is our treasurer. We will draft up an appeal for funds and ask each supporting group to donate at least £10-20 each. 

OT Communications: Michelle to set up 2 elists, one for Coordination and one for News (general info/updates). We will add the relevant contacts to those lists. We also have a basic webpage - see top of page.   Everyone is encouraged to spread the word via social media. David is setting up a twitter account: #ourtottenham  

Campaigns/groups update:     
Lord Morrison Hall:    Community Centre in Scales Road trying to negotiate a new lease as their lease runs out 13 Feb. The group have sent a legal letter to the council who have been refusing to respond to correspondence. No acknowledgement from letters sent yet. All present agreed to back them.    
Love Lane Estate:    45 people attended a Haringey Defend Council Housing meeting on the estate on 29 Jan. Residents’ opposition to Council proposals to demolish some of the Council houses between White Hart Lane Station and the new Spurs stadium to provide a ‘Wembley style’ walkway. Action Group forming.
Community centres campaign?   It was suggested that all the community-run Community Centres throughout Haringey get together to support each other now that the Council is threatening some of them with closure or new management. We agreed to support any such campaign.

Decent Housing For All  We noted the coming public meeting event on Sat March 16, Wood Green Library, 2pm.
Collection for room hire:  We collected £15 from attendees of the meeting which was handed over for the hire of the room at NLCH.  
Next organising meeting: 7pm, Wed 13 February, North London Community House 
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Defend Our Public Services - Rally @ Full Council

Fightback Together Against Council & Government Attacks
On Our Services, Our Facilities, Our Rights & Our Communities!
Defend Our Public Services - Rally @ Full Council Meeting
Wednesday 27th February, 6.30pm
Civic Centre, High Rd, N22 Stop cuts to our services, benefits and facilities – Affordable and secure housing for all - Defend the NHS – No to privatisation of our public services – No to property speculators imposing unwanted ‘regeneration’ schemes on our neighbourhoods - We demand the resources our communities need - Its OUR Haringey!
Called by Haringey Alliance for Public Services. All welcome

Save The Whittington Hospital Coalition  No to cuts, land sales, ward closures & 400 staff sackings. Tuesday 12th February 7.30pm: Public meeting. Archway Methodist Hall, Archway roundabout.

Lobby of Haringey Landlords Forum  Bring rents down. Affordable, secure housing for all

Tuesday 19th February, 5.30pm at the Civic Centre

Fightback Against Austerity   Public meeting organised by the Trades Union Council.

Tuesday 26th February, 7.30pm. Park View School, West Green Rd, N15

Anti-Cuts Rally @ Full Council Meeting   Defend our local public services

Wednesday 27th February, 6.30pm. Civic Centre, High Rd, N22

Next HAPS meeting to coordinate local campaigns and struggles:

Thursday 7th March, 7pm @ North London Community House, 22 Moorefield Rd, N17

Decent Housing For All – Public Meeting / Action Mini-conference  

Saturday 16th March 2pm-4.30pm... Wood Green Library, High Rd, N22

Barnet Alliance for Public Services   Demonstration to defend Barnet’s public services

Saturday 23rd March  

‘Our Tottenham’ conference – planning and regeneration for the community Saturday 6th April 10am-4pm at the North London Community House.

‘1000 Mothers’ demonstration to defend benefits under attack

Saturday 13th April  From Tottenham Green, then down the High Rd. Assemble 11am.

HAPS Meeting Draft Minutes - 7th February 2013
@ North London Community House

Attending: Steve (HDCH), Dave (HFRA + HSG), Anne (HPTAG), Oktay (Day-Mer)

Apologies: Simon (HTUC + SWP), Zaher (HHAG/HSG), John Dolan (Unison + SP), Jacob (Unison steward), Michelle (HHAG)

1.  HAPS protest against cuts     

We agreed to hold a rally at the next Full Council meeting (currently scheduled for 27th Feb – to be checked) to object to the latest round of Government-driven cuts (£24m) to our vital local services, plus all the other range of cuts, privatisation and attacks on our communities. The aim is to bring together the range of local campaigns and groups. All welcome to contribute to the speeches and statements through our usual open mike outside the Civic Centre. Action: Steve to draft leaflet, Oktay to finalise/lay-out, Dave to add list of all campaigning events, and to print. All to contact various groups and campaigns to come along and join the speak-out. 
2.  Local Campaigns – some updates

***  Parks  The Council have now recognised that the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum was right when it said that the 50% cuts in April 2011 would seriously damage the Council’s ability to run a viable parks service. The parks service recently hired ‘consultants’ to conduct a 'Review’ of resources, staffing and management. The Friends of Parks Forum conducted their own survey which fully backed demands for more staff and resources. The Council refused to restore the cuts but agreed to reject any privatisation or any further cuts, and to put in extra money for repairs to machinery. 

***  Housing   Decent Housing For All – Public Meeting / Action Conference  Wood Green Library, Sat March 16th 2pm-4.30pm. Organised through open meetings supported by a range of groups concerned with housing. Will bring together council tenants, private tenants, homeless and mortgage-payers. HAPS agreed to back.

Haringey Defend Council Housing has held 2 open meetings by the Love Lane estate in North Tottenham which is threatened by the Council with possible demolition to build a ‘wembley way’ walkway to the ground. 40 residents attended the second meeting and voted to oppose any demolition. A Love Lane Action Group has formed. HDCH will support the LLAG.   Haringey Housing Action Group has been busy campaigning around housing issues generally, and supporting a range of recent and coming housing events and protests, including a lobby of the Haringey Landlords Forum on 19th February, 5.30pm at the Civic Centre

***  Benefits   There will be a ‘1000 Mothers’ demonstration to defend benefits under attack - on April 13th from Tottenham Green down the High Rd, assemble 11am. Called by Taxpayers Against Poverty and a number of local groups. Meanwhile Haringey Solidarity Group called a meeting to consider the possibilities of opposition to the introduction of Universal Credit in April. It is being ‘piloted’ in Haringey and certain to cause massive cuts to benefitrs and serious hardship to thousands of local people.  

***  NHS   Defend Haringey Health Services   Continuing their regular monthly organising meetings. Still lobbying to get the Drs’ CCG to sign pledge against privatisation – following Hackney's success at this. Also try to save the St Ann's Hospital site from being run down and partly sold off. Save The Whittington Hospital Coalition  There is a new threat to the Whittington, to sell off a third of the land, close some wards and sack over 400 staff. There will be a public meeting on Tuesday 12th, 7.30pm at the Archway Methodist Hall in Archway roundabout. A demonstration is planned for March. Chase Farm Hospital  Last weekend there was a march to save the hospital’s A&E, which ended with a short protest occupation of part of the site.

***  Schools   Heartlands School threatened with academy take over   No further news. Downhills Schoolcontinue to campaign against forced Academy status, and have just premiered a film about their long battle.

***  Our Tottenham   40 people from over 20 local groups met up in January to organise an ‘Our Tottenham’ conference on Sat April 6th, 10am-4pm at the North London Community House. The aim is to challenge the ‘regeneration’ strategy promoted by the Council and property developers, and to defend local facilities and the interests of Tottenham’s communities. A demonstration is also being proposed for May.

***  Barnet Alliance for Public Services  Handed in a petition of over 8,000 signatures against the mass privatisation of the borough’s public services. Plan a demonstration on 23rd March – all welcome to join it.

3.  Haringey Trades Union Council   

Organising a ‘Fightback Against Austerity’ public meeting on Tuesday 26th February, 7.30pm at Park View School, N15. We agreed to support and publicise and have asked them to support and publicise the anti-cuts rally the following day.

4.  London and national    There continue to be a range of London-wide and national demonstrations and days of action around cuts and cut-related issues.

5. HAPS finances   Donations urgently needed. 

6. Next HAPS meeting 

To promote & coordinate defence of our public services – 7th March 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Sustainable Haringey: Spring Gathering

Sustainable Haringey: Spring Gathering

View Larger Map
Sunday 14th April 3pm-5.30pm
At the Eco Hub,
Lordship Recreation Ground,
Lordship Lane, Tottenham, N17
(123 and 243 buses from Seven Sisters or Wood Green)

·      Short tours of Lordship Rec after its £5 million regeneration programme, including the new Moselle Brook, the Model Traffic Area and the Shell Theatre
·      An opportunity to see and hear about the wonderful new passivhaus “Eco Hub” community centre.
·      Reports on recent and forthcoming activities organised by Sustainable Haringey groups across the borough.
·      Refreshments and chat

Sustainable Haringey: Forthcoming events Spring 2013**
Tuesday 5th February 8pm Talk Climate Change and the Media; Realism or Distortion?
10a South Grove, Highgate, N6 6BS  Organised by Transition Highgate

Saturday 9th February Tour of Hale Village FULLY BOOKED This massive housing development at Tottenham Hale has a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant..
Sunday 24th February 2-5pm  Growing in Haringey Seed SwapTottenham Chances, 398 High Road, N17 6QN
To encourage seed-saving and growing from seed. A day for all local gardeners to swap seeds, get advice and find out about local community gardening projects. Free entry Growing-in-haringeyATgooglegroupsDOTcom

Wednesday 27th February  7pm (film starts 8pm) Film Chasing Ice Green on the Screen, Park Road, N8.
Monday 4th March 7pm Talk on Decentralised Energy Network  
Civic Centre, Wood Green, N22 Simone Sullivan, the Council’s Decentralised Energy Officer, will describe the proposals for an energy saving scheme across the Upper Lee Valley. Meeting organised by Sustainable Haringey.

Sunday 10th March 10am – 3pm Compost Giveaway Paddock car park, Alexandra Park, N22
The compost is made at the Edmonton Eco Park from our garden and food waste. This time we have 28 tonnes of compost (twice as much as in the past). Organised by Sustainable Haringey Waste Group.

Thursday 14th March 8pm Talk on Water10a  South Grove, Highgate, N6. Organised by Highgate Climate Action 
17th March 2pm – 5pm Alternative Clothes Show  
Hornsey Vale Community Centre, 60 Mayfield Road, N18 9LP (W3 bus to Weston Park) Promoting clothes that are ethical/local/recycled. Displays, stalls and catwalk show.

Sunday 7th April 11am – 1pm  Walk Alexandra Palace to Bruce Castle Five mile walk going through parks and conservation areas.  Friends of Parks Forum

Wednesday 10th April 8pm  Talk “The Alchemy of Dust – Waste and Recycling in the C19th” by Dr Peter Hounsell, Union Church Community Centre,  Ferme Park Road and Weston Park, N8 (W3 bus),  Hornsey Historical Society

Sunday 14th April 
Sustainable Haringey Spring Gathering at the Eco Hub
Tours of Lordship Rec after its £5 million regeneration programme, including the new Moselle Brook, the Model Traffic Area, the Shell Theatre and much more. An opportunity to see and hear about the wonderful new passivhaus “Eco Hub” community centre. Reports on recent and forthcoming activities organised by Sustainable Haringey groups across the borough. Refreshments.

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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Opinion: Sustainable Haringey Transport Group on Free Parking

Please see this very good letter from David Rennie on behalf of the Sustainable Haringey Transport Group sent to Lynne Featherstone and also to all Haringey councillors.

Dear Lynne

Your petition:
30 minutes FREE parking in Haringey

You say this proposal is ‘to help shopkeepers’.  But where is the evidence for that? Research over decades has shown that 'free' parking will neither help shopkeepers, nor the vast majority of shoppers and other people in high streets.  Please study the summary of research itemised below.
The real problem and solution

Parking is not a central concern for more than a small minority of shoppers.  The thing that deters most shoppers – who are pedestrians or bus users – is the domination of their shopping streets by fast, polluting traffic that confines them to narrow pavements and makes crossing the road difficult.  Those are the things you and your local councillors should be addressing, rather than pandering to the already well cared-for motorists, who always protest in the UK as though they were an oppressed minority.

A policy worth pushing Government and Haringey to adopt is to reduce speeds in all those busy roads where there are many pedestrians, such as Muswell Hill Broadway.  Reduce speeds initially to 20mph, and ultimately lower as is common in Europe. Some neighbouring boroughs to Haringey have introduced default 20mph limits.
Shopkeepers vastly overestimate car shoppers
• Shopkeepers believe that about twice as many of their customers come by car as actually do.  Research has always demonstrated this – in Edinburgh (2003), Bristol (2006), and nearly 20 years ago in what is now the traffic-calmed, shopper-friendly city of Graz in Southern Austria.  In Edinburgh, fewer than 25% (and falling) came by car.  In Bristol only 22% came by car, whereas shopkeepers estimated it was 41%.  And car-users tended to be drive-through shoppers; whereas pedestrians and bus-users visited several shops, car-users were far more likely to visit one single shop.  [SUSTRANS 2003 and 2006.]

• Also in Bristol, shopkeepers greatly underestimated (at 12%) the proportion of shoppers who live within half a mile, i.e. walking distance.  The true number was 42%, nearly half.

One explanation for shopkeepers’ gross misconception of the proportion of their shoppers coming be car may be that car traffic is so dominant in their streets.  Yet, in Outer London, only 19% in fact come to town centres by car.  In Central London, where shoppers rated ‘Less traffic’ as their highest priority for improvements, only 2% come by car, van, or lorry.  [TfL figures, in the London Councils report (see below).]

Car shoppers are not the best customers

• Transport for London research has found that walking
 is the most important mode for people getting to District centres, bus for Major centres and tube for Central Area of London.  In all centres, walking has increased over the recent decade.  

• Another TfL finding was that walkers and cyclists shop many times a week, public transport users many fewer times, and car-users by far the most rarely.  Also, while car-users spent the most per visit
, walkers spent 65% more than them per month and bus-users 25% more.

The quality of the shopping centre, not parking, has most impact on trade
• London Councils (the umbrella body and think-tank for the 33 London boroughs) published a review in Oct 2012 entitled The relevance of parking in the success of urban centres.  Its conclusions echoed those summarised above.  It also emphasised that the most important factors in attracting shoppers and visitors to town centres were a good mix of shops and services and a good quality environment.  When asked to name the most important improvement needed, only 6% of visitors interviewed in Outer London called for more or easier parking.

• London Councils also reported that Camberwell residents who shop elsewhere than in Camberwell rated parking as the least important factor for not
 shopping locally.  The range and quality of shops were more important.

• Research in Leicester in 1992 showed that shop vacancy rates increase as the level of traffic increases.  A study of 6 Midlands towns in 1994 showed that ‘parking provision does not have an influence on whether shops close or remain trading’.  The overall quality and attractiveness of the centres had more impact on trade.  [SUSTRANS.]

• Groningen in the Netherlands pedestrianised a large part of its central area in the face of a barrage of ferocious criticism from business, but the area is now prized by shoppers.  That is the kind of long term target we should pursue here.

There is no such thing as a FREE lunch

• The shopping guru, Mary Portas, in her 2011 review of high streets, advocated ‘free controlled parking…for town centres’.  But the London Councils report concludes that a there is no such thing as FREE parking.  Someone has to pay to provide, maintain, and enforce controlled free parking.  'Free' parking operated by councils, whether on-street or off-street, is paid for by council tax payers.  'Free' parking provided by supermarkets is paid, through the price of goods, by all customers, not just car-users.  An act of parliament is needed to introduce fair car-park charges at all supermarkets.

• ‘Free’ parking leads to an increase in traffic.  So, as well as its money cost, there is the cost born by all shoppers who are eventually on foot.  And ‘Too much traffic’ is one of shoppers’ commonest complaints.

Kind regards

David Rennie
Sustainable Haringey Transport Group

Monday, 21 January 2013

Haringey Tree Wardens hold tree-related events every two months in different parts of Haringey.

This is a free opportunity to discover more about local street trees. We walk along a suitable street, exchanging knowledge. Some of us do maintenance if needed. Most come to look and learn.

For the February Walk, we've chosen the street trees in the St Anns area. Please meet us at 10am, Sat 9th Feb outside the Chestnuts Cafe at the edge of Chestnuts Park - 300 Saint Ann's Road South Tottenham, London N15 5RP map here:

Complete beginners are welcome - several of us know very little, some of us know quite a bit and we're all keen to learn.

If you have any books or guides that might help give us a key to tree identification, please bring what you can easily carry.

Photographers are welcome - we always looking to add to our list of identified trees and hope you'll contribute a few of the pictures you take if you wish.

The Tree Walk is intended to last around an hour (can stretch to nearly two hours if people are happy). If it rains too much we will head for the nearest Cafe and use leaves and small branches (and what we can see out of the window) to focus on what is around us.

Please note that you don't have to be a tree warden to join in - many people simply turn up every so often to look and learn and sometimes to contribute.

Please join the event on Facebook - it really helps us to know that you intend to be there: