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Wards Corner Community Coalition (WCC) Tottenham, London RGS-IBG 26 August 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Wards Corner Community Coalition (WCC) Tottenham, London RGS-IBG 26 August 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wards Corner Community Coalition (WCC) Tottenham, London RGS-IBG 26 August 2009

2 Wards Corner – The site A vibrant but poor area of London which despite the lack of money has managed to become the centre for many people, including the Latin American population in London. As a result Tottenham has a unique sense of community Although the site and its people have been deliberately neglected, residents and traders are very committed to it, investing their time, energy and money Town Centre Huge Transport interchange Within a Conservation area Unique, diverse, culturally-rich Mimi-UN Huge Potential

3 2003: Haringey Council and New Deal for Communities (NDC) produced a development brief for Wards Corner and chose to partner with developers Grainger PLC June 2007: After no real community consultation/participation Grainger revealed very worked up plans 2003 – 2007: Setting the Scene

4 The community was not impressed, in fact they were outraged by the plans! No Consultation Huge disparity between the communitys vision and Council/Developers vision Nobody could identify in anyway with the proposed development Plans were about delivering profits and not about developing the community The Council were working against rather than with the community Communitys Reaction

5 As the Council had blocked its ears to the community, market traders and local Residents Associations got together and decided that the communityneeded to make the case for themselves and create a campaign based around a clear and bold vision statement and would Need to have a proven Plan B The Resident Associations and market traders invited several local trader and civic groups to contribute to a wish-list for the site 10 Residents Associations, the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations (HFRA), Tottenham Civic Society (TCS), Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC), Pedro Achata Trust, Pueblito Paisa, the Tottenham Traders Association, Tottenham & Wood Green Friends of the Earth, Sustainable Haringey, Living Streets, Seven Sisters Permaculture. An architect was commissioned...using the wish-list an Alternative Plan began to take shape Origins of the Alternative Plan

6 3 rd Oct 2007: A Significant Moment A public meeting was called by the traders and voluntary groups where an outline Alternative Plan was presented to the Council, NDC and the community Presentations were also made by several local trader/civic groups 150 people attended Subsequent to this meeting it became apparent the Council were not going to support the aspirations of the Community and two realisations emerged: 1. People collectively felt ignored and irrelevant. We wanted a different way of working to achieve the shared desire to improve Tottenham 2. Although our groups – trade, resident, civic, historic buildings, sustainability - had their individual focus their vision and concerns were related The WCC was born out of this realisation

7 Tottenham is fortunate – it has many self-organising groups (RA, Civic and Trader) all of who are passionate about their locality Have a great ethos of self-organising, self-empowerment, great autonomy from the Council The WCC connects, develops and empowers individual Grassroots groups Great pool of support Allows us to build resources locally and autonomously from the local authority Joining the Dots...Forming the WCC

8 Wards Corner Community Coalition (WCC) The WCC is a network of networks We represent many different voices and positions but what underpins us it our goals and principles – holds us together...even after >2 years with all these different qualities we still manage to meet at least once a week diverse, diffuse, non-hierarchical, flexible, immediate, considerate, non- political, multi-layered, inclusive, adaptable, seek-consensus, evolving, friendly, open, community, active, activists, informal, formal, self- empowered, self-empowering, empathetic, self-organising, self-educating, connected, resourceful, dreamers, rationalists, planners, organisers, artists, fundraisers, traders, bakers, cynical, autonomous, radical, conservative, transparent, cooperative, confusing, sharing, humble, arrogant, fearless,, conspiratorial, fearful, enduring, non-party political, passionate, committed, self-reliant, cohesive, environmentalists......

9 So how do we work?! We do not have leaders or appointed officers...people do not occupy a fixed position People do tasks as needed We do not have a traditional structure or way of working - this affords us flexibility and the ability to adapt WCC: No Leaders, No Appointed Officers

10 We are demonstrating that all the things that are not possible in Council/Developers model is possible in an alternative model Council-Developers: Model of development was demolition and total new-build with no regard for community Rigid and incapable of factoring in the communitys voices in a meaningful way Our Reaction: We arose and work in direct opposition to the existing model that the Council/Developer operates by, which is not inclusive, open or respectful Explains why we were not working or behave in the same rigid structure as they are We have gone beyond just fighting an unwanted development, we are fighting for a new way of doing things, a new model – by being proactive, not just reactive From Irrelevant to Relevant

11 Networking The WCC networks with grassroots organisations, national organisations and unaffiliated people, all of who share our philosophy and principals. 1.Weekly open meetings 2.Utilizing all local community facilities and resources 3.Utilizing established networks and resources 4.One-on-one conversations 5.Having a presence at all community events 6.London Mayoral and local Council hustings 7.Leafleting 8.Public Meetings 9.Workshops 10.Hosting Cultural music events 11.Media

12 The WCC Wiki-site Repository of our inputs and ideas and story - A permanent record of WCC Transparent - available for all Fantastic tool for communication – local and global No webmaster...editing is collaborative, allows people to take ownership of the creative process

13 Networking…Community Engagement/Support Public Meeting – Feb 08 >350 people attended Wards Corner Hug - July 08 >500 people attended Fundraisers, Community Festivals, Workshops, Judicial Review, Press etc.....Always well attended and supported...Community engaged with in several ways, Input fed into the Alternative Plan...Great show of community togetherness

14 Developing the Alternative Plan: Glasshouse Workshop Glasshouse: Championing a collaborative process We invited Haringey Council, the NDC and Grainger along with key Tottenham stakeholder groups to participate in two days of training with East Architects and the Glass-House in community-led design for regeneration. This was an opportunity to clear all the cobwebs, wipe the slate clean, look at the site with fresh eyes and work together to realise our different aspirations by approaching options with an unfettered mind. Although the Council and NDC were a no-show, it was a successful workshop

15 The Future: Developing the Alternative Plan The alternative plan progresses and the communitys voices are still wanted... Three architects have volunteered their time to map what people have to say about their current relationship to the site and what they desire for the future. This will feed into the ongoing process of building up a community design statement that can be translated into spacial plans.

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