By Daniel Hunter
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has welcomed the findings of a new report that calls for the formation of a regeneration body dedicated to improving the prospects of people living and working in Tottenham.
Published by the Independent Panel on Tottenham, which was convened by the Mayor after the riots in 2011, the report outlines a number of key challenges that should be tackled in partnership by the London Borough of Haringey, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and central Government.
Chaired by leading property developer, Sir Stuart Lipton, the panel recommends the creation of a dedicated organisation to spearhead Tottenham’s regeneration, with representation from the borough, the GLA, the Government, as well as those with relevant expertise from the public and private sectors.
The Mayor, who will be considering the report closely as part of his own strategy for the area, made Tottenham a key priority for regeneration before the disturbances. Since then he has allocated £28m worth of funding to support development and regeneration in the area, including better transport links, public realm improvements and help to boost employment opportunities.
As well as support to help unlock the development of the North Tottenham and Northumberland Park areas, the Mayor’s funding has also been used to help transform the site of the borough’s former planning offices, which were burnt out during the riots, into a new community hub at 639 High Road as part of the Mayor’s Team London volunteering initiative.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “What happened in Tottenham last year was a wake up call to us all and I am determined that those scenes should never be repeated. There can be no doubt that Tottenham needs greater support in grappling with the challenge of delivering jobs and improved infrastructure and this report details the challenges we face to achieve this. The idea of a new organisation to help drive forward lasting change in Tottenham is particularly compelling and one that I will be looking at closely. I’d like to thank Sir Stuart and all of the team who’ve worked hard on this report, which puts renewed focus on a part of London that has been overlooked for far too long.”
Sir Stuart Lipton, Chair of the Independent Panel on Tottenham, said: “A new vision for Tottenham will create real change for the community producing growth and social change. The GLA have already shown their financial support and commitment for new projects. Opportunities in Tottenham will allow Government to implement existing policies for change which, with appropriate substantial financial support, will make a real difference to the area.”
As well as the establishment of a new regeneration body, the panel’s report identifies a number ofkey challenges which the Mayor agrees need to be addressed, including improved housing and transport links, increased employment opportunities, better community relations with the police, better youth engagement and the need to improve Tottenham’s public image.
The Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Sir Edward Lister and the Leader of Haringey Council, Councillor Claire Kober, will meet early in the New Year to discuss the report’s findings and the future plans for Tottenham’s regeneration in more detail.
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