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Area Assembley for Harringay and St Ann's

Page history last edited by Hugh 12 years, 2 months ago
Area assemblies were set up in 2001 to give residents a chance to influence the decision-making process at local level.The Harringay & St Ann's Area Assembly, one of seven across the borough, covers the two wards of Harringay & St Ann's.


The Harringay & St Ann's Area Assembly Chair in the hot seat


Gina Adamou, Labour Councillor for Harringay ward and chair for the local area assembly provided the following infromation on 16th September 2009 in response to a virtual Q&A session.



1. What is the role of area assemblies?


Area Assemblies provide a good forum for residents to raise concerns and engage with the council around issues affecting their community such as community safety; crime; the environment; planning; transport; parking; and more.


Additionally, residents attending area assemblies can express their preferences regarding the Making the Difference Funding programme which enables local residents and communities to apply for funding for a project that will make a difference to the lives of all residents and the neighbourhood as a whole. Assemblies are held 4 times a year and offer opportunities for residents to contribute ideas and meet with their ward councillors.



2. What do we have a right to expect


a. The degree to which we are able to influence decision making?


i.  Become part of the Making the Difference programme and  express  preferences for project proposals submitted by local residents and community groups.


ii. Current and emerging issues for the neighbourhood are discussed encouraging comments and ideas from the floor. This is sometimes done using methods such as workshops.


iii. The November 09 round of assemblies will engage with residents regarding the priorities for their neighbourhood, to be included in 2010 – 11 Area Priority Plans. These are in the planning stage just now and will include interactive methodologies.


iv. It is worth noting that the area assemblies are only one way of engaging with communities regarding influencing services. There are many forums and events which help to influence services such as Tenants and Residents Associations; estate walkabouts with residents; and consultations for specific issues such as planning or transport.


Continuous, on-going work is undertaken by the neighbourhood managers and their teams to build the capacity of residents and groups in order that they can influence decisions.


Access to service days are designed for the more hard to engage groups and those less likely to attend area assemblies. Examples of communities that engaged in successful events last year are Somali; Polish; Kurdish; Turkish; Greek Orthodox; Charedi Jewish.  Another programme is currently being arranged for this year.


b. The degree to which we can influence the agenda and the mechanism for that?


At the first area assembly of the year, residents are invited to propose specific issues for inclusion within their area assembly.

The mechanism needs to be flexible in order to ensure there are opportunities for urgent or emerging issues to be included as appropriate.

Residents can make contact through the neighbourhood teams to express areas of concern to consider for assembly inclusion and of course direct to their Area Assembly Chair.


Often, issues are raised by various agencies at the Area Based Working meetings that can be discussed at the assemblies. Issues regarding health may be included by the Primary Care Trust or community safety issues by the local Safer Neighbourhood Team of the Police.


c. Communication about follow –up / decisions?

Follow up / decisions are highlighted at the next Assembly and within local pages of Haringey People. Notes from the assemblies are uploaded onto Haringey's website.

d. The way meetings are managed?


Area Chairs manage the assemblies in line with Council Policy and procedure, supported by the relevant Area Liaison Officer ( Senior/ Chief Officer) and Neighbourhood Manager. Responsibility for each Assembly rests with the Area Chair, with an overview taken by the Cabinet Member for Community Cohesion and Involvement.



3. What is the role of the chair?


The Area Chair operates within the framework of council policy, working with ward members to strengthen links local between residents and the various council services and partners. Specifically:-


  • Set the agenda and format of the meeting in consultation with neighbourhood management ensuring there are opportunities for local residents to engage with the council and for voices of all residents of different experiences to have the opportunity to be involved.
  • Effectively chair the assembly and ensure the meetings are conducted in a democratic manner.
  • Work with neighbourhood managers to ensure that a broad range of communities are encouraged to submit Making the Difference projects for consideration. In particular those communities who do not ordinarily attend Area Assembly meetings.
  • Community leadership as appropriate.



4. How is the chair appointed and how long is the appointment for?


Chairs are appointed annually by the councillors whose wards are covered within that assembly area and where possible alternate between the wards in the area. This is acknowledged to be good practice in many areas of the country.



5. To what extent can we be included in shaping the way the AA’s work?

As outlined in the points above, there are various ways to influence agenda items and Making the Difference projects. The first area assembly of the year offers an opportunity for residents and communities to influence and shape the agendas for the full year. Residents are always encouraged to talk to the Area Chair throughout the year to help ensure that all voices are listened to.


The council must continue to operate within its agreed policies and procedures.


A review of Area Assemblies is currently being undertaken looking at all aspects of their operation and specifically methodologies and format of the meetings to encourage broader and greater engagement.



I hope this answers you queries. Please do not hesitate to contact Sally Collins Interim Head of Neighbourhood Management should you require further information. Her direct phone line is 0208 489 4564.





Area Assembley for Harringay and St Ann's on Haringey Council's website

Discussions on Harringay Online about area assemblies

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