Thursday, December 14, 2006


Finsbury Park has always suffered from the fact that it is at the junction of three local authority areas, and therefore also three health and police areas. In addition Transport for London, Network Rail and the British Transport Police are key partners because of the importance of the satation and other transport links.

FinFuture was the organisation set up earlier this year to promote co-operation between the three councils and other agencies. Their own website can be found here. It should be stressed that Finfuture is an emerging organisation with a stricly limited amount of resources and staff, and with no statutory powers. It can however play a very valuable role in co-ordinating the efforts of these bodies, enabling joint working and promoting the area. This was greatly enhanced by it succesfully bidding for an London Development Agency programme called "Town Centres for City Growth". This gives it an additional 1.5 million over 3 years to improve and market the area.

Brian Bell is Hackney's representative on the Finfuture Board. The board also includes representatives from the other boroughs, local businesses and elected residents. It held an awayday at the West Resevoir Centre in Brownswood yesterday, to further develop its role and identify priorities for the future. Additional councillors from Haringey and Islington attended. Among the key issues identifed were -
* promoting FinFuture as an organisation to residents, business and the three councils
* enhancing the appearance of it's HQ at 225-229 Seven Sisters Road
* using demographic research to help ensure we are reaching all the local communities
* continue to be responsive to local traders
* improving the environment, streetscene and public realm
* develop the board as a cohesive and active body

Blackstock Road
Improving Blackstock and dealing with the perception of ASB and intimidation there, remains one of FinFuture's priorities. A further meeting on 22nd November on this issue was very constructive. About 15 traders attended - the majority Algerian, but also a couple from older established firms and a couple from the Ethiopian businesses in Rock Street. Brian represented Hackney, and three Islington councillors (2 Labour, 1 Lib Dem) and Jeremy Corbyn's PA were there. Both police divisions were represented.

The issues they wanted the two boroughs to take up were
* Improved lighting
* Cleanliness and appearance

The issues Finfuture agreed to help co-ordinate were
* Business support and marketing of the area (they have contracted Hackney Business Venture to do the former)
* Facilitating greater police co-operation
* Installing alert boxes and radios in businesses in the area
* Arranging further consultation and holding at least one public meeting

There was also discussion of encouraging a mini-festival some time in the summer, to help encourage the different communities to mix more and try each others food, etc. This would require a temporary closure of part of the road. PLEASE LET US HAVE YOUR OPINIONS ON THIS!