[community centres] Haringey Community Centres Network - Update October 2018

Dave Morris davetottenham at googlemail.com
Thu Oct 18 21:48:21 BST 2018

*Update October 2018*

*****Draft Report of General Meeting

*at The Engine Room - **Thursday 4**^th **October*, 2.30pm to 4.00pm **

*Note: Date of next meeting****: 14^th November 2018, 3.00pm at The 
Engine Room, Tottenham Hale*

*Attendees: *

Sona Mahtani, Selby Trust (Chair);

Andrew Johnston, Engine Room (Took notes of Meeting);

Yvonne Denny, Homes for Haringey/Bridge Renewal Trust;

Rose Campbell, StreetTalk;

Amanuel Woldesus, Migrant Resource Centre;

Santhosh Chandran, Community Hub Wood Green;

Tony Brennan, Haringey Irish Centre;

Moussa Amine Sylla, Haringey Community Organisers, Selby Trust;

Adam Gray, Bernie Grant Arts Centre;

Nancy Kofi-Sikah, Creating for Change;

Hesketh Benoit, Haringey Sports Development and Haringey Basketball 

Val Karmil and Dave Morris, Lordship Hub;

Jose Kalanda and Gloria Saffrey, CARIS Haringey;

Sarah Miller, The Markfield Project;

Sean Burke, Finsbury Park Rugby FC and Downhills Park Rugby Club;

Colin Bowen, Bridge Renewal Trust; Comfort Bridge Renewal Trust

Theodosia Stylianou and Maritsa Diacou, Greek Cypriot Women’s Organisation


Lynn Brackley and Bob Packham, Hornsey Vale;

Isobel Smith, Jacksons Lane;

Maxine Murray, Big Lottery Fund



Organisations represented introduced themselves. As during 
introductions, the focus had been on relations with the council on 
leases etc, the order of the agenda was changed to reflect this as the 
main area of interest for attendees.

2.*Engagement with Haringey Council*:

a)A number of organisations remained concerned about unresolved issues 
about the length of their leases, if they had a lease, and the 
shortening length of their lease, where that applied.

b)It was NOTED that some centres were negotiating leases, and had been 
offered rent amounts that they were considering in terms of 
affordability when preparing their business plans.

c)Some had secured a year off from paying rent, as their business 
planning resulted in demonstrating unequivocally that the amounts 
expected were financially unviable, often in deteriorating buildings.

d)Some had peppercorn rent arrangements that did not require rent charges.

e)One had secured 250 yearlong lease arrangements as part of site 
redevelopment, with the developer.

f)Another interesting model that the council was practicing was that 
when funding was brought in by that organisations this could be linked 
in Service Level Agreements and performance against that agreement was 
offset against rent, resulting in a social value being placed on the 
group’s work and recognition of that social contribution, albeit not in 
monetary terms.

g)Social Value was an arena that included aspects that were hard to 
measure, but the council had expressed interest. It paid for consultancy 
with Community Matters, yet the conclusions of the Community Buildings 
Review (2015) did not seem to pick up on those social value reports that 
each centre produced at some cost to themselves in time and energy, at 
board and operational level. The Community Building Review (2015) 
focused on the economic, health and regeneration potential of community 
centre sites.

h)The Council now has detailed self-assessments carried out by a number 
of centres in conjunction with independent critical friend Community 
Matters, but no feedback has ever been provided to those who had taken 

The outcome of the review was Council sought to introduce market rent 
levels with social value providing a discount on the rents staggered 
from 60% rebate to 0% rebate in a 3 year timeframe.

Centres were signposted to the meeting when at short notice, a 
deputation, led by the Community Hub, Irish Centre, Selby Trust and Our 
Tottenham combined their efforts to present the case to the Council:

2015 Community Buildings Review (Item 17) pages 459 till end:

2017 Community Asset Transfer (Item 11) pages 172 onwards, the focus of 
lobbying and feedback regarding the requirements of leases, must have 
had an impact.


Only 2 organisations have been successful with this process so far: 
Bridge Renewal Trust (125 years long lease) and Kurdish Community Centre 
(freehold), under the previous administration.

In 2012/13, 2015/16 and 2017/18 there had been Council documents 
reviewing 31 locations in the Borough. Since 2015 Council’s position has 
mellowed and it is now time for Community Centres to explain how we 
provide services and how they should be supporting us to do what we do.

It was AGREED that priority should be given to help meeting community 
needs and therefore community assets were very important in helping 
enable that, for providers and groups responsible for managing buildings.

g) Updates:

The Engine Room’s development enabled a 250 year long term lease with 
Lee Valley Estates

to provide security and a valuable community resource.

Selby Centre has a 2.3 acre site and is a cul de sac location. 130 
community groups use the

facility. Currently the Trust is working with architects to look to 
provide services over a smaller

footprint. Discussion over securing a long lease.

The Bridge Renewal Trust runs a community hut and Chesnuts Community 
Centre which runs at

a loss. Chesnuts has lost the stigma of being a place only open for 
certain parts of the


Recently Bridge had held an open day at Irish Centre – over 100 people 
giving their views on

services provided by Haringey Council. Bridge Renewal Trust were able to 
engage a lot more

people than the Council would have been. MIND in Haringey has also been 
supported by Bridge

Renewal Trust. 500 volunteers at Bridge Renewal Trust including in 
Whittington and North

Middlesex hospitals.

Bernie Grant has a long lease and is therefore not affected.

Haringey Irish Centre – lease to 2027 but the Council is seeking to 
impose a model lease.

Council also seeking a 5 year lease. The Council want to be in a 
position to take back land when

they need it. Many of the groups cannot afford increases.

The Community Hub had been given a new request for £17,500 rent a year. 
Requesting a rent-free arrangement. Cllr Mark Blake meeting on 16^th 

Migrant Resource Centre – moved into Tottenham Hale 2 years ago – 
serving the local community – legal, integration, and settlement – 23 
ESOL courses. Expertise exists within the voluntary sector to assist 
local government - 30/40% of residents from migrant communities.

Haringey Rugby Club- is a partnership of two gaelic clubs – Downhills 
Park was identified – have been there 3.5 years. The Council are still 
seeking to impose a short term lease. All the sporting governing bodies 
are expecting 20 – 25 year lease. Haringey Legal department have just 
started talking about the lease. Keen to provide a basic community 
facility in Downhills Park.

Markfield Community Centre – grade 2 listed building. Derelict for many 
years, parents raised

money to develop. The Beam Engine Museum also had substantial lottery 
money. 25 year lease

ran out in 2009. Right to remain under existing lease with peppercorn 
rent. Free or very low cost services. A model 10 year lease was 
suggested – agreement on affordable rent level of £3500 but a lot of 
extra costs to be loaded onto the centre. 20% decline in income due to 
cuts in statutory funding. Cannot apply for capital re-development funds.

Lordship Rec – built with Lottery funding – Council have to fulfil terms 
of a contract from Lottery to maintain the building and various 
services. As no suitable body could be found to provide this the Friends 
of Lordship Rec created the Hub Co-operative to take it on. Affordable 
café, affordable hire charges, barely break even. They have nearly 
completed negotiating a long term lease with the Council at £20k per 
annum rent but offset by provision of £20k of agreed services. 25 year 
lease is minimum required for grants such as Power to Change. Building 
is a specialistcarbon neutral passivhaus building. The Council need to 
keep their current responsibility for infrastructure repairs and 
maintenance. Now have a national profile as an exemplary park and 
building – Friends recently got a lottrery grant to promote community 
empowerment in greenspace throughout the UK.

The Greek Cypriots Women’s Group had been offered a range of leases with 
different maintenance costs. Old building requires a lot of ongoing 
work. Now seeking a future where maintenance costs are covered.

Turnpike Lane Basketball record number of people involved and involved 
in basketball leadership due to a small amount of funding from Haringey 
Council. Has potential to be a covered space. Once again we need to 
consider widely what community spaces are.

*Future discussions: *


All are encouraged to consider registering their centres as an Asset of 
Community Value. Groups were encouraged to look at a national 
organisation is called Locality www.locality.org.uk 
<http://www.locality.org.uk>and www.mycommunity.org 
<http://www.mycommunity.org>and often there is funding to support the 

·What are we building capacity for?

·Who is the service for we are delivering?

·How can we build a positive relationship with the Council, particularly 
now with the impact of austerity on local people and services?

·This is an opportunity to bring a united message back to Council to say 
they recognise that we offer an unparalleled value to the community.

Big Lottery Fund had been keen to attend the meeting. There is an 
important Reaching Communities offer.

Mayor of London Volunteers Scheme - AJ suggested there should be an 
invite to the third sector Manager Amanda Lamb as a number of new funds 
are being released.

FEM – seeking community workers and health professionals, elderly and 
LGBT seeking to partner to improve safety for women. Seeking suggestions 
and ideas. Also supporting work with Missing People. Would be good for 
community centres to link with people affected.

*3. Agreed Actions*
1) We agree to have a follow up meeting. Aiming to meet every 6 weeks
2) We agree to map the resources available locally

3) We will engage with Haringey Council to raise a number of these issues

4) We agreed to endorse the Haringey Community Centres Network statement.

5) We will circulate an explanation of new Council and key officers

*4.**Any Other Business: *

-Other agenda issues will be carried forward.

-Colin Bowen, newly appointed as Director of Haringey Giving, introduced 
Comfort (Connie) Mante as the new Community Organisation Development 
Manager at Bridge Renewal Trust.

-Sona also confirmed she was moving on from the role as the CEO of the 
Selby Trust.

*Date of next meeting*

14^th November 2018 3.00pm at The Engine Room

/Note: The above is a draft report, to be amended if necessary at the 
next meeting.


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