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A fire fighter walks down the High Road in Tottenham, north London the morning after trouble flared after members of the community took to the streets last night to demand "justice", after Mark Duggan, 29, was shot dead by police on Thursday. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA
by Flora Drury, by Flora Drury
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
When staff at Haringey Council left work on Friday, August 5, 2011, they could not have guessed the challenges which would face them over the next year.
Yet their response to the disorder - which they started working on less than 48 hours later, establishing an emergency rest centre at Tottenham Green Leisure Centre to offer shelter and assistance to those whose homes had been damaged or lost - has consumed the last 12 months.
The emergency rest centre would turn into a Community Assistance Centre following that first weekend. A special Mayor of Haringey Tottenham Fund was then set up to accept the many donations from residents and businesses, raising more than £50,000 for those affected by the riots - some of which is still available. A community clean-up event saw dozens take to the streets with their brooms.
But the disorder, which completely destroyed five buildings along the High Road, had done so much damage to Tottenham the council realised a bigger, more sustained response was needed.
Haringey set out three priorities: getting Tottenham back in business, restoring confidence and “building back better”.
Its I Love Tottenham campaign, which encourages people to shop and do business locally, has proved popular and it has made a dozen key promises as part of its “12 in 2012” scheme, including refreshing public spaces and replacing the damaged buildings.
Just last week, Haringey Council launched its Plan for Tottenham, an ambitious, billion-pound vision of the area’s future which it hopes will inspire even more confidence from investors.
It has also put a strong emphasis on young people’s future, implementing a three-year youth strategy to help them achieve their potential and getting those most at risk away from criminal activity.
The council can already claim some successes. Postmaster Vipin Rao was left without a business after the old Post Office was gutted by fire.
Haringey helped him find new premises and advised on its layout, now popular with customers.