Tottenham riot report recommendations ‘long overdue’, says MP
07:00 12 December 2012
MP for Tottenham David Lammy believes the recommendations made yesterday in a landmark report into last year’s riots are ‘long overdue’.
A 90-page study demanded an independent regeneration body which will have the power to generate long-term lasting changes in the areas affected by the 2011 unrest.
The ‘city deal’ would be aimed to improve relationships between the community and the police, and increase transport links, housing and employment opportunities.
Sir Stuart Lipton, chairman of an independent panel of experts, warned that a failure to address the lasting issues of the riots would risk a repeat of unrest in the future. He urged the government, City Hall and Haringey Council to inject funds for capital projects.
Mr Lammy said the recommendations represent a clear chance for Tottenham to move on from the effects of the riots which tore through the community 16 months ago.
“This is the biggest opportunity for Tottenham in my lifetime,” he said. “It is clear that Haringey Council cannot deliver the regeneration needed in the area on its own, particularly faced with the multitude of problems such as high unemployment and housing pressure.
“If you take other areas in London, like Brixton, Stoke Newington and Hackney, these are areas which were more depressed than Tottenham, but the government were able to work in conjunction with the mayor’s office and local authority in partnership with the private sector.
“This is long overdue, but I believe we can do it. It’s a joint vehicle and I hope it can make things happen.
Mr Lammy also welcomed an assurance from Mayor of London Boris Johnson that Tottenham Police Station would remain open, allaying fears that it would be closed down.
Like every other borough in London, Haringey soon faces the prospect of having only one 24-hour police station, thanks to £500m cuts to the Metropolitan Police Force. However, the Mayor told Mr Lammy: “I can commit that we will not be closing Tottenham Police Station’.
Mr Lammy told the Journal: “Boris Johnson has said the station will be staying open and I will certainly be holding him to it.
“It is unfathomable that there could not be a police station in my constituency. It is hugely important that the police continue to work with the community, not abandon them.”