Selected Report

Near 93A Falkland Road, London, N8 0NS

Haringey London Borough - Harringay Ward

Description

I am the director of a small arts charity, Diamond Dance Ltd, specializing in bringing dance and the arts to kids, adults people of special needs and to all audiences in Haringey. We have been resident at the Hidden Space, 93A Falkland Road since January 2001 where we run a dance studio and where our offices are based. We pay business rates and have been granted planning permission by yourselves to conduct our classes, rehearsals and workshops here on an ongoing basis where until the end os September we enjoyed full access to the property. <br/><br/><br/>Last week I returned back to The Hidden Space after a business trip to find that access to our building has been permanantly altered by the council without any prior notice being given to us whatsoever. No consultation has been engaged in whatsoever. It has come as a complete shock and is now having a permamently negative impact on our day-to-day running of our services. Our classes and workshops and as a result will be serious impacted by the measures you have taken. <br/><br/>Since 2001, when we first came to the property, there had always been a single yellow line outside the property with a drop curb right in front of our large gated premises which meant we could wheel in our extensive props, heavy electrical lighting, building materials, stage sets, huge boxes of costumes and allowed our clients to drop off their luggage, equipment. Even more importantly it allowed our participants, viewers, staff members and sponsors, some of whom are disabled or old to be dropped off immediately at our entrance. The Hidden Space is set behind residential back gardens at the end of a long alleyway. We find that disabled people struggle sometimes to walk the full length of the alleyway to the studio and have to be brought in by wheel chair, or are seriously challenged if drop off is not available right outside our building. Otherwise we had been able to offer complete disabled access to clients and staff, which has now been denied us by the Council. <br/><br/>I arrived back at the premises last week to find during my absence that the yellow line had been painted out and that residential parking has been extended to run the full length in front our property. This now means that the drop curb exactly outside The Hidden Space is permanently blocked by residential cars, which mean we cannot wheel in deliveries or heavy objects and our disabled visitors cannot be easily brought in to the Hidden Space. The next nearest accessible drop curb is very far away on Green Lanes. <br/><br/>In addition you have changed the timing of the loading bay opposite, which had been installed a number of years ago on the request of the Turkish Printers who have a commercial property and printing press immediate opposite The Hidden Space outside 140 Falkland Road. This loading bay is indispensible to all the residents in the immediate area and the other nearby businesses and is used all the time by residents too. The timing before whoever changed it in late September used to be 30mins. It has now been changed to one hour, again without any consultation. This means that visitors to local bars and shops (clients and residents alike) have1 hour free parking. It means that anyone can relaxedly go shopping and park for free which again means that we will have no reliable drop off place for visitors and deliveries coming to the Hidden Space. That loading bay now cannot be shared by anyone who needs it. I have found that usually the loading bay is anyway dominated by the personnel who work at Pariakiri (the printing press opposite). It is safe for them to use it all day long to use it as their private parking space because their secretary has her desk immediately alongside the loading bay and as soon a parking attendant arrives they run out to move their vehicle following her alert. As soon as the parking attendant has left they move their vehicle back there. Thus the only place we relied upon, with absolute necessity so that we can conduct our chartable services, was the single yellow line on our side of the road. Now we have absolutely nowhere nearby to reliably drop off. <br/><br/>By removing the single yellow line you serious disable our ability to run our business. Whoever was responsible for making this decision could clearly see that a business is present here. Diamond Dance Lts is a registered charity and does not receive any public funding and is completely funded by private donations. We therefore provide an important services in the art for local children and adults, as well disabled people and special needs. We run on a very tight budget with very few personnel many of whom are volunteers. We work tremendously hard. Currently two of our volunteers are permanently disabled, they therefore have to be brought here by car. And unless they can be dropped off immediately outside they cannot get to the studio at all. One of our trustees has unfortunately only one leg, another has very serious lung disease and struggles to breathe, one of our key sponsors is wheel chair bound. These people visit us continually and will now not be able to get of a taxi without being harassed by drivers in the middle of the road. The drop curb needs to be permanently available to us during business hours or else we cannot function properly. <br/><br/>Often we expect large shiploads of heavy lighting equipment, sets pieces and props all indispensible to our general running of our charitable activities. This year we had large pains of glass arrive for a particular project we are working on. Our current project is the creation of a moving exhibition. This involves installing regularly a forest of televisions, tablets, video projectors and cameras as well the technical equipment and cables that accompany a multi media project of this kind. We cannot actually now be assured of being able easily to drop off this kind equipment since all of it is heavy, awkward and vulnerable to theft. All of it needs also to be kept at a storage facility round the corner, it needs to go in and out of the building regularly. Our plan as an organization was to offer private views to special visitors as well as important and vital education projects in tandem with local schools. We have plans to bring 5 exhibitions over the next few years to a whole a range of students and school children. We had hoped that local school children would come and visit the Hidden Space to see the exhibition for themselves. However now I have absolutely lost my confidence in what we shall be able to offer to visitors given that the drop curb is now permanently blocked by cars and we cannot easily drop off any of the equipment that we need that is vital to our ongoing business. More than that I feel disappointed and totally unsupported by an uncaring council who does not value our services or deem access to our building as one of the fundamental rights and vital resources which you have now taken away from us. <br/><br/>Over the last few years Haringey has granted liquor licenses to several bars in the immediate vicinity. This means that the traffic and parking situation is appalling. Thus I can understand local residents writing to you to beg that every tiny yellow line is usable as residents parking. However unusally Diamond Dance Ltd (which struggles to survive as an arts charity) cannot operate easily. Surely our services ought to mean something given that we provide really important arts education to young and old here in the borough and the smallest thing which is the convenience of loading in and loading out is now denied us? It seems that Haringey cannot spend the time to talk to the people impacted before making critical decision against us, since no consultation was sought whatsoever. The notice that went up told us (despite incredibly difficult to read – the poster is attached). Seems to suggest that Haringey was changing the parking regulation hours so that residents would be assured of being able to park until 10pm at night. However this hasn’t been implemented and instead the single yellow line has been allocated as residential parking to a small charity’s great detriment. <br/><br/>It isn’t only that you’ve done this without considering us, I feel as director of this organization that Haringey clearly does not care about people with special needs, or those trying to give to young people when we are struggling to survive. Since the impact truly is enormous for us and since it appears that Haringey care so very little in favour of residents (some of whom own two or three cars, many of whom block the parking with skips and vans for their building work) and when so many residential parking places are available further up the road, those able bodies residential could very easily walk to their cars while our disabled workers and volunteers can’t. The trouble is the Harginey appears to care more and protect the rights of people driving to Falkland Raod to have drink at the local bars. These visitors drive home drunk having entirely dominated the local parking spaces. My suggestion as a solution, one shared by many here, would be to raise the hours of residential parking to 10pm (which appeared to have been promised) and have been done further down the ladder. Yet this has not been implemented here in Falkland Road although the poster does indicate that it would be changing just this. I read the notice when it first went up, although it was very difficult to read. Nowhere on it did it mention the removal of the single yellow line in Falkland Road. The notice as you can see was laminated very badly and has now suffered such bad water damage that it is completely illegible. A letter by rights should have been sent to Diamond Dance directly and appointment made before making our charity virtually dysfunctional. We feel very let down by the Council for this. <br/><br/>I feel so strongly about the removal of this single yellow line (which was only a couple of meters long and its removal cannot solve the parking crises this end of Falkland Road) since the demand for residential car parking is enormous and the parking period ends at 6.30pm anyway. Turning the space outside into a disabled bay also won’t help us either, because people often ignore the disabled allocation and also the area needs to be kept clear so that drop off and deliveries can happen at anytime since we need access to the drop curb. The yellow line was the perfect solution for us, we built this business in the knowledge that this was reliable access point for our activities. Hundreds and thousand of pounds have been invested developing the property keeping it well maintained, making ourselves accessible to the public and providing excellent workshops, training, showings, lectures, classes and exhibitions for the general public. Now we cannot as result of your actions and decision offer those activites in the same way. Haringey have completely abandoned us when in fact it has a responsibility to protect us and assist us in running our services. Instead you have downgraded what we can offer as a charity by removing this yellow line. <br/><br/>I ask you please to reverse this decision and to please reinstate the original access and parking regulations in the form a single line by repainting it as quickly as possible. If you refuse to do this as the Artistic Director of this charity, I will be forced to consult with legal representation and challenge the council through solicitors, since it’s impact is so detrimental to our visitors as well as threatening our scheduled activities. <br/><br/>I hope that you will now take some time to reflect upon our needs and give consider them with some kind of respect, since we have already provided valuable services to the neighbourhood over many years. It would be nice to know that our council actually cared and valued what we do by helping us. There is no more important ability than for us and our visitors and clients to be able to come and go easily in and out of the property and to be able to easily bring in and take away our equipment without obstacle. Please do something to reinstate our access in the shortest amount of time and inconvenience. You give priority too to the Turkish printing press opposite , a commercial business, so why is it that Diamond Dance, a registered charity cannot enjoy the same present? We feel that we have penalised when neighbouring business are considered more important and get preferential treatment. <br/><br/>I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. <br/><br/>Sincerely <br/><br/><br/>Emma Diamond <br/>

Details

Reported 11/10/2018 15:09
Completed No
Visible to public Yes
Category Road and traffic signs
Status Open
Job Code 1193542

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