Aims & Guidelines


Draft v2, as agreed at OT Coordination Meeting 20.3.2014 For consideration at the OT Coordination Meeting after next (mid-late April).


1.             The Our Tottenham Community Charter was drafted by a series of open meetings of Tottenham community groups from January to April 2013. Charter Action Points were developed, discussed, amended and adopted, along with the Charter as a whole (see the key points in the Aims below), by the Our Tottenham open conference on 6 April 2013, attended by 110 people from over 30 local community organisations. They were collectively formulated by those attending workshops at the conference, and those that have been adopted are the ones ratified by the conference as a whole (through an overwhelming show of hands in support).

2.             A further set of Guidelines were adopted in a similar way at the Community Planning for Tottenham conference on February 1 2014, attended by 105 people from 40 community organisations – these have been added to the Action Plan (See below, Appendix 1).

3.             An additional clause regarding Environmental Sustainability has been added to the Aims below after the OT Coordination Group agreed on 20.3.2014 this was a key issue to acknowledge, and agreed to affiliate to the Sustainable Haringey network.

  OUR AIMS    

4.             Together with local people we will take action to….

4.1.         DEFEND COMMUNITY FACILITIES:  to protect and expand the ‘social infrastructure’ our communities value and rely on, including community centres, local pubs, corner shops, playgrounds & parks, GP surgeries, post offices etc

4.2.         STAND UP FOR DECENT AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR ALL:  to ensure that new developments provide the secure, affordable housing that people need, and that ‘gentrification’ doesn’t force thousands of local residents out of our borough

4.3.         SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES:  to support our local, independent, family shops and enterprises

4.4.         PROMOTE QUALITY DESIGN AND RESPECT FOR HERITAGE:  to protect Tottenham’s listed buildings, conservation areas and general positive architectural characteristics, and ensure any new development is of good quality

4.5.         IMPROVE THE STREET ENVIRONMENT:  to ensure safer, friendlier, traffic-calmed, ‘living’ streets with less clutter and more greenery

4.6.         SUPPORT YOUTH VOICES, SERVICES AND FACILITIES:   to encourage and support our local youth speaking out for the services, centres and facilities they need

4.7.         EMPOWER OUR COMMUNITIES:  to ensure real respect, engagement and empowerment for our communities and community groups so that they are driving the decision-making

4.8.         DEVELOP LOCAL COMMUNITY PLANS:  to develop our own ideas and visions for our local sites & neighbourhoods

4.9.         WORK TOWARDS LONG-TERM ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: to promote and encourage low/zero carbon energy, reduced consumption and waste, sustainable travel, and local production of food and other necessary goods and services

  GUIDELINES AND PROCESS – How the Our Tottenham network operates  

5.1.       Our Aims are those set out above, based on the OT Community Charter.

5.2.       Our Tottenham is a local network run by and for those who live or work in Tottenham

5.3.       Membership is open to all organisations based or substantially based in Tottenham who agree broadly with the Aims.

5.4.       We hold regular Coordination Meetings of the network (at least monthly), open to reps and members of supporting groups, and other groups and individuals wishing to contribute. The meetings share and discuss relevant news and views, and make key operational decisions. The meetings oversee and coordinate all activity, and have the power to delegate people to carry out agreed tasks.

5.5.       We hold occasional Conferences to discuss and adopt major proposals for our policies and strategy. Any specific fundamental policies for the network as a whole – beyond the founding statement and basic information/statements already put out – need to be agreed at a Conference. However, if an urgent, fundamental issue arises, the Coordination Meeting is empowered to put a proposal to the network, if it has been agreed unanimously at such a meeting. If there are no objections within 14 days, the policy is agreed and is subject to ratification at the next Conference.

5.6.       We will develop a range of autonomous Working Groups affiliated to and overseen by the OT Coordination Meetings and the OT network as a whole, guided by the agreed aims and action points of the network. These are set up to achieve the specific aims of the network, or to do other practical matters needed/agreed eg local economy; housing; community planning; planning policy; community facilities; communications; funding and resources.

Each Working Group is encouraged to organise and publicise their own themed meetings and activities as needed and as they feel able to (supported and overseen by the network generally), and to develop their own membership, contacts, activities and specific networking, publicity and outreach. Each Working Group should minute and circulate details of its activities, and report back to the Coordination Meetings. The themes and activities of the Working Groups inevitably overlap, and should keep in touch with each other as needed.

Working Groups may speak for themselves (eg to the media, or do their own leaflets etc), as long as they are guided by the network’s overall agreed policies.

5.7.       A delegate or representative may be chosen to speak for the network as a whole (eg to the media, or the Council) only if delegated by a Coordination Meeting to do so, and in accordance with the agreed policies of the network. Any such delegate will be expected to carry out their mandate in a responsible manner.

5.8.       A treasurer shall be elected to keep proper accounts of OT finances and to maintain a bank/building society account. All cheques etc should be signed by at least 2 out of 4 individuals from member groups elected to be signatories (one of the 4 being the treasurer). All monies raised shall be applied only to further the aims of OT.

5.9.       In respect for the diverse views of the wide range of organisations and individuals involved in and supporting the network we also encourage all supporters to take the action they think best to stand up for Tottenham’s communities, and to link up with others as needed – both through and independently of the network.

5.10.      We aim for the network to help build a movement, and to continue until all the aims are achieved.

5.11.      We support and link up with organisations and campaigns with similar goals around Haringey, London and the UK.

5.12.      If a Coordination Meeting or 10 member groups wish at any time to dissolve the OT network, all members must be given at least 28 days notice of a Special Meeting to discuss this specific and explicit proposal. If such a decision is agreed at that meeting by a two-thirds majority of those member groups present and voting, the assets will be disposed of to another local voluntary organisation with compatible aims and principles, this group being agreed at the same meeting.