A Tottenham councillor is aiming to solve parking problems and clean up the borough’s streets after being promoted to Haringey’s top table.

West Green councillor Cllr Seema Chandwani has been given the job of tackling some of the biggest day-to-day issues facing the borough’s residents, including fly-tipping, graffiti and parking problems.

Two months after being promoted to the newly created post of cabinet member for neighbourhoods by council leader Cllr Joseph Ejiofor in May, Cllr Chandwani set out some of her top priorities.


Cllr Chandwani said: “The big thing I am working on at the moment is dedicated disabled bays. Haringey is one of the only north London boroughs that does not have them.

“It means people have to go through an intrusive assessment to have a bay put in, and then anyone with a blue badge can park there.

“In other boroughs, people can apply for a dedicated space. Hopefully, that is going to come to cabinet in the Autumn.”

Another project currently in the pipeline is a review of controlled parking zones around the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Cllr Chandwani said the current system could be confusing for some residents and the council was hoping to make it more consistent.


Cllr Chandwani is also working to combat fly-tipping – a problem that affects hotspots in Tottenham and across the whole borough.

She said the council was working alongside the Local Government Association to come up with new guidelines for tackling fly-tippers, as current penalties are not proving effective.

Cllr Chandwani said she had visited one fly-tipped site shortly after taking on the job and found papers that could be traced back to someone living in Guildford.

She said she was hoping to raise awareness of how people should dispose of their waste properly.

“One key message of the social media campaign is that getting a leaflet through the door advertising a man with a van is not the way to get rid of waste,” Cllr Chandwani said.

“Check they have got the right certificates, and they should issue you with a receipt to say they have disposed of the waste properly. A lot of people don’t do that.”

A borough-wide HMO (houses in multiple occupation) landlord licensing scheme is also helping to tackle fly-tipping.

Cllr Chandwani said: “It really helps us track down a landlord and be able to have a conversation with them to say, look, you can only put your rubbish out between this time or this time, or it has to be this bin or that bin.

“We are allowed to put the onus on the landlord – but if we can see they are making a real effort and there are still problems, we can pursue individual tenants for their behaviour.”

The cabinet member for neighbourhoods said people should report dumped items using Haringey’s mobile app or contact waste management firm Veolia via Twitter, email or telephone.

Vandalism and graffiti affecting small business

Along with Cllr Gideon Bull, who is the new cabinet member for local investment and economic growth, Cllr Chandwani is working on a high streets project aimed at helping small businesses.

She said: “We are going to our smaller high streets – ones that have got a parade of maybe around 20 shops, none really big.

“This came about when a business tweeted me and said, have you seen the state of Broad Lane and Markfield Road? It is heavily vandalised – how can we run a business here?

“We visited all the businesses and left them with information on how they can call Veolia for free and get any public-facing vandalism or graffiti removed.”

The waste management company aims to remove graffiti within a week of it being reported.

Cllr Chandwani said: “When we spoke to businesses, people were upset to come to work in the mornings and see the state of the shops.

“Some of them have told us they are spending hundreds of pounds each time to get it cleaned. They had no idea we offered this service.”

Councillors are also speaking to faith groups and voluntary organisations who have been targeted by race hate graffiti, which Veolia aims to remove within one to two days.

Cllr Chandwani said they had recently removed “transphobic, anti-semitic, homophobic and a lot of anti-Turkish graffiti”.

Tottenham Youth Fund

The West Green councillor is also continuing to work on the Tottenham Youth Fund – a cause she helped set up and donates £1,000 of her own allowance to every year.

The fund, which supports young people aged between 11 and 19 years old, has just awarded its second round of successful bids.

Cllr Chandwani said: “It is going really well, and I think it will grow as time goes on, when people see where the money is going and what they are doing with it.”



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