Real Media first visited the Ward’s Corner Seven Sisters Market (known as Latin Village) back in April 2017. Local people were fighting to preserve their cheap and cheerful community market which brings together Latin American and other BAME residents from miles around.
It was facing demolition as part of controversial Haringey Council regeneration projects, and despite promises of a new market space, the development includes new luxury flats, NO affordable housing, but much greater allocation for the usual retail chain suspects. Most market traders are concerned that the new smaller space promised to them, will quickly suffer from hiked rents, putting them out of business – future rents are only guaranteed for a short period.
The community have been fighting a long hard battle against the council, the original site owner Tranport for London, the corporate landlord Grainger plc and Quarterbridge, a company known for taking over market spaces with aggressive asset stripping and profit-focussed management. Qaurterbridge have been acting as leaseholder for the market hall despite multiple complaints since they took over, and their director Jonathan Owen has been accused of racist and offensive language. A TfL investigation agreed that he had used offensive language in meetings and talking to traders yet his company is still lined up to profit from the deal.
A United Nations report concluded that “ the local authorities involved in the project had failed to adequately assess and mitigate the impact of the project on the cultural rights of minorities, including children.”
Despite losing a judicial review of the council’s Compulsory Purchase Order earlier this year, the Save Latin Village campaigners are still hopeful they can eventually win, especially as a recent cross-party council scrutiny review recommended the council break up its own regeneration department and take another look at the Wards Corner Community Plan – an alternative and community-led scheme for the development.
The current leader of Haringey Council, Joseph Ejiofor has agreed to take a look at the scrutiny review, and it will be considered at a cabinet meeting in November.
Saturday’s rally brought campaigners together and once again raised the profile of the battle for people over profit in Haringey.