Sunday, 26 April 2009

Getting Neighbourly

Haringey Green Party members Sarah Cope, Pete McAskie, Mary Hogan and Anna Bragga in deepest Stroud Green!

Yesterday I attended the Stroud Green Neighbourhood Day along with several other members of Haringey Green Party. It was organised by Stroud Green Residents' Association, and the sun shone all afternoon.

It was a great opportunity to meet local people, hear about their involvement in the community and find out more about the area. We had a guided tour of the Granville Road Spinney, a small wood which is an oasis of calm for local residents. There’s a wonderful mix of trees including plum, cherry, hornbeam, hazel and willow. There’s also a range of other woodland flowers, including ramsons and three-cornered leek. We sampled several edible plants including wild garlic.

The Police were there in the shape of the ward’s Safer Neighbourhoods team. We chatted with them for quite a while about issues in the local area and improving police presence on the streets. It seems that the team really want to continue to build up a good relationship with residents, which has to be positive.

It is great that these neighbourhood days are happening across the borough. I am currently organising the annual gardening day on my housing estate in Highgate – always a productive, enjoyable and sociable occasion.

By getting to know our neighbours, opening up our homes and getting involved with looking after the areas we live, we create communities, make friends and improve our quality of life. Indeed, recent research has shown that high earners with weak social links are less happy that those with little money and strong social links. And it costs nothing to put the effort into forging friendships and looking after each other, after all.

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