Yesterday Haringey Councillors elected Cllr Peray Ahmet as the new Leader of Haringey Council. Peray said:
Last night I had the honour of being elected Leader of Haringey Council. As a lifelong Haringey resident and a working-class woman from an ethnic minority background, I couldn’t be more honoured to represent the borough I call home. I am grateful to my colleagues for all their support, and I look forward to working with every single Labour member in Haringey as we look towards the local elections in 2022.
I was born and raised in Wood Green and now live in Tottenham with my husband and baby daughter. I am of Turkish Cypriot descent and am the first Muslim and the first woman of colour to hold this office in Haringey.
I have represented Noel Park ward since 2014, have held two cabinet positions, chaired the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, have a professional background in the local government sector and 20 years of Trade Unionism under my belt. I am excited to bring my experience to the challenges ahead.
Guided by the 2018 Haringey Labour manifesto which was developed in partnership with party members, my main priorities include:
– Building council homes and boosting the Housing Delivery Programme
– Being a listening council where resident voice is heard and acted upon. A council that works with people not for people, with collaboration, co-design, co-production at the heart of everything we do
– Keeping our community safe and working with residents to build a multi-agency, public health approach to crime, safety, justice, and serious youth violence
– Improving services for early education and childcare so that our children get the best start in life
– Insourcing council services, giving residents more say in the services they use and allowing money can be invested into services, rather than profit-driven private companies
– Improving council services through exploring new partnerships, particularly with community and voluntary sector organisations
– Tackling the Climate Emergency with bold steps to protect our environment and protect our planet
– Supporting our small and local businesses, High Streets and local economy as we continue to make Haringey the best place to live, work, and learn
I am so proud to have this chance to move our community forward with fairness, decency, and respect at the core of all we do.
Let’s do this.
Haringey’s new Cabinet was also ratified last night, you can find out more about them below.
Cllr Mike Hakata, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and the Climate Emergency and Deputy Leader of the Council
Councillor for St Ann’s
I have worked in the transport sector for the past decade, very much on the frontline, in minicab companies in Islington, Hackney and Haringey. The insights I’ve gained observing the yearly increases in congestion and its social and environmental impacts have inspired me to do what I can to ensure we prioritise people by building a safer and greener borough. We need to focus on creating liveable and living neighbourhoods and communities where people, clean air, biodiversity and open space are core features of our transport, health, employment and place policies.
Cllr John Bevan, Cabinet Member for Planning, Licensing and Housing Services
Councillor for Northumberland Park
A long-standing Labour Councillor, Northumberland Park Ward, home of Spurs Football Club. Before my Cabinet appointment I was involved in the following: Chair LHC formerly London Housing Consortium; Member Lee Valley Park Authority; Planning committee member; Pensions committee chair; Board Member, Homes for Haringey; Groundworks; Police Safer Neighbourhoods panel member; North Tottenham Heritage High Road shop restorations; Wards Corner Policy Advisory Group; Pendaren House outdoor centre working group.
Plus I volunteer at the Stonebridge Lock Coalition, and Friends of Bruce Castle Park, committee member.
During Covid-19 lockdowns I volunteered at two food banks, The Antwerp Arms and the cook up at the Eric Allen Community Centre.
Member of the Personal Finance Society / Chartered Insurance Institute and “Which” The Consumers Association.
Cllr Zena Brabazon Cabinet Member for Early Years, Children and Families
Councillor for Harringay
I am delighted to lead the children’s portfolio. The focus on early years is hugely welcome, as we work to minimise the impact of the pandemic on young lives. It brings together early education, family support, inclusion, childcare, and external partnerships.
Alongside early years are youth provision, schools, special needs, family support, children’s social care and an age range from 0-25. Every element requires working with partners and service users. So, co-production and participation are vital. We must work collaboratively, combining knowledge and skills to develop the best services we can, and I really look forward to working with everyone.
Cllr Seema Chandwani, Cabinet Member for Customer Service, Welfare and the Public Realm
Councillor for West Green
I’ve lived in Tottenham for most of my life, attending West Green Primary School and going on to Hornsey School for Girls.
My background is in Youth Work, specialising in Serious Youth Violence and High Needs. I have worked as a Youth Worker, Detached Worker, Behavioural Support Worker and Connexions Advisor. I have been the Deputy Head of Youth Services in Haringey, I was the Director of Operations at the Damilola Taylor Trust and I currently am a Network Lead for the Mayor of London’s Young Londoners Fund.
I became a Councillor in December 2018. As part of my election win I set up the Tottenham Youth Fund with David Lammy dedicating £1,000 of my Councillor allowance a year. We have funded over 12 projects and supported over 60 families over Christmas facing hardship due to COVID.
I am a Unite Member and a firm believer in Trade Unionism. My political passions include economic justice, welfare, council housing, anti-racism and of course, waste!
I am a Trustee of the Bernie Grant Trust, and Vice Chair of the London Labour Party.
I’m engaged and still live in Tottenham, strangely back on the same road I grew up on as a child.
Cllr Lucia das Neves, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Well-being
Councillor for Woodside
As the cabinet member for health, social care and well-being I will be a passionate advocate for the voice of residents and service users in how we design and deliver services. My background in community participation, as well as experience in community-led design, hospice care and supported living, will help me put co-production and resident voice at the heart of services. Following on from the council’s response to the pandemic, I will also be focused on how we can build on our community strengths, and be innovative and join up the council’s thinking, to improve the mental health and overall wellbeing of all our residents.
Cllr Julie Davies Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and corporate services
Councillor for St Ann’s
I was a Haringey teacher before becoming a councillor. I have lived, taught and campaigned in Haringey since 1983. I have been an activist for improvement, and celebration, of our borough since I chose to call Haringey my home.
I want to see the council step up to being a major local employer, giving people from the community opportunities for skills and training and recruiting the very best staff to serve the needs of residents.
I want to see the Council support all our Haringey communities to showcase their culture and traditions for London and the world.
Cllr Isidoros Diakides, Cabinet Member for Finance and Transformation
Councillor for Tottenham Green
I suppose I am the Father of the new Cabinet, being a veteran Tottenham councillor (28 years) and leading over the years on Housing, Regeneration, Race Equality, Overview & Scrutiny, Audit and other services.
Throughout these years I was helped by my professional experience (Architect, Engineer, Planner and Corporate Manager, mostly in Local Government and non-profit sector), as well as my related academic research and studies in various Universities, my Trade Union work and my work in Voluntary non-profit organisations.
Amongst other things, I’ve chaired the Haringey Community Health Council, served as a co-optee on the boards on both our local Hospital Trusts, was founding member and Chair of the Haringey Anti-Racist Alliance and of the H&WG Black Sections, led various anti-racist campaigns, chaired Bernie Grant’s charitable Global Trade Centre and got involved in many more anti-poverty and social solidarity initiatives.
In recent years I am involved in European Social movements, including co-chairing the Greece Solidarity Campaign with its Medical Aid for Greece charitable arm and also as an Executive member of the European Network of Greek origin councillors.
Cllr Ruth Gordon, Cabinet Member for House Building, Placemaking and Development
Councillor for Tottenham Hale
Although I still retain my northern accent, I have lived in London since 1984 and brought my son up in Tottenham Hale, the ward I live in and represent. I work as a music teacher and have seen first-hand the impact Covid-19 has had on children and families trying their best to manage the spaces they live in, study in and work in. As we emerge out of the pandemic, I will be focussed on building new, high-quality Council homes, raising standards on our existing estates and supporting the local economy to boost jobs for Haringey residents.