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TOGETHER with the Council’s esteemed journal of record (Haringey People magazine) a new title dropped through my letter slot last weekend.

For those either not resident in Stroud Green Ward or who haven’t yet seen it, the full-length PDF version of Made in Stroud Green can be downloaded here.

There is some interesting information in it, unsurprising given there’re no fewer than 48 pages.

Not all residents will retain the publication, that consumed a third of the £10,000 Council Ward budget. 

If it was delivered to every household in the Ward, then perforce it will have gone to every voter in the Ward. Eleven months ahead of local elections and not a penny counting toward Election Expenses: impressive gaming. Lest anyone miss it, the Editor quoted his email address in four different places; his name (sometimes bolded) or contact details, appear at least once on no fewer than seven pages.

For those who may wish to assess for themselves an edited version that highlights the number of mentions and references to its elected Editor—please find it attached, below.

Plus a couple of Government guidelines that may be relevant.

Cllr. Clive Carter

Liberal Democrat

Tags: Council Tax, Rates, Stroud Green Ward, public money, self-promotion, ward budget

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Mr. Stanton, it's a real lesson in promotion.

I forgot to mention that Councillor Raj Sahota's publication—along with the normal Council papers—was also delivered via the Council's regular courier van delivery.

As you may remember, that goes to each and every Haringey Councillor in all 19 Wards, for a total of 57 Councillors. I recently took a phone call from another Councillor to check if I'd received my copy of Cllr. Raj Sahota's journal by that means (answer: yes, I did!).

If for any reason any Haringey Councillor did not receive a copy of Cllr. Raj Sahota's publication, it is possible that the Council holds spare copies.

And of course, for those seeking the PDF version of Made In Stroud Green edited by Cllr. Sahota, the link at the top of this page continues to operate.

Can I suggest there's a more general point here.

As most people will know, in the not so distant past there were several local newspapers who hired competent journalists who let sunshine and fresh air into public debate. Some papers were free sheets delivered to people's homes so there was a wide circulation of independent information.

Personally I thought many of these papers and their journalists did a fairly decent job, given their limited resources. Some of them did and still do a brilliant job - even with steadily shrinking staff numbers, reducing budgets, and their papers' advertising income shrinking. I thought it was part of having a healthy local public life that there was some press insight over local councillors and councils and other bodies.

But not all councillors agree. Those with a more authoritarian cast of mind would much prefer to do their business in secret. This is not just a Haringey disease. Publications in the 1920s by the German Sociologist Max Weber made similar points.


But a feature of Haringey is that although the local press has shrivelled away, the Borough still employs a large team of its own "Comms" staff who send out a constant stream of one-sided propaganda. In my view, it's a modernised digital lies machine. Haringey will try to ensure that what the public finds-out is stage managed, scripted, shaped, and offered in a positive, upbeat, picture book style.
'Look John, Look Janet. See the happy people. Smile John. Smile Janet. See the blue sky. See the white clouds'.
(New words: Look happy smile blue sky white cloud) 

Of course in the larger scheme Councillor, Editor, Sahota and his booklet are very mild stuff. There are a lot of good things going on in Stroud Green and local councillors will want to give them active support.

People must make their own judgement about the point at which such helpful support crosses a line to become political promotion using public funds.

Although Raj's bit of self promotion was delivered to Stroud Green it was not delivered to that lonely outpost of Stroud Green Ward, the Vale Roads - we were lumped into Stroud Green Ward by the Boundary Commission some years ago and it is clear that our local councillor clearly doesn't think we are worth bothering with.  I have read the document and noted that Raj claimed to have written the story about the Stroud Green Residents Association with Kit Greveson who does sterling work for the SGRA.  I then received the following comment from Raj in which he makes an interesting comment which confirms, as we suspect that RS is indeed Raj - " Also I can't remember why my initials are on the SGRA article. There are lots of other I wrote including many of the extraordinary Stroud Green pieces where I wasn't mentioned.  The magazine is getting a fantastic response and people are loving the cover. Everyone seems very pleased to have something that focused on this area."  So RS is Raj, but actually he used his full name on the article about SGRA although he now seems to claim he didn't write that but now admits to have written lots of others where neither his name nor his initials appeared!  It would seem that our councillor has been a very busy boy and wrote the lot!

 

Paul can I please ask the basis on which you think Vale Road is in Stroud Green Ward?

Obviously I've no information about what may be cooking-up with some property developers for the future. But on my tattered old map, Vale Road, Eade Road and Hermitage Road are all within the ward of the Supreme and All-Powerful, much-beloved, Dear Leader - Seven Sisters.

Can I suggest you consult the Council's website and look-up the section on "Local Democracy" (They do love to bring smiles and laughter to the world.)
Then use the Ward Search. You should find all the Vales in Seven Sisters ward. Or they were there a few minutes ago when I looked. Of course this may not be accurate. (Last time I looked, Haringey maps still showed me as a councillor. That was over three years ago.)

Please let us all know if the ward boundaries have been swiftly changed. It would mean that someone high up in Koberville spends their time lurking and reading this website.

I read it to mean the Hornsey Vale roads. Makes sense as I don't remember receiving this magazine despite seemingly having paid for it.

Right, Thanks. My silly error.

I did indeed mean the Vale Roads - Nelson, Inderwick, Mayfield, Denton and Uplands as well as the south side of Weston Park - clearly our local councillor ignores us... Mr Sahota that is...

Update - Raj is posting me TWO copies as I didn't get the first - if you live on the Vale Roads and didn't get a copy he may send you two too if you ask him...

Paul, I understand that an early draft was rejected as being a little too self-promoting:

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