In our latest councillor’s column, Ayfer Orhan celebrates the community spirit of Ponders End
I never thought when I became a councillor in 1998 that I’d still be serving in the year 2020! Yet here I am, a councillor in one of the most diverse, culturally rich wards in Enfield, proud of its history and looking forward to the future.
Over the years, I am pleased to have served and worked with many excellent councillors, and to have seen enormous changes in the ward. Ponders End has a rich history; it was first mentioned in historical records in 1593. Today, residents come together to celebrate not only its wonderful past but its diversity and cultural richness.
I have witnessed many memorable, and sometimes moving, moments when residents across the community have come together. Most poignant was the moment when local people gathered on the corner of Ponders End High street and South Street to remember those who lost their lives on that very spot when, during the Second World War, the Two Brewers pub was bombed. Today the small memorial park is enjoyed by the whole community, from its beautiful floral displays to the gold awards secured for Enfield in Bloom. A dedicated team from Friends of Ponders End Park regularly volunteer to help with the garden’s upkeep.
Within the boundaries of Ponders End, there are many buildings of worship which are highly regarded and visited by local residents – they are particularly busy when they annually open their doors to the wider community to share food, culture and religion.
Ponders End Community Development Trust (PECDT), the two Bangladeshi welfare associations, plus the many dedicated groups of volunteers from across all community organisations, schools and clubs, are constantly active across the ward and host a wide range of community events throughout the year.
The Alma Board is a recent addition and has a strong body of volunteers from Alma Residents Association, Enfield Council, developers and councillors. They make important decisions, supporting and galvanising residents in an area of much change and regeneration.
It is no accident that Ponders End is seeing one of the largest regeneration programmes for decades and that much of it started taking shape in 2010, with contribution from many councillors. I am proud that we kept our regeneration promise to the residents and am pleased to have seen the growth of neighbourhoods next to existing ones, and the first residents move into their new homes at the award-winning Dujardin Mews, Alma Estate and Electric Quarter.
Cllr Orhan is one of three councillors representing Ponders End, alongside Susan Erbil and Doug Taylor (all Labour). Ponders End Ward Forum meets four times per year. Surgeries are by appointment only. Call 020 8379 2656
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