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Let's get a sense of proportion

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As an architect who recently ended a 20-year career with Haringey Council, I welcome Gurbux Singh's call for a greater representation from our ethnic minority communities in the profession (AJ 7. 9. 00).

The Gifford Inquiry into the disturbances of October 1985 at the Broadwater Farm Estate in Tottenham focused on the tragic consequences of a failure of justice from the police.

Sadly, the death of Stephen Lawrence has shown that, in some areas, there is still a long way to go.

The inquiry did not have a lot to say about the architecture, but concentrated more on a failure of housing management, which did not begin ethnic monitoring until 1980, at which time 70 per cent of new lettings were made to homeless families - the estate being so badly managed that no one else would live there.

However, since the Estate Action Programme has been completed there is a waiting list for the flats.

The scheme has been hailed as a model for regeneration and it was designed by the only council service to mirror the communities of Haringey.

This was not enough to prevent its closure when Singh was still the chief executive.

One final point from the report is that the scheme was designed in 1965 and the head of the council's team of architects was Salem ElDoori.

Greg Gordon Muswell Hill, London N10

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