MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Health Minister Norman Lamb addressed over 50 local residents last night at a public meeting organised by local MP Lynne Featherstone.
Norman Lamb MP spoke about his work in the Department of Health to:
The Minister for Care and Support then took questions from the audience – and addressed concerns about private providers and NHS funding.
The rate of NHS privatisation has slowed drastically under the Coalition Government. In the last four years of Labour’s Government, 4.4% of the NHS was contracted out to private providers.
The Liberal Democrats are the only party who have pledged an extra £8 billion a year for our NHS by 2020, in line with what the Chief Executive of NHS England says is needed.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“All of us are really proud of our NHS – and we have all benefitted from it at some point in our lives, and it absolutely must stay free at the point of delivery.
“To ensure this, the NHS needs funding. That’s why the NHS budget was exempt from cuts during this parliament, and why the Lib Dems have pledged an extra £8 billion in funding if we’re back in Government.
“It was great to have Norman here to talk about the work he’s doing on integrated care, mental health, social care and more. I hope residents enjoyed the opportunity to ask him questions directly.”
Lynne Featherstone MP joined two policemen and a neighbourhood watch representative on a local walk in Crouch End.
They discussed tackling burglary and vehicle crime in the local area, as well as preventative measures to deter anti-social behaviour and crimes against the person.
Crime in Haringey has fallen in the last five years. Crime across the country has also dropped drastically – last year reaching its lowest level in 33 years.
New police recruits are also due to come to Haringey as part of a mentoring programme.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“The fall in crime in Haringey and across the UK is really welcome news – but there is still much more to be done, particularly on violent crimes and crimes against the person.
“The local police do a fantastic job around here. It was great to join them on the walk-about and see them in action.”
Health Minister Norman Lamb MP will attend a local public meeting tomorrow, to discuss NHS funding, mental health services, integrated care and more.
The meeting – which has been arranged by local Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone – will take place from 7.15pm – 8.30pm at Greig City Academy – with doors opening at 7pm.
Local residents will have the chance to raise questions with the Minister.
In Government, the Liberal Democrats have:
The Liberal Democrats are the only party to have pledged an extra £8bn in NHS funding if they are in Government after May.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“Liberal Democrats believe that the NHS should always remain free at the point of delivery. In Government, Norman Lamb and his team have protected the NHS budget and put mental health on the agenda.
“I’m very much looking forward to welcoming Norman to the constituency, and hearing about the work he has done to protect the NHS, improve social care, and to ensure that mental health is on the same platform as physical health.
“The meeting is open to the public – if you’re interested in attending, please just turn up!”
Here’s my latest Muswell Flyer article, also available here. Nb – since the time of writing – the campaign for fairer health funding has been successful, and we’ve secured an extra £23.5 million for our local health services!
As a Liberal Democrat, I believe in creating a fairer society. And in a fair society, rail services should be accessible for everyone – including the elderly, the disabled, and those with heavy bags or pushchairs. That’s why I started the campaign to make our local stations step-free and accessible (which I wrote about in the last edition!)
Almost 800 local residents agreed and signed the petition. I met with Network Rail, Department for Transport ministers, and anyone I thought might be able to help.
And I have some great news – we’ve been successful in securing the extra funding for improvements at Alexandra Palace. The station will be step-free and accessible for all by 2019.
Of course, there are a number of other local stations – both rail and underground – which also need improvements. But this is a great step in the right direction, and hopefully a sign of more to come!
In other campaigning news – local residents and I are also working hard to secure fairer health funding for Haringey’s health services. At the moment, Haringey unfairly receives less funding per person than boroughs like Islington and Camden.
This is unfair and really has a negative impact of Haringey residents – increased waiting times, limited access to services, the list goes on. That’s why I exposed the unfairness and launched the campaign years ago – and I will not stop until the problem is fixed!
Last year, our campaign secured an extra £7.6 million for Haringey’s health services – but we are still underfunded compared to other boroughs.
I recently met with NHS England to put forward the case for Haringey. Good news – they agreed there is a serious problem – and they will meet with local health chiefs to try and move some money from other boroughs to Haringey.
I’ve also collected some evidence on hidden populations and mental health service funding to support our case and help secure more funding for our services.
I am confident of getting a result for Haringey – particularly as the Government has just announced an extra £2 billion in funding for the NHS – with a huge chunk earmarked for frontline services.
Just before Christmas I also launched a campaign to save Muswell Hill Library. Budget documents revealed Labour-run Haringey Council’s plans to close the current service and spend £30,000 on relocating the service (possibly away from Muswell Hill). I think they should keep the service where is it, and spend a smaller amount on making the library accessible. Over 1000 local residents agree.
I hope, by the time this is printed, Haringey Council will have scrapped the plans. If not – you can join that campaign here.
Lynne Featherstone MP on Saturday took part in a march organised by Unite Against Fascism (UAF). Over 10,000 people in total took to the streets in central London to stand up to racism and hate crime.
The Liberal Democrat MP was joined at the march by members of the ‘Ethnic Minority Lib Dem’ group and the Justice Minister, Simon Hughes MP.
The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green is currently spearheading a local campaign to promote unity between different communities and search for solutions to radicalisation and hate crime.
Alongside marching with UAF, the local MP has visited local Mosques, Synagogues, community groups, youth groups and more to start conversations and encourage community cohesion in the face of events like the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“In a truly fair society, no-one should be discriminated against or attacked because of their race or religion. It is so upsetting to hear reports of further attacks on synagogues, and to hear from local Muslim women that they do not feel safe.
“That’s why I joined the March on Saturday to stand up to racism – and why I’m pushing the agenda in my constituency of Hornsey and Wood Green.
“The Liberal Democrats are the party of equality. We are the polar opposite of parties like UKIP, and we will continue to stand up to racism and hate crime.”
Working people in Haringey will benefit from a £905 income tax cut by 2018, thanks to a flagship Liberal Democrat policy announced during the Budget yesterday.
The Budget included Lib Dem plans to raise the tax-free personal allowance yet again to £10,800 in 2016/17 and £11,000 a year later.
In London these Liberal Democrat measures will lift at least 502,000 out of income tax altogether.
The Liberal Democrat’s 2015 manifesto includes measures to go further with a commitment to raise the tax-free to £12,500 by the end of the next parliament.
Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“This further income tax cut is the real budget boost for working people and takes even more of the lowest-paid and part-time workers out of income tax altogether.
“The Liberal Democrats are the one party to put these tax cuts on the front page of its manifesto and deliver them – helping low and middle income families across Britain.
“This is a Lib Dem policy and has been the most important and effective policy of this Government – reducing the tax bills of millions and millions of ordinary workers.
“Labour can’t build a strong enough economy to enable these kind of tax cuts. And the Conservatives wouldn’t have brought this in on their own.
“Only the Liberal Democrats can create opportunity for everyone by building a stronger economy and fairer society.”
The National Minimum Wage is set to rise by three per cent, which means workers will get a new rate of £6.70 an hour.
It is the largest real-terms increase in the National Minimum Wage since 2008, and over 1.4 million UK workers are set to benefit.
Lynne Featherstone MP said: “Thousands of people in Haringey have already felt the benefit of Lib Dem income tax cuts, and the increase in National Minimum Wage is another step in the right direction.
“These measures are helping low-paid and part-time workers the most – and this wouldn’t be happening without the Liberal Democrats in Government”
Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has also announced the National Minimum Wage for apprentices will increase by 57p an hour.
Nick Clegg said: “This is just one of the many ways in which we have created a fairer society while building a stronger economy.
“If you are on low pay, or starting your dream career through an apprenticeship, you will get more support to help you go further and faster.”
In a truly fair society, no woman or girl would be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). It is gender-based violence – it is unacceptable and it needs to stop.
But over 60,000 girls in the UK are vulnerable. That’s why I recently held a conference for North London professionals to discuss working together to end FGM.
You can watch a video from the conference here:
As you can see, over 100 health workers, social workers, teachers, police and community group representatives gathered at Hornsey School for Girls.
It was a great event – with sessions for each sector, mixed sessions to discuss an integrated approach to tackling FGM, speeches from survivors and a presentation from students.
There is still a lot of work to do to raise awareness and to protect vulnerable girls. But conferences and conversations like this are important steps in the right direction.
A new poll shows local MP Lynne Featherstone making a significant surge in the polls as the election date approaches.
This new poll puts the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green on 36%, just 1% behind Labour on 37%, with the Conservatives back on 15%, Greens 7% and UKIP 4%.
It shows a much closer fight than the last public constituency poll carried out by Lord Ashcroft in September – which gave Labour a 13 point lead.
Since then, support for Labour’s candidate – who only a third of respondents had heard of – has plummeted, while support for the popular local MP Lynne Featherstone has increased dramatically. The Conservatives remain too far behind to win.
The Liberal Democrat MP – who was recently endorsed by Paddy Ashdown for her work to counter extremism and promote unity – has clearly galvanised her supporters in the last 6 months, and now has the momentum firmly behind her as polling day approaches.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“My team and I know we have a tough fight ahead. But the mood on the doorsteps is positive and we are confident of pulling through.
“This close to an election, more and more people will start thinking about the candidates’ records of action, and who they want to represent them over the next 5 years. I live here, and I have dedicated the last 20 years of my life to this area – residents can be confident that I’ll keep on campaigning with and for them.
“I work every day with my team to deliver real benefits – my constituents are aware of this, and it feels like they are responding to what we have been doing and what we are in the process of doing.”
Haringey Liberal Democrat Party Chair, Cara Jenkinson, comments:
“Just look at Lynne Featherstone’s local record. Extra money for schools and hospitals, annual apprenticeship events, and successful campaigns to protect the Whittington, the Pinkham Way site, Muswell Hill Library and more.
“In Government, Lynne was the architect of Equal Marriage Law and launched a £35 million programme to end FGM within a generation. She is a campaigner through and through.
“The Labour party candidate lives outside of Haringey. She hasn’t campaigned with residents to make positive changes. She simply cannot match Lynne’s local record of delivery. As we get closer to polling day – it’s no wonder local people are increasingly backing Lynne.
“This poll shows it really is all to play for. Lynne and her team are experienced campaigners; we are more than ready to take the fight to Labour and successfully hold this seat.”
Earlier in the week I posted a video of Paddy Ashdown and Maajid Nawaz talking about tackling extremism. I’ve received some very interesting feedback – thank you for your views!
I agree with Paddy and Maajid – that tough conversations and community cohesion are the best ways to respond to extremism and to prevent radicalisation.
That’s why I’ve put words into action in our local area. Here’s a video featuring just some of my local visits to Mosques, Synagogues, community groups, youth groups and more:
This is just a starting point. There is still a long way to go, even in a place like Haringey, where we have such a proud tradition of standing up to both extremism and intolerance.
If you part of a community or religious group, and would like to hear more about this work to promote unity, or even take part, please let me know!