MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone and Hornsey Councillor Monica Whyte both wrote to the Mayor, and asked him not to approve the application in its current form. They repeated the concerns on quality of development, housing density and impact on local trade and traffic – alongside concerns about drainage and possible damp problems on the depot site.
The Mayor of London had the power to instruct the Council to reject the application or to take over the application himself – however he opted to do neither.
The rubber stamping is the latest bad news in the on-going Hornsey Depot saga. Local Liberal Democrats and residents remain outraged, as Labour-run Haringey Council approved the application, despite objections from Hornsey Liberal Democrat councillors and local residents.
At Council level, the application went through on the Labour Chair’s casting vote even though all the Liberal Democrat members on the committee voted against the application.
Hornsey Campaigner Dawn Barnes said:
“Local residents are really worried about this development. It’s clear that the Labour-run Council have rushed this through and missed the chance to make crucial amendments. Now the Conservative Mayor has let us down, too.
“We’ll continue to speak up for residents, to try and get the best deal possible for Hornsey.”
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“It’s appalling that such a flawed application has been waived through by both the Labour Council and now, the Conservative Mayor.
“The Liberal Democrats in Hornsey will keep representing local residents and fighting for changes to these plans.
“We will be going back to the developers, and I’ll be writing to Sainsbury’s to ask that they recruit local residents to work in the store once it’s open. It is so important that local residents benefit from this development as much as possible.”
Last week Haringey Liberal Democrats submitted their petition calling for 30 minutes of free parking on local high streets. The petition has been signed by 1,750 people and will be officially received by Haringey Council at the Budget meeting on Wednesday 26th February.
The Lib Dems believe that 30 minutes of free parking would boost trade on local high streets and support the independent shops that make Haringey’s high streets unique.
At the budget meeting on Wednesday the Liberal Democrat councillors will be putting forward a budget amendment to implement 30 minutes of free parking on local high streets. The proposal would be funded by cutting the council’s huge agency staff bill and by ending the automatic refilling of vacant posts, ensuring only those posts that are needed are filled.
The campaign by Haringey Lib Dems for 30 minutes of free parking attracted the support of traders in Muswell Hill who gathered a petition with over 5,000 signatures calling for lower parking charges.
The campaign for 30 minutes of free parking was sparked by the Labour-run council’s decision to double parking charges in Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Green Lanes from £1.40 to £3 per hour. So far the council has refused to bow to pressure from traders, residents and Haringey Lib Dems on the issue.
Cara Jenkinson, Lib Dem candidate for Muswell Hill and lead petitioner, comments:
“Haringey Labour’s high parking charges encourage people to drive further to out-of-town supermarkets where the parking is free. We want people to be able to stop, park and shop locally.
“Local people clearly want to see the Labour council take some action on parking. We had 1,700 people support the Lib Dem petition for 30 minutes free parking on local high streets. I hope councillors on all sides consider that when they vote on the Lib Dem budget amendment proposing free parking on local high streets.”
Lynne Featherstone, Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, comments:
“Local shopkeepers have told me that they are suffering because of these ridiculously high charges. 30 minutes of free parking is vital to keep small independent shops on our local high streets – and it would benefit residents too.
“Labour may say there’s no money available – but as the Lib Dem budget amendment shows – Labour-run Haringey Council could easily afford 30 minutes of free parking on local high streets by cutting the agency staff bill and not automatically filling jobs when people leave.”
Lynne Featherstone MP on Saturday attended a local residents meeting, to discuss the future of Alexandra Parade Post Office. A representative from the Post Office was also there to answer questions.
The Post Office was closed without notice due to a dispute between the Post Office and the Post Master, and residents have been advised to use the Muswell Hill branch instead. The Post Office have stated that the closure is temporary.
Local residents contacted the Liberal Democrat MP, as they were worried about losing the post office for good, and having to brave the queues at Muswell Hill branch on a permanent basis.
At the meeting, residents made it clear that an ongoing Post Office service is needed in the area.
Lynne Featherstone MP is now writing to the Chief Executive of the Post Office to formally raise the residents’ concerns.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“Post Offices are a vital part of our local communities. They provide a range of services to local residents and attract people to the high street.
“The residents obviously care a great deal about the Alexandra Parade office – and I’m glad they were able to make their voices heard to the Post Office representative.
“There are still a number of unanswered questions about the closure, and about when the service will return. On behalf of local residents, I will contact the Chief Executive to get some answers.”
Together with local campaigner Dawn Barnes, the Liberal Democrat MP has long been campaigning for better conditions for these residents – last year publishing a video on Youtube to get Circle 33’s attention.
Since then, Circle 33 have committed to make numerous repairs and to re-house residents on the ground floor. The Managing Director said that work to the roof and pumping to remove water coming through the floor has started.
But, the residents who are still experiencing poor living conditions made their voices heard – they want faster repairs and better conditions now.
At a recent planning meeting at Haringey Council, a representative from New River Village developers St James admitted that there were “a number of design issues and operational problems” with the development.
Local Liberal Democrat campaigner and candidate for Hornsey, Dawn Barnes, said:
“Whilst it’s good news that work is in progress, these residents are still living in awful conditions on a day to day basis. We will continue to push Circle 33 to act as quickly as possible.
“The St James chairman has publicly admitted there were design issues. This is something that should have been picked up by Labour-run Haringey Council building control, when they were overseeing the development.
“There has been complete failure all around – and it’s the residents who are paying the price.”
Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“Circle 33 know we are watching them and the New River Village closely. We know how substantial the repair work is, but it must continue without any further delay. These residents have suffered enough.”
Over 50 residents made their views heard to representatives from both Haringey Council and Homes for Haringey. The concerns raised included a lack of urgent repairs, failure to provide decent homes work and poor customer service.
Having seen the anger and upset among the residents, Homes for Haringey promised to take action and complete the urgent repairs.
Along with local campaigners Roberto Robles, Colin Heinink and Vik Seeborun – Lynne Featherstone MP has long been campaigning for a better deal for residents on the Noel Park estate. They have called on the Labour-run Council to include the Noel Park estate in the Decent Homes programme – and for Homes for Haringey to spend money on repairs, rather than bonuses.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“I am glad that, finally, residents have had the chance to raise their concerns directly with the Council and Homes for Haringey.
“Listening to the residents and hearing about the awful conditions they live in, it is obvious that the Labour-run Council have let them and the whole estate down badly. This is a scandal, no-one should have to live like this.
“Homes for Haringey promised at the meeting to make the urgent repairs. I will be keeping a close eye on them, and publishing whether they keep their word or not.”
Noel Park campaigner Roberto Robles said:
“It was shocking and deeply saddening to hear what some of the local residents have to live with on a day to day basis.
“And their local Labour councillor, who is responsible for housing in the borough, didn’t even bother to show up to the meeting.
“Noel Park deserves better. Colin Heinink, Vik Seeborun and I will carry on fighting for residents, to secure the urgent repairs that are so desperately needed.”
Noel Park estate resident Carol Cabey said:
“Residents on the Noel Park estate need urgent repairs, but the Council and Homes for Haringey have not taken action.
“It’s not fair for the Council to spend so much money on other places, and waste money on botched repairs, when the Noel Park estate is in such desperate need.
“I’m glad Lynne called the meeting and gave us a chance to have our voices heard. I just hope the Council and Homes for Haringey were listening.”
Haringey Borough Commander, Victor Olisa, has backed the local Liberal Democrat campaign for a 50% Council Tax discount for Special Constables.
The Commander, who confirmed his support during a meeting with Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone, joins the hundreds of residents who have already signed up to show their support.
The proposal would see every Special Constable in Haringey receive a 50% Council Tax discount. Campaigners say this will reward existing Special Constables, as well as encouraging other local residents to volunteer and help the police fight crime.
Labour-run Haringey Council will make the decision on whether to adopt the proposal at a Council meeting on the 26th February.
Special Constables have the same powers and responsibilities as regular police officers, and spend up to 16 hours a month volunteering with the police – all without pay – in order to help make our community safer.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“It is great to secure the support of the Borough Commander on this campaign to reward and encourage our hardworking special constables.
“Hundreds of residents have already registered their support for our campaign. If you haven’t yet – please do sign up – the more signatures, the more chance we have of making this happen!”
“The Haringey Lib Dems and I are working hard to help fight crime in the borough – on this campaign and others – including our campaign for a replacement police base in Muswell Hill and for better street lighting.”
Haringey Borough Commander, Victor Olisa, said:
“I am fully behind the proposal to give our Special Constables a 50% Council Tax discount. I think it would be a good reward for the current Specials, and it would encourage more people to sign up and volunteer to fight crime in Haringey.”
The Liberal Democrat MP has long campaigned for repair work on the estate, and met recently with housing chiefs to put forward the case.
Local campaigners say the meeting will give residents a chance to have their voices heard, and discuss the problems they have with repairs to their homes.
The Labour councillor for Noel Park, who is also responsible for housing in the borough, has been invited to attend.
The meeting will take place on Monday the 17th February – 7:15pm, at Shropshire Hall (Gladstone Avenue, N22 6LD).
Local Noel Park campaigner Roberto Robles said:
“My colleague Colin Heinink and I think the Labour-run Council’s failure to do vital works to homes on the Noel Park Estate is outrageous. Many homes on the estate are in desperate need of repair.
“Shockingly, at the same time homes on the Noel Park Estate have been left to crumble, Labour-run Haringey allowed £3.7 million to be spent on bonuses for home repairs staff.
“Enough is enough. The Lib Dems have already started a petition and met with local housing chiefs. Now, we’re calling a public meeting so residents can have their say too.”
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“It’s about time residents were given a proper say on the repairs their homes need. For too long their own Labour Councillor, who is responsible for housing in the borough, has ignored them.
“It’s Haringey Council’s job to provide tenants with a decent standard of living – and the Government has given the Council extra money to do so.
“The Council have committed to make urgent repairs and consult residents – which is a step in the right direction but not good enough. This public meeting is the next step in our campaign to secure full repairs for residents on the Noel Park estate.”
Local residents and Liberal Democrats have expressed their outrage today, after Haringey Labour councillors forced through the Hornsey High Street planning application without crucial amendments being made.
The developers can now push ahead with plans to build a Sainsbury’s, a car park, and housing on the old Hornsey Depot site.
The Liberal Democrats have long supported local residents’ demands to amend the application – echoing their concerns about the quality and density of housing, the effect on local trade, and traffic implications.
Liberal Democrat councillors on the planning committee voted for the application to be refused permission, because changes to the plans were needed. But Labour voted to go ahead with the plans and forced the application through on the Labour Chair’s casting vote.
Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone commented:
“The vast majority of people want to see development on this site – but it must benefit the local area, and be approved by local people.
“The Labour-run Council obviously don’t see it like this – and have instead waived through a flawed application. I am furious – and so are local residents.”
Hornsey campaigner Dawn Barnes commented:
“My colleagues and I are outraged that the application has been waived through by Labour councillors. What a slap in the face for Hornsey residents who so convincingly argued for amendments to be made.
“Labour have proved once again that they cannot be trusted to look after the interests of local people – they prefer to please their developer friends and Town Hall bosses instead.
“Here in Hornsey, I will continue to work with your local MP and councillors Lynne Featherstone, Robert Gorrie, Errol Reid and Monica Whyte to get the best deal possible for local people.”
Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats have today launched a campaign to give local special constables a 50% discount on their Council Tax.
The campaigners say this will reward existing special constables, as well as encouraging other local residents to volunteer and help the police fight crime.
The Haringey Liberal Democrats are looking to collect as many signatures as possible to support the campaign – which has been successfully implemented in other Council’s in the UK. Haringey Council will make a decision on whether to adopt the Liberal Democrat’s proposal later in the month.
Special constables have the same powers and responsibilities as regular police officers, and spend up to 16 hours a month volunteering with the police – all without pay – in order to help make our community safer.
Haringey Liberal Democrat crime spokesperson, Cllr Martin Newton, said:
“Our campaign to give Special Constables a 50% reduction in Council Tax will increase the number of these volunteers across the borough. This will give the local police extra help, and make residents feel safer, too.
“Although crime is generally falling, we have seen some shocking burglary figures in parts of Haringey recently. This campaign is just one step in our bid to tackle crime. We’re also campaigning for a replacement police base and front counter in the Muswell Hill area and for better street lighting across the borough.”
Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone MP, commented:
“When I’m out on the doorsteps, residents regularly speak to me about crime, or fear of crime. It’s an issue that affects all of us at some point in life.
“So, it’s vital that we give reward and incentivise Special Constables, who give up their own time to fight crime for free. And under our proposal – volunteering to fight crime really would pay off!
“Haringey Council will be voting on 26 February on whether to adopt this policy, so please add your voice to our campaign today.”
Lynne Featherstone MP last week helped to launch the ‘Payday London’ report, which seeks to tackle the problems created by payday lending and illegal lending in London.
The report, which was published by Lib Dem London Assembly Member Stephen Knight, sets out an eight point plan that the London Mayor could adopt to tackle debt problems.
The recommendations include the Mayor more actively supporting Credit Unions – which can supply quick loans to members without high rates, whilst also providing an ethical investment option for people who are looking to save money.
Suggestions in the report include opening a Credit Union savings account for every secondary school starter, and for further funding to be given to support the expansion of London’s Credit Unions.
The report is backed by the London Capital Credit Union, which hosted the report launch.
Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone commented:
“Credit Unions are a safe and ethical alternative to payday loan companies. I was more than happy to help Stephen Knight launch this report, which provides some excellent ideas about boosting Credit Unions in the capital.
“The Coalition Government has invested £38m to support and expand credit unions, and the Financial Conduct Authority has also announced proposals to clamp down on payday lenders.
“It is vital that we tackle the problems caused by payday loan companies – I hope the Mayor listens to the ideas in Stephen Knight’s report, and takes steps to implement them.”