MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Lynne Featherstone MP has today launched a petition in support of the Haringey Lib Dems’ campaign for safer local school crossings.
Recently published figures show that over 40 schools in the borough do not have a pedestrian crossing within 80 metres.
The local Lib Dems are now calling on the Labour-run council to make sure every school in the borough has a pedestrian crossing nearby – so that all children can get to school safely.
Local MP Lynne Featherstone has a strong record of campaigning with residents and starting successful petitions. This year alone, Lynne’s campaigns have secured step free access at Alexandra Palace station and an extra £23.5 million for Haringey’s health services.
Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone said:
“Over 40 schools in our borough do not have a pedestrian crossing within 80 metres of their entrances. This means many parents and children have to cross busy roads just to get to school and back.
“That’s why we’ve launched this campaign for a safe crossing outside every local school. I’m in touch with head teachers and local residents, to gather support for the petition. I hope as many local residents as possible will sign it.”
Cllr Liz Morris, Haringey Lib Dem Spokesperson for Children, comments:
“The Lib Dems believe that every school child in Haringey should be able to cross their road to school safely on a pedestrian crossing. In Haringey we have too many schools where pedestrian crossings are either too far away from the schools or the crossings themselves are poorly sited or laid out – and this puts our children at risk.
“The irony is that Haringey Council actively encourage children and families to walk to school because it is healthier and better for the environment yet many children cannot get to their schools safely.
“Labour-run Haringey Council must prioritise road safety around schools and we are calling on residents and the schools themselves, to support our campaign.”
The Land Registry document for Muswell Hill Library contains what is known as a covenant. The document states that the land ‘shall not (or any part) be used for any purpose other than that of a Branch Public Library or other public non-trading purpose.’
The Lib Dems believe that the document means Labour plans to relocate the library, as revealed in the draft budget for Haringey Council, are not sound.
Local MP Lynne Featherstone has been campaigning to save the library after it was revealed in the draft budget that Labour planned to close the library and move the service to an unspecified location. Ms Featherstone’s petition attracted 1318 signatures in just a few weeks.
The opposition politicians believe that the newly revealed legal document means that any plans to use the library building for another purpose or to sell the site off could be open to legal challenge.
Lynne Featherstone MP, comments:
“Under pressure from local Lib Dems and residents, some Labour councillors are already backtracking and saying that the library will remain where it is. Over 1300 residents have signed our petition, which shows just how much the service means to people locally.
“The discovery of the covenant adds even more pressure on Labour to think again. Local residents, Lib Dem councillors and I will keep campaigning until the plans are officially withdrawn from the council’s budget proposals.”
Gail Engert, Local Lib Dem councillor for Muswell Hill, comments:
“James Edmondson donated the library land to the borough back in the 1890s with the clear intention it should be used for the public good. The site was first used as a fire station and later the wonderful listed building we see today was constructed to give the people of Muswell Hill access to books and learning.
“This legal document clearly states that Muswell Hill Library site should be used for a library. The Liberal Democrats believe that Labour should respect this legal document and James Edmondson’s wishes and keep Muswell Hill Library where it is.”
Lynne Featherstone MP has welcomed news that unemployment in her constituency has halved since 2010.
The local unemployment rate was 5.2% when the Lib Dems entered Government in May 2010. It is now down to just 2.6%.
Youth unemployment in the Lib Dem MP’s constituency has also plummeted – down from 7.1% in May 2010 to just 2.5% now.
The Liberal Democrats in Government have helped businesses create over 1 million new jobs since 2010, and are working to create a million more. A record number of apprentices have also been created, with over 2 million people starting an apprenticeship since 2010.
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that the rate of employment is at a record high of 30.8m.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“The recession was really tough – affecting millions of people across the UK. So, when the Lib Dems entered Government, we worked hard to get things back on track. It’s the job of MPs to work with businesses and JobCentres, and help get people into work – and that’s what we did from day one.
“Now, employment is at a record high. It means there are so many more jobs and apprenticeships available, giving everyone the opportunity to find work and get on in life.
“And I’m so pleased that unemployment in my constituency has halved. Over 100 young people attended the apprenticeship event I organised with JobCentre Plus last year – many of them securing places as a result. As the local MP, I’ll continue to hold these events and promote local businesses.”
Local MP Lynne Featherstone will host a conference in February, to raise awareness of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and to discuss how professionals in North London can work together to protect and support vulnerable women and girls.
Professionals from the health, education, safeguarding and social work sectors, along with police and legal representatives, are among those invited to take part. They will be joined by survivors, community activists and local non-governmental organisations.
The conference will be hosted at a school in Hornsey and Wood Green – but is open to professionals and community activists from across North London.
In her role as Minister for International Development, the Liberal Democrat MP launched a £35 million programme to end the unacceptable practice of FGM across the world – within a generation.
Now, as Home Office minister for Crime Prevention, Lynne Featherstone is working to raise awareness, and protect and support girls at risk here in the UK.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“Over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK each year, and 66,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM.
“That’s why I’ve made tackling and preventing FGM one of my priorities – in Haringey, at the Department of International Development, and now at the Home Office.
“This conference will bring together professionals from across North London. There will be sessions for people in similar professions, followed by mixed sessions – to discuss how people in different sectors can work together to protect and support vulnerable women and girls.
“Any North London professionals who have not yet received an invite, but would like to attend – please do get in touch.”
Over 1200 local residents have signed Lynne Featherstone MP’s petition to save Muswell Hill Library.
The petition calls on Haringey Council to scrap their plans to relocate the services provided at the current site on Queens Avenue.
The Labour-run council’s plans were exposed before Christmas, as part of their budget proposals. The proposal made no mention of where the services will be relocated to – sparking fears that Muswell Hill may lose the local library services.
A local Labour councillor, and council cabinet member, then suggested at a meeting that the Labour-run council were tempted to sell off the library building.
But the weight of public opinion has already had an impact, with the Haringey Labour leader now saying on twitter that there would be: “no sale unless and until new site secured in central MH and new library built.”
The Liberal Democrat MP will continue to campaign to keep the service in the historic building on Queens Avenue, and for money to be spent improving facilities there – rather than spending money on relocation.
Muswell Hill councillor, Gail Engert, comments:
“Local people love and are proud of their historic library which is an important symbol of their treasured Muswell Hill community.
“There is no justification for proposing to move the library to another possible site other than a cynical move on the part of Labour-run Haringey Council to sell it off and cash in on what they see as a cash-cow to fund their political ambitions elsewhere in the borough.”
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“Muswell Hill library is a very popular local services. There are clubs for children, and a great range of resources for other users.
“Residents that I speak to on the doorsteps are greatly concerned about losing the service and the building. And they’re deeply sceptical about the relocation plans. Haringey Labour have promised replacement services before, which have never materialised.
“The Haringey Labour leader’s statement on twitter shows the campaign is working. But surely, it is better to improve the current library, by installing a lift for instance, than building a new one in another location. I will keep campaigning with residents on this.”
Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone has slammed the budget plans put forward by Labour-run Haringey Council, which include cutting £30 million from the social care budget.
The £30 million constitutes half of the savings that the Council are expected to make, as part of reducing the overall deficit. Haringey Labour’s plans includes a £10 million reduction in care packages, the closure of the remaining residential home and more.
The Liberal Democrat MP has urged Haringey Labour leader, Claire Kober, to go back to square one and make changes in other departments, which would be more manageable, have less impact on vulnerable residents, and benefit the Borough in the long term.
The local MP’s views echo those of local carers groups and community figures, who are also calling on the Labour-run council to think again.
The Haringey Liberal Democrats are in agreement with the MP’s call – and have suggested cutting the Council’s communications budget, as one alternative way to save money.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“I’ve met with carers in the local area who have raised significant concerns about the £30 million the Council intends to cut from the social care budget.
“They are deeply concerned about the extra pressure this will place on carers and the impact on patients. They are also concerned about the lack of proper consultation on these plans, and the language used in the proposals – which often amounts to jargon.
“I share their concerns and believe that the savings could be made in a way which didn’t have such a terrible impact on the most vulnerable in Haringey.
“That’s why I am calling for a complete re-think of the budget, with proper engagement from all interested groups. I await a response from the Haringey Labour leader on whether she will do this.”
Deputy leader of the opposition on Haringey Council, Gail Engert, commented:
“The Haringey Lib Dems are behind Lynne’s call for a rethink. Haringey Labour have proposed sweeping cuts to the social care budget, regardless of the impact on vulnerable people.
“They have also failed to realise that cutting these services will not really save them any money – in fact it could cost them more. Many carers won’t be able to take up the additional work – meaning the Council will have to provide alternative social care at greater expense to themselves.
““The savings need to be made elsewhere. The council is still spending far too much on things like communications and the Haringey People magazine. And it was not that long ago that the Labour-run council wasted millions on bonus for home repairs.
“There needs to be a complete rethink of what the council spends money on.”
Haringey’s health services – such as G.P.s, hospitals and walk-in centres – will receive an extra £23.5 million in funding this year.
The new funding, which is distributed to boroughs by NHS England, is a 5% rise from Haringey’s previous allocation.
This means that Haringey’s health services have received an extra £30 million in total since local MP Lynne Featherstone started her campaign for fairer health funding in 2012 – backed by over 500 local residents.
The increase also follows the extra £2 billion given to the NHS by the Coalition Government in the Autumn Statement last year.
The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green has welcomed the rise in funding – but has also said she will continue to push for even more money for local services.
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“I am delighted with the huge rise in funding for our local health services. The money will help our hard-working health professionals, and hopefully reduce waiting times and improve care for local residents.
“I’d like to thank the hundreds of residents who supported the campaign for fairer funding. Haringey health services now have more money – and we’re much closer to having the same funding levels as neighbouring boroughs like Camden and Islington.
“But there is still more that can be done – and I will keep putting the case forward for even more money for local health services – particularly our mental health services.”
The Autumn Statement last year revealed plans to increase the personal allowance, meaning workers get to keep more of their salary before they start paying income tax.
This means that, by April, the Liberal Democrats will have delivered a £825 income tax cut for working people across the UK.
Raising the tax-free personal allowance to £10,000 – a tax cut of £700 – was on the front of the Liberal Democrat 2010 manifesto
But by the end of this parliament Liberal Democrats will have gone further, and raised this allowance to £10,600.
In London this will lift at least 49,000 low-paid and part-time workers out of paying income tax altogether.
Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“This tax cut is a real budget boost for working people, and takes even more low-paid and part-time workers out of paying income tax altogether.
“The Liberal Democrats were the only party to put these tax cuts for workers on the front page of its manifesto – and now we have delivered them.
“We are also making sure those at the top pay their fair share too. In Government, we’ve clawed back £9 billion from tax dodgers.”
The programme – which was given a £60 million boost in the Coalition Government’s Autumn Statement – will allow for work to go ahead on Alexandra Palace station to make it step-free and accessible for everyone by 2019 at the latest.
The Liberal Democrat MP welcomed the announcement as a step towards building a fairer society, where all residents can access rail services.
Along with over 750 local residents – Lynne Featherstone MP has long campaigned for more accessible local stations – and the announcement marks a success in the campaign.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“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 a campaign for more accessible local stations. I’m so happy that over 750 local residents signed up to support the campaign, and that we’ve been successful in securing the extra funding for improvements at Alexandra Palace.
“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.”
Lynne Featherstone and local Liberal Democrat councillors have launched a campaign to save Muswell Hill Library, an historic listed building.
The future of the library is in doubt after the Labour-run council announced plans to relocate the library. The plans are due to go ahead even though the council admits in the budget report that the library is ‘well used and popular.’
No alternative location for the library has so far been identified, raising fears that the library will close with no replacement in place. The Labour council’s draft budget only has vague references to alternative sites and suggests the library site could be used for development.
Ms Featherstone is calling on the local community to support the Lib Dem campaign to keep the library on Queens Avenue open. She fought to save Muswell Hill Library from closure by Labour in the 1990’s and is determined to fight to save it again.
Lynne Featherstone, Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, comments:
“Budget papers show Haringey Labour’s clear intention to close Muswell Hill Library. And they haven’t given any assurance about where the replacement would be – leaving local residents very concerned about the future of the service.
“Libraries play such an important role in local communities, providing space for people to meet, hosting community events and giving people access to books, newspapers, computers and more.
“We need the library in Muswell Hill – and money should be spent making the existing library more modern and accessible, rather than relocating the service. That’s why I’ve launched a campaign to protect the service from closure. I hope the local community will support the campaign.”
Gail Engert, Lib Dem councillor for Muswell Hill, comments:
“I am very worried that the council’s budget papers imply that Labour has plans to use the library for a development without giving a firm commitment to keep a local library service in Muswell Hill.
“The closure of Muswell Hill Library, which occupies a precious listed building, would be a great loss to the local community. We will be fighting hard to keep the library open.”