MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Residents of Sky City contacted the Hornsey and Wood Green MP recently, to express their frustration and anger at Metropolitan Housing, the company that manages Sky City.
On the site visit, the MP saw piles of uncollected rubbish, broken lighting and problems with drainage in communal areas.
Residents also reported problems with vermin, with disability access because of broken lifts, and with antisocial behaviour and crime.
Residents have sent a petition to Metropolitan, demanding a meeting and detailed plan for repairs and improvements. The meeting has been agreed to, but no date has been set. The Liberal Democrat MP has now also contacted Metropolitan on behalf of the residents, to pile on the pressure for action.
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“Metropolitan need to take action, and fast. What I saw on my visit to Sky City was just appalling – there was uncollected rubbish strewn everywhere. The broken lighting is not helping the situation with crime and antisocial behaviour – and there should always be easy access for disabled and elderly residents.
“Residents should not have to live like this. I am fully behind them and will support them every step of the way to secure the vital repairs they need. I have already contacted Metropolitan, and will continue to do so until we see results.”
Along with local Wood Green Lib Dem campaigners, the MP visited the site last Friday to listen to residents’ concerns.
In the letter, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green outlines her support for an immediate, enforced ban on HGVs using the rat-run, and for a longer term temporary road closure plan.
A public meeting on the issue will be held tonight – giving local residents a further chance to have their say to Council officers. The Liberal Democrat MP suggested that the Council come to the meeting with a plan to tell the residents.
Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“I can completely understand why residents are so frustrated. There are over 2000 vehicles a day coming down their small road – it is noisy, annoying, and unsafe.
“Promises by Labour-run Haringey Council to find a solution have not been fulfilled. This has gone on far too long now, and a solution must be found urgently.
“I am fully behind the local residents’ suggestion of a trial road closure, as a first step towards eradicating the problem in this area.”
Wood Green Lib Dem campaigner Roxy Squire commented:
“We are working with residents on Ringslade Road and the surrounding area to try and find the best solution for all. The situation on Ringslade is unsustainable and urgent action is needed.
“It is important we don’t shift the problem on to other roads, though. That’s why we are supporting an initial ban on HGVs for safety reasons, followed by trial measures, which we can monitor and use to find the best solution.”
An £800 income tax cut for people in Hornsey and Wood Green is the real budget boost, Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone said today.
The budget revealed plans to increase the personal allowance from April 2015 and put an extra £100 back in taxpayers’ pockets.
Lib Dems have already delivered on a £700 tax cut for low to middle earners, but today’s news goes even further for hardworking people.
The number of people who could benefit from a cut to the personal allowance in Hornsey and Wood Green is expected to be around 45,090
Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone said:
“This tax cut is the real budget boost for working people and would not have happened without Lib Dems in Government creating a stronger economy and a fairer society. This was on the front page of our manifesto!
“The Tories are desperate to claim credit, but in reality their focus is on changes such as an inheritance tax cut for millionaires which we blocked, while Labour simply cannot be trusted with the economy.
“We are also helping people with a freeze on fuel duty and new tax-free childcare to help parents.”
Lynne Featherstone and the Wood Green Liberal Democrats last week launched a survey, to find out local residents’ views on the opening of yet another betting shop on Lordship Lane.
A number of residents have contacted the Liberal Democrats expressing concern about the number of betting shops on the road, and the impact on local crime and antisocial behaviour.
The local Liberal Democrats are now trying to persuade the Labour-run council that another betting shop is wrong for this community. The application could be rejected if it can be proven that local betting shops are a cause of crime.
The Wood Green Liberal Democrat team will be writing to Haringey Council in response to the planning application shortly, to fully represent the views of over 100 residents who have filled in their survey.
Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“Over the years, many residents have contacted me with concerns about anti social behaviour in the Wood Green area. The Haringey Lib Dems and I are committed to helping fight crime in our local area.
“I am fully behind the Wood Green Lib Dems. Together we will make sure the Labour-run Council is aware of residents’ views on this matter.”
Wood Green campaigner Roxy Squire commented:
“As a local Wood Green resident, I am aware that anti-social behaviour is a problem in the area. My colleagues and I are concerned that some of that behaviour is a consequence of the large number of betting shops.
“Local residents don’t want or need yet another betting shop on Lordship Lane. We want to persuade the Labour-run council that another betting shop is wrong for this community – but we need residents’ support.
“That’s why we’ve launched our survey, and I hope as many residents as possible respond.”
Representatives from Haringey Council, Police, and health services have been called on by the local MP to discuss an integrated strategy to protect local girls from FGM.
The practice is prevalent in countries like Somalia and Egypt, but also affects girls in the UK. Most commonly, young girls are sent abroad to be ‘cut.’ It has been estimated that over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK each year, and that 66,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM.
It is illegal to arrange for a child to be taken abroad for FGM. If caught, offenders face a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
The Liberal Democrat MP is also a minister in the Department for International Development, and the ministerial champion for tackling violence against women and girls overseas. Ending FGM within a generation is one of her top priorities.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented
“Over the last few months I have met with Haringey Council, the Borough Commander and local health representatives. All have shown a great willingness to fight FGM in Haringey. Now, I want to bring everyone together to discuss a truly integrated strategy. That’s why I have called this roundtable meeting.
“Late April to July is usually the time when girls are sent abroad to be cut – so there really is no time to lose. FGM is a crime and it is child abuse – and everyone needs to work together to tackle the problem.
“As minister for International Development, I have made ending this awful practice within a generation one of my top priorities. We will not see an end to FGM in the UK unless the practice is eliminated worldwide – but we need to tackle it on the ground here, too.”
The residents have long been campaigning for better safety on and around the junction.
On the site visit, the residents described the problems faced on a daily basis – including drivers not realising that there is a second red light and driving through, pedestrians not being able to see oncoming traffic, poor phasing of traffic lights, and no ‘green man’ signalling to guide pedestrians.
Campaigners say that these problems pose a safety risk – and that they have seen many near misses.
The Liberal Democrat MP – who has previously made representations on this issue – has now written again to both Transport for London and Haringey Council (who share management of the junction) and requested a site visit with them and the local residents.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“These residents have done a fantastic job of raising awareness of this issue and campaigning for better road safety at this dangerous junction.
“I am happy to get involved to support their cause. I have now written again to both TfL and Haringey Council, demanding a meeting with them on site so they can see the problems for themselves.
“I hope this will lead to action – vast improvements on this junction may well be necessary to prevent a serious accident here in the future.”
The Liberal Democrat MP held a public meeting in Noel Park three weeks ago, to give residents the chance to have their say and raise issues with housing chiefs from Homes for Haringey and Haringey Council.
Dozens of residents spoke of their need for urgent repairs, which Homes for Haringey agreed to fix as a priority.
The Wood Green MP has also contacted residents to ask them about the progress made.
The public meeting was called because of the lack of Decent Homes and urgent repair work being made to the houses on the Noel Park estate – a real let down to residents, particularly in light of the recent Homes for Haringey bonus scandal.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“Increasingly, residents from the Noel Park estate are coming to me for help with their housing, because Labour-run Haringey Council and Homes for Haringey just won’t listen to them or take action.
“Enough is enough. It is so unfair for residents to live in such bad conditions, while Homes for Haringey repair staff receive £3.7 million in bonuses.
“I will keep chasing Homes for Haringey to make these repairs. I am asking residents to keep me informed, too, to make sure I get the full picture.”
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.”
Published and promoted by C. Jenkinson on behalf of Haringey Liberal Democrats, both at 62 High Street, N8 7NX and by S. Drage on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, both at Unit 1, Streatham Business Centre, 1 Empire Mews, SW16 2EH.
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.