MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Lib Dems have welcomed a revised funding formula for local schools.
The Hornsey and Wood Green MP reacted angrily and demanded a rethink last year, when Labour-run Haringey Council produced a funding formula which left a number of schools with less money, despite the council receiving £millions more funding from Government.
The local MP publicly criticised the Labour administration and asked the Department for Education to intervene. Under the new formula, all schools in the borough will receive a rise in funding next year.
Haringey Borough received an extra £13million to give to schools this year, thanks to the Pupil Premium policy introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Government. An additional £7.3 million will also be received following the Liberal Democrat MP’s successful campaign for fairer education funding.
The new funding formula is due to be approved at the Haringey Council cabinet meeting next week.
Haringey Lib Dem spokesperson for children, Cllr Katherine Reece, said:
“I am pleased to see that Liberal Democrat campaigns are having a real effect on the ground, and that Haringey’s children are to benefit from the success of these campaigns.
“After so many years of losing out, Haringey schools are close to having truly fair funding.”
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“The Lib Dems, both locally and nationally, have worked hard to secure over £20 million in extra funding for our schools – so it is quite right for every school in the borough to get a boost.
“I was absolutely livid last year when Labour-run Haringey Council put together a botched formula which projected a loss of money for some local schools.
“Thankfully, the revised formula, which is more in line with national standards, has produced a much better result.”
NHS England is due to make an announcement on a new health funding arrangements by the 17th December. The changes will see some areas receive more money, in an attempt to make funding fairer across the country.
The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green has long campaigned for fairer funding for Haringey. As part of the campaign, the local MP exposed figures which reveal that Haringey receives hundreds of pounds less per person, per year, than neighbouring boroughs such as Camden and Islington.
The Lib Dem MP submitted a report to NHS England, to put forward the case for an increase in money for Haringey health services – and has pledged to continue the fight for fairer funding if Haringey does not receive an increase this time.
Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“Last year alone, Haringey received £70m less funding than Camden in total. This is just not right – levels of deprivation and need in Haringey are now at least equal to those in inner London boroughs, so we need just as much funding.
“This underfunding is having a direct impact on nurses, doctors and patients in Haringey – and that’s why I started this campaign alongside the Haringey Lib Dems and local residents.
“NHS England agreeing to review the formula was a great step forward in the campaign – but of course they have to change it for the better!
“I have sent in extensive submissions and a report to arguing for more funding for Haringey. I very much hope we see an increase in funding, but if we don’t – the fight goes on.”
The drive to help young people get jobs in Haringey will be boosted by plans to abolish employers’ National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for under 21 year olds.
Local Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone has welcomed the announcement, which means businesses will no longer have to pay tax on their employees aged under 21 year old. For example, companies will save £1,000 each year for every young employee earning £16,000.
In Haringey, the plan to abolish NICs for young people from April 2015 means companies will not have to pay the contributions for 4,220 young people.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“The Liberal Democrats are focused on getting young people into work and this is exactly the kind of initiative needed to give businesses a break and encourage them to start recruiting.
“Since 2010 we have already helped create more than 1.5m new apprenticeships. Meanwhile, Nick Clegg’s £1bn Youth Contract is supporting work experience, wage incentives and apprenticeships.
“Our economy is growing because of the hard work of people and businesses, they deserve this help. The coalition’s economic plan is the rock on which our recovery is being built – and it is happening because of the Liberal Democrats.”
Labour-run Haringey Council, which failed to protect Child T and Baby P, has admitted that there are two further cases of child abuse under review in the borough. The shocking revelation comes just a month after the release of a damning report into the failure to protect Child T.
Child T was left to be abused for a year by his parents following failings by Haringey Council, the police and NHS. Child T and his siblings were eventually taken into care more than a year after the first incident of abuse came to the attention of doctors and social services.
Local Liberal Democrat councillors uncovered the additional serious case reviews via a question to the Labour administration, where they asked how many abuse cases in the borough were being investigated. In response, the Labour Cabinet Member for Children admitted that the handling of two abuse cases are being investigated in the borough.
Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Lib Dems have called for an independent investigation into repeated failures in child protection services by Haringey’s Labour-run council. So far the calls have been rejected.
Haringey Liberal Democrats children spokesperson has also called for the Serious Case Review process to be reformed.
Cllr Katherine Reece, Haringey Lib Dem Children’s spokesperson, comments:
“I am very concerned that there is another review into a child abuse case in the borough just weeks after a new serious case review was launched.
“We believe that an independent inquiry into the repeated failures to protect children from abuse in Haringey is urgently needed. We also believe that the system of serious case reviews is flawed and needs to be reformed at the very least to ensure some independent voices on the panels.
“We will continue to call for this and to fight for reforms to the child protection service in Haringey to make sure children in the borough are safe.”
Local Lib Dem MP, Lynne Featherstone, comments:
“I am devastated to learn of yet more cases of child abuse under review in Haringey. How many more children will suffer before we see real change?
“Just two weeks ago, Cllr Katherine Reece and I met with the Chief Executive of Haringey Council to discuss child protection in the borough. Very disappointingly, my call for a vital independent investigation into children’s services was rejected again.
“I will continue to call for an independent review and reform of Haringey Council’s children’s services and the Local Safeguarding Children Board – and will not rest until Haringey ceases to fail these vulnerable children.”
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will now have the power to cap the cost of payday loans. The Banking Reform Bill will also create a duty on the FCA to cap the fees and charges imposed by payday loan companies.
The Liberal Democrats are also keen to promote credit unions as an affordable alternative to payday lenders and as an ethical investment to people who are looking to save. Credit unions offer:
The Coalition Government has recently invested £38m to support and expand credit unions.
Haringey Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Richard Wilson and local Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone, who are both members of the local credit union, have urged local residents to add their support.
Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone, comments:
“I welcome this announcement. The Liberal Democrats in Government have worked hard to secure tougher action on pay day lenders. Now we have given the new financial regulator, the FCA, power to cap the cost of payday loans. Through the Banking Reform Bill, we are also creating a duty on the FCA to cap the fees and charges imposed by payday loan companies.
“We are also continuing our support for credit unions, which offer lower interest loans and ethical investment opportunities. It is fantastic to have a credit union operating in Haringey, and I am happy to help promote them.”
Cllr Richard Wilson, Lib Dem Leader of the opposition and Credit Union member, comments:
“I am delighted by this announcement. Capping the cost of pay day loans will help lots of people who would otherwise be hit with massive bills for pay day loans.
“I would still encourage people to join the credit union though as they provide much lower cost loans and an ethical investment.”
Earlier this year, Haringey Council announced a ‘pothole blitz’ to address the number of unsafe potholes on local roads. In October, however, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green expressed her anger and criticized the Council’s blitz as a ‘botch job’ – as it became clear that dangerous potholes remained on the roads.
In response, the local MP pledged to contact residents and ask them to help identify areas still in need of work. Over 150 individual complaints were received in response, primarily regarding potholes, lighting and pavements. The Liberal Democrat MP now submitted these complaints about local roads to the Council.
Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“At the start of the year, the Labour-run Council promised us a ‘pothole blitz.’ But like usual, it was all talk and no action. Local cyclists, drivers and residents still have to put up with dangerous road conditions.
“The further complaints I have received and passed on will give the Council a clear indication of where work still needs to be done. I hope they take these complaints seriously and commit to finishing the job they started.
“Winter is here already and we need safe roads, along with safe pavements and well-lit streets. With the amount of Council Tax we pay here in Haringey, this is the least we deserve!”
This is on top of the no involuntary closure programme and £1.34 billion already pledged by the Coalition Government to ensure the Post Office network maintains its 11,500 branches, while bringing huge benefits to customers.
The extra funding will speed up and complete the modernisation of the Post Office Network and for the first time ever funding will also be made available to maintain smaller Post Offices, who play a vital role in the community but who may not be suitable for the modernisation programme.
Five post offices were lost in Hornsey and Wood Green under the previous Labour Government. Nationally, 7,100 Post Offices disappeared in Labour’s 13 years in office.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“Post Offices are a vital part of our communities here in Hornsey and Wood Green, and across the UK. We lost 5 Offices under the Labour Government’s ruthless and shameful closure programme.
“Instead of spending money on closing Post Offices like Labour did with their closure programme, Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are investing to maintain and modernise our Post Offices for the future.
“I welcome the extra funding and look forward to seeing further improvements to my local Post Offices.”
In September, the Hornsey and Wood Green MP and Haringey Lib Dems’ campaign to save local services was successful, with the Department for Transport confirming that no services at smaller stations such as Hornsey and Harringay would be lost. Evening services to Moorgate will now run later, and on weekends, too.
Following this announcement, the Liberal Democrat MP contacted local residents and asked what further improvements they would like to see to local rail services. These suggestions have now been outlined in a letter to all bidders, and include concerns about accessibility, capacity, facilities and safety.
The bids are due to be submitted by the 24th December, with the successful bidder taking over management of the Thameslink Franchise and services at local rail stations from September next year.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“It was a huge relief when the Lib Dem campaign to save services at our smaller local stations was successful. Local residents really got behind the campaign – and now they have let me know what improvements they want to see under the new franchise.
“Accessibility is a huge issue for our local stations – making it incredibly difficult for the elderly, disabled people and people with pushchairs to use the services. I have therefore asked for lifts or ground level access to be installed.
“Greater capacity at peak time and longer platforms at Harringay and Hornsey would also go a long way to easing overcrowding and we need better facilities, such as toilets and display boards, too.
“I have asked that the bidders take this on board when preparing their final submission, and I look forward to working with whoever wins to ensure Haringey rail users get the best services possible.”
The meeting was called by Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone, after developers St James put in a planning application to build a supermarket, a car park, over 400 flats and a gym on the old Hornsey depot site.
Representatives from Sainsbury’s and the project architects attended to answer questions. Haringey Council (who will make the decision on the application) and developers St James both declined invitations to attend.
Local business owners and residents raised concerns about the effect of the development on local trade, the increase in traffic, the impact on local services such as schools and doctors, and the height of the new buildings.
Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone commented:
“The large number of people in the meeting is testament to the strength of feeling about this development.
“A number of very serious concerns were raised. I asked a question about the housing. St James built the New River Village development, and worryingly, I am currently fighting for residents there who are experiencing damp and flooding in their properties.
“Based on the strength of feeling at the meeting, I think all of the concerns need to be addressed before the local community can support this development.
“The Haringey Liberal Democrats and I have asked residents for their views already, and will continue to do so. We will represent residents’ views in our response to the planning application consultation.”
Last week, Lynne Featherstone MP and Haringey Lib Dem environment spokesperson, Cllr Jim Jenks, met with the Veolia regional director for London to discuss the rubbish collection service in Hornsey and Wood Green.
Veolia are contracted by Haringey Council to manage waste in the borough.
The Liberal Democrat MP recently asked residents for their opinions on their rubbish collection service. Over 400 residents replied, and 68% of respondents were dissatisfied with their collections. Missed collections, overflowing bins and misplaced bins were the top three specific complaints.
Earlier in the year, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green criticised Haringey Council for their failure to fine Veolia for poor performance.
During the meeting, the local MP presented the results to Veolia and a Haringey Council representative, who was also present at the meeting, and asked for an explanation and action.
The Veolia operations director agreed to investigate the results of the survey.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“The results of the survey speak for themselves. In many areas of the constituency, the waste collection service is simply not up to scratch. Yet still the Labour-run Council fails to act to improve services.
“Veolia and Haringey Council can no longer blame teething problems – this regime has been in place for two years now and should be running smoothly. Yet, we still have to put up with piles of uncollected rubbish, bad smells and vermin.
“I am determined to keep pushing for a better service for local residents – and I will not rest until we get results. Residents pay one of the highest rates of Council Tax in London and we deserve better than this.”