MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Local MP Lynne Featherstone has today issued a public statement to the current owners of the missing Banksy piece, which was removed from a wall in Turnpike Lane in February.
The Liberal Democrat MP has ‘called on the consciences’ of the current owners, and urged them to ‘do the right thing’ and return the piece to Turnpike Lane, before it is too late.
The owners have allowed the Sincura Group to auction the piece on the 2nd of June, at an exhibition in Covent Garden, London. If it is not sold at the exhibition, the owners will sell the piece directly to an American collector.
The Sincura Group claim to have ‘no doubt’ that people who currently possess the piece are indeed the legal owners.
Lynne Featherstone MP issued the following statement:
“On June 2nd, the Sincura Group plan to put the infamous Banksy piece up for auction at an exhibition in Covent Garden, London. The piece was removed without warning from Turnpike Lane in February – to the dismay of local residents.
“Sincura do not own the piece. The Sincura Director says that he is ‘the good guy’ – that he has put a lot of work into finding the piece and its owners. He is exhibiting it in the hope that it will be sold to someone who will either return it, or keep it somewhere with public access. This is admirable, perhaps, but also incredibly optimistic.
“If the piece isn’t sold on the night, Sincura say the ‘owners’ will sell it directly to an American collector. The piece will then be lost for good.
“This has left us campaigners in a catch 22. We don’t want the piece to be up for auction and bought by a random private buyer. We don’t want the piece sold to a collector who will keep it in a warehouse. We want our Banksy back in its rightful place – the streets and community of Turnpike Lane.
“So now I make this direct plea to the owners of the Banksy piece: You have this one last chance to do the right thing. You have deprived a community of an asset that was given to us for free and greatly enhanced an area that needed it. I call on you, and your consciences, to pull the piece from both potential sales, and return it to its rightful place.”
The survey asks residents for their views on local and national issues, and whether they have any problems they would like the local MP’s assistance with.
In addition, the survey offers residents the chance to sign the Liberal Democrat petition to protect our local health services.
Last year, the survey drew several thousand responses. Hundreds of issues raised by residents were followed up on by the MP and her casework team.
Residents can also fill in this year’s survey online (see below)
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“The annual survey is a great way for residents to have their voices heard on matters ranging from national Lib Dem policy to our local Lib Dem campaigns.
“We all know that the Labour-run Council are not very good at keeping our roads and pavements safe, or keeping our area tidy. That’s why we ask residents whether they have any issues with litter, damaged pavements or potholes on their road.
“All completed surveys are looked at and we will attempt to resolve any issues raised. I hope as many residents as possible take the opportunity to fill it in!”
NB Surveys are broken down by wards. check which ward you live in here: http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/ and click on the relevant link here:
Wood Green (Noel Park & Woodside) Residents: http://bit.ly/WoodGreenAnnualSurvey
Hornsey Residents: http://bit.ly/HOannualsurvey
Stroud Green Residents: http://bit.ly/SGAnnualsurvey
Highgate Residents: http://bit.ly/HGannualsurvey
Fortis Green Residents: http://bit.ly/FGwardannualsurvey
Muswell Hill Residents: http://bit.ly/MHannualsurvey
Crouch End Residents: http://bit.ly/CEannualsurvey
Bounds Green Residents: http://bit.ly/BGannualsurvey
Alexandra Residents: http://bit.ly/LFannualsurvey
Local MP Lynne Featherstone has this week announced a ‘Summer Fete’ style event, to mark the end of her independent shops competition.
Over the past four months, thousands of votes have been cast by local residents across three different categories: Best shop front, best customer service, and best all round shop.
The winners will be announced at the event on Saturday 29th June at Hornsey Town Hall square. It will be open to the public from 11am.
Over 100 local retailers have been invited to attend the event, and a number of them will be exhibiting their products on site. There will also be community group stalls, a bake off, a live band, food stalls, and games.
The Liberal Democrat MP will announce the winners of the competition at around 2pm, and also pick the name of one lucky voter out of a hat. They will receive £100 to spend in a shop of their choice.
Local residents can vote for their favourite shops until the 31st May, when the competition closes.
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“The response to the competition has been overwhelming. It is clear how much residents appreciate their local independent shops and retailers.
“During these tough times, it’s vital that we support and promote our independent shops and retailers. That is what this competition and event is all about.
“Time is running out for local residents to vote for their favourite shops – so please vote as soon as possible if you haven’t already!
“I can’t wait to get everyone together and announce the winners. It looks set to be great event, and I look forward to seeing as many local residents and retailers there as possible.”
Local MP Lynne Featherstone, along with Liberal Democrat Councillor David Winskill, has met with Whittington Board members to discuss their public engagement programme, and to ask for updates on their Foundation Trust application.
The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green has been pushing the Board to engage fully with the public ever since they announced controversial plans to make changes to the Hospital. Over 2,700 residents have signed a petition, supporting the MP’s call for engagement.
At the meeting, the Board informed the MP about their engagement process, which has involved open weekends, seminars, public meetings and liaison with local community and interest groups.
The Board confirmed that the engagement period would end on the 31st of May, and that their plans would then be reviewed in the following months. They will then release the revised plans.
The Liberal Democrat MP’s petition also calls for assurance that there will be no loss of service and proper consultation throughout this period of change. She has met frequently with the Board since the announcement in order to find out the facts and work constructively to secure the future of the hospital.
Following the meeting, Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“There is a growing consensus that some changes must be made to secure Foundation Trust status, and therefore the future of the Whittington Hospital.
“Initially, for instance, Labour called for no changes– yet now one of their own councillors has spoken out and admitted that campaigning against any changes at all will do more harm than good to the hospital.
“All along, the local Lib Dems and I have recognised the need for some changes. However we have campaigned hard to ensure no services are lost and that the Whittington engage with the public and review their plans accordingly.
“I’m very glad that the Whittington Board has undertaken a programme of engagement – though I still feel more could be done to bring the details of the situation to the wider community. I will continue to ask them to do more.
“In the meantime, anyone who has strong views on the plans, and on the future of the Whittington should contact the hospital as soon as possible – as this engagement period will end on May 31st. I will also be emailing my constituents to let them know.”
The local MP was given a tour of the store, and shown the expanding ranges of low fat, healthy and ‘free from’ food. The store also has a deli section and salad bar.
The Liberal Democrat MP also spoke to the manager and PR ambassador about their work with charities. Alongside their long-running work with national charity Active Kids, Sainsbury’s Muswell Hill are also working to support local charities. All food which has passed its shelf life (but not its sell by date) is passed to the Soup Kitchen in Muswell Hill.
The store raised a total of £22,000 for charity last year including around £10,000 for Comic Relief.
After the visit, Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“It was great to visit the local store and hear all about the great work they are doing in the community. It’s so important that stores contribute to their local area, and Sainsbury’s Muswell Hill is a shining example of how things should be done!
“I wish them the best of luck with their work this year, and look forward to working with them on some of their fundraising events.”
Lynne Featherstone MP has today spoken to the Director of the Sincura Group – the company which will exhibit and possibly sell the Banksy piece ‘slave labour.’ The piece recently went missing from the wall of Turnpike Lane Poundland, sparking numerous campaigns and calls for its return.
The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green wrote an email this morning asking Sincura to clarify whether the piece will be exhibited or auctioned, and for their comments on the legality of its removal from Turnpike Lane.
In a follow up phone conversation, the Sincura Group Director confirmed that the piece will be shown at their exhibition at the Film Museum in Covent Garden on the 2nd of June – and that there will be an opportunity to purchase the piece. They said, however, that if the piece is not snapped up on the night, it will be sold to a private American collector.
Similarly, Sincura have confirmed that, if the piece is pulled from sale before the event, it will be sold by default to the American collector.
The Group, who say they will not profit from or make commission on the sale, also claim to be “entirely satisfied that the mural was legally salvaged.” This contradicts previous statements from the property owners, who were adamant that the piece was removed without their knowledge or consent.
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“The story of the Turnpike Lane Banksy gets more and more bizarre. After being withdrawn from sale in the US, the piece arrives back in the UK and will be put up for auction again.
“The Sincura Group is saying that unless their auction goes ahead and another buyer is found, the piece will be sold to an American collector and lost forever. This leaves campaigners in an impossible position regarding whether to call the auction off or not.
“This seems to leave us one option – to track down the current owners and plea directly to them. Unsurprisingly, they have remained anonymous to date – but I will do my best to expose them before the 2nd June.”
In March, the Trustee of the Centre had written to the Council, expressing a desire to return the building. He did this, however, without consulting the management team.
The team at the Centre acted quickly, putting new trustees in place, securing the Charity Commissions’ consent to continue as a charity, and agreeing a new funding arrangement with Haringey Council’s Childcare and Early Years Department until 2015.
The Community Centre management then received a letter on the 3rd May from Haringey Council’s Property Services department, informing them that they needed to vacate the property by Monday 13th May.
In a strongly worded email, the Liberal Democrat MP has demanded answers from the Council, particularly whether Property Services will withdraw their demand to vacate the property.
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“I am shocked at the way this issue has been handled by Haringey Council’s Property Services. There has clearly been no communication with the Early Years Department, who agreed to fund the Centre until 2015. The Centre performs a vital role in the local community, accommodating up to 200 children.
“The stripping of a resource such as this from the local area would constitute a great loss for local residents and create a huge gap in local childcare.
“No consideration seems to have been given regarding the value of the Centre to the local community. And finally, 10 days is a completely unrealistic amount of time for the task of shutting down a Centre that has been in place for a great number of years.
“I have asked some tough questions of the Council and requested that any action against the Centre is suspended until I receive a full response to the questions raised. I will keep residents updated with any further developments.”
From yesterday, people who want to set up a nursery can apply for grants of up to £500 to help cover things like legal and insurance costs, training, equipment and adaptations to buildings. The scheme aims to launch up to 6,000 new childcare businesses across England.
The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green has expressed hope that people in Haringey will take up this offer, so that a significant number of new nurseries will open, boosting options for parents.
This funding boost comes on top of other recent good news for parents. Last month it was announced that 882 of the poorest two-year-olds in Haringey stand to benefit from 15 hours free childcare a week from this September.
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“Liberal Democrats want to create a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life. Childcare plays a vital role in achieving those goals. It helps the early development of children and removes barriers for those parents keen to return to work.
“We have seen time and time again the important difference that good quality childcare can make in giving children the best possible start in life.
“This money will help entrepreneurs set up and run new childcare facilities which will be a boost to Haringey’s economy and a massive help to families here.”
Lynne Featherstone MP on Sunday attended a maypole dance and street party on Hillfield Park in Muswell Hill. This year, it included a bake off judged by Maison Blanc, a hulahoopathon, a tug of war and maypole dancing.
The Liberal Democrat MP gave a short speech praising the residents and organisers of the street party, which has become an established annual event.
The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green then presented rosettes to the winners of the ‘best pet’ competition. The runners up included dogs and a hamster (who sat on the rosette to pose for the photo!) The local MP presented the winning rosette to the pet owner – as the winning cat, Boris, had disappeared!
After the party, Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“I had a great time at the street party, which is always so well organised and attended by the local residents.
“It’s fantastic to see a community come together and take part in these fun activities. I was very happy to present the best pet prizes – even though the winner absconded before the prize giving ceremony!
“I look forward to next year’s party.”
The Liberal Democrat MP entered the Mosque after prayers and was given a tour of the Women’s area. Following the tour, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green sat outside the Mosque and met with members of the congregation.
Along with two of her caseworkers, the MP spoke to dozens of people, and offered them assistance with their local issues.
Lynne Featherstone and her team process around 400 pieces of casework on behalf of local residents per week.
The event was organised by Dr Turhan Ozen, the Liberal Democrat European Parliamentary Elections Candidate for London.
Following the surgery, Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“I would like to thank Turhan for organising this event, and thank the congregation for welcoming me to the Mosque. It was great to take advantage of the nice weather and hold an advice surgery outside.
“My team and I spoke with dozens of people and gave them advice on their local issues. We will be making numerous representations to the Council and other authorities on their behalf this week.
“I hope this will be the first of many advice surgeries at the local Mosques in my constituency.”