MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Great news – the economy is growing at the fastest rate we’ve seen since 2007 – according to the Office of National Statistics.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also increased its growth forecast for the UK economy from 1.9% to 2.4%.
The UK has also seen a sharp drop in unemployment, and there are now more people in work than ever before. All good signs that the economy is recovering.
And we’re really leading the way in Hornsey and Wood Green. There are now over 1100 fewer people claiming Job Seekers Allowance than there were in 2010.
Youth unemployment here is now 3.8% – almost halved since 2010.
And finally, the number of registered enterprises in Hornsey and Wood Green is on the up, from 4,855 in 2011 to 5,450 now.
The plan is working – and so are we!
Here’s my latest Muswell Flyer article – on the changes I want to see in our borough this year. Also available here.
The Christmas festivities are over and I hope everyone had a great time welcoming in the New Year. Alongside my usual resolutions, there is something specific I want to see in 2014.
This year, I want to see a change in how our local services are run and how our council tax money is spent. And with a local election taking place in May – change is a real possibility!
Our borough has so much potential – it is a truly vibrant and diverse area. But, like many Haringey residents who contact me, I am fed up of paying one of the highest rates of Council Tax in London and receiving a poor service in return.
Last year, Haringey Council (which is currently run by Labour) failed to deliver on many key local services.
On housing, the Council allowed £3.7 million to be spent on bonuses for housing staff while cancelling vital and long-overdue repair works for local homes. I receive so many complaints from local residents in social housing about the lack of repairs – and I just cannot believe that millions have been spent on bonuses for failure.
Our local streets are also not up to scratch. A survey I ran last year on rubbish collections turned up over 400 complaints about missed collections, bins in the wrong place, and piles of rotting rubbish.
Another survey revealed hundreds of complaints about potholes and lighting, too – despite the Council promising a ‘pothole blitz’ earlier in the year.
And also – the Labour-run Council is still refusing Lib Dem calls for an independent review into Children’s Services, despite further shocking failures to protect some of the borough’s most vulnerable children.
This is a small summary of the problems we have in Haringey. Labour has had 40 years in charge of Haringey Council, and I think it’s about time that changed.
In contrast to Labour, the local Lib Dems are constantly campaigning for improved local services. They’ve been instrumental in saving our parcel collection points and local train services, alongside pushing the Council into action on numerous issues – forcing them to consult on 20mph roads and to build new homes to ease the housing crisis, for instance.
The local Lib Dems are also committed to continuing the fight against development on Pinkham Way, and to improving the state of our streets. We’ve fought hard for independent shops by campaigning for thirty minutes free parking, and free parking over the entire Christmas period. And, the Lib Dems are committed to supporting our local Credit Union as an alternative to payday loan shops.
For me, the choice is easy. What we need is a Council that listens to residents and works for them. I will be campaigning hard to help the Lib Dems take control of the Council so that we can see real, positive changes to Haringey in 2014. Now, that really would be a happy new year!
I have just sent the below comment to the local papers regarding the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) decision to end their procurement process for long term waste management services.
In short – they have decided to keep using the waste facility in Edmonton and keep waste management under control of the local authority (rather than contract them out to a private bidder).
There are now no current plans to use the Pinkham Way site for waste management. I’d like to echo the words of the Pinkham Way Alliance: ‘This is very good news!’
Here’s what I’ve told the local papers:
“The decision to end the procurement for long-term waste management in North London marks a great victory for the Pinkham Way Alliance, the local Liberal Democrats and local residents, who have campaigned hard against the NLWA’s plans.
“From day one, the whole process has been a farce and the strategy deeply flawed. The plan to use Pinkham Way for a waste plant, for instance, was simply inappropriate. They should have been looking at ways to reduce wastage – not thinking of building huge incinerators in unsuitable places.
“It’s all very well the NLWA saying they’re saving us money now by keeping waste management services ‘in house’ – but what about the public money wasted to date on their flawed plans?
“I am of course glad that the NLWA has finally seen sense – but it shouldn’t have taken this long to realise their existing Edmonton site would be suitable.
“We must remain vigilant, though. Although there are now no immediate plans to use the Pinkham Way site, it is still an asset of the NLWA, and different plans to use the site may surface in the future.
“The local Lib Dems and I will be sure to keep residents updated as and when we receive information.”
Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone has encouraged local residents to sign the Pinkham Way Alliance’s current petition to halt the £3 billion waste contract for North London.
The North London Waste Authority is intending to award a 30 year waste contract worth £3 billion for the management of waste across all seven of its member boroughs – including Haringey.
The Alliance assert that the contract is deeply flawed, as it is based on waste predictions for 30 years ahead – absurdly far in advance and already shown to be inaccurate and based on guesstimates.
The new contract could also see renewed plans for a waste facility on Pinkham Way.
The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green and the PWA have teamed up before, and successfully stopped the building of a massive waste plant on the Pinkham Way site.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“Last year, we successfully prevented the building of a completely unsuitable waste plant – but the fight goes on.
“The Haringey Lib Dems and I are now supporting the PWA’s latest petition – and encouraging residents to do the same.”
The Member of Parliament took questions from students between 12 and 18, and teachers.
She discussed important issues relevant to young people, including the body confidence campaign, staying safe online, and the Home Office campaign, “This is Abuse,” which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of abuse and rape amongst teenagers and young people.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented,
“I always enjoy visiting local schools, and I was delighted to visit such a unique school. The students recently went to visit Parliament, and it’s clear that many of them are really engaged with politics.”
The MP visited Imperial Road, to see how the £140,000 has been invested by housing group Places for People, and the benefit it has had on local residents.
The project is part of a £15.6 million Big Lottery project which has seen Places for People transform public space in 80 communities across the UK. The Group has worked with 30,000 people to introduce parks and community gardens as well as the creation of sports facilities, play areas, wildlife habitats, sensory gardens and green social enterprises.
The green spaces project at Imperial Road provides:
Including residents in both the design and management of the spaces has helped to create a sense of ownership and pride within the community. As Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“I’m amazed at how this area has been transformed, into a colourful, fun, welcoming community area where neighbours, old and young, can socialise and play. Having met quite a few local people here today, it’s clear that this small project has made a big difference to residents’ lives.”
David Hooper, Regional Manager at Places for People said:
“Good quality green spaces are essential to the well-being of our towns and cities and this exciting programme has delivered environmental and social improvement by providing the local residents with new places to play and relax.”
Local Liberal Democrats have demanded that Haringey Council intervenes after the top boss at the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) this week refused to attend a public meeting on the controversial plans to build a waste processing plant at Pinkham Way.
In April 2011, Lynne Featherstone MP asked David Beadle, the managing director of the NLWA to speak at a meeting to raise awareness about proposals to build the waste plant and to listen to local concerns before the NLWA submitted the planning application to Haringey Council.
Following the rebuff by NLWA Lynne Featherstone MP has today written to the Labour representatives who sit on the publicly funded NLWA board, Councillors Nilgun Canver and George Meehan, asking that they personally intervene by asking the top boss to reconsider the invitation.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“The consultation into plans to build a huge waste plant at Pinkham Way to date has been shambolic. I’m really disappointed that the waste authority has refused to address these concerns by attending a public meeting.
“Being at the meeting and being prepared to listen to local residents, before submitting the plans, would have gone some way towards giving residents assurances that their concerns will be heard.
“The NLWA is a public body funded by local tax payers – they should feel duty bound to attend a meeting and engage with residents over these major plans. I have today therefore written to councillors Meehan and Canver, asking them encourage Mr Beadle to reconsider.
“I share many residents’ fears about the plans to build this huge waste plant in a residential area and right next to local schools. The area already suffers from bad traffic, and over 330 lorries entering and exiting the site each day will make a bad situation worse. Rest assured, I will stand alongside residents in fighting these plans.”
To make sure that the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) is aware of local concern over plans to build a waste processing plant at Pinkham Way, local Liberal Democrats yesterday presented the authority’s top boss with views from hundreds of local residents who had responded to a Liberal Democrat survey.
Lynne Featherstone MP and Alexandra ward councillor Juliet Solomon met with David Beadle following serious concerns about a lack of consultation of residents living close to the proposed site. To ensure local residents could have their say, Liberal Democrats earlier in April sought the views of thousands of local people in Alexandra and Bounds Green wards.
At the meeting, residents’ top concerns were raised, such as the size of the development and levels of traffic and pollution. The Waste Authority also promised to write to local residents in early May to explain the plans in more detail.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“The plan to build a waste plant at Pinkham Way will have a big effect on people in Bounds Green and Alexandra wards – yet 97% of people who responded to our survey felt they had not been adequately consulted. That’s just not good enough when we’re talking about such a major development.
“So I was glad to be able to raise residents’ concerns. People are mainly worried about the size of the development, the volume of traffic, noise and odour. I hope the NLWA will consider these views closely before putting in their planning application later in the spring. And I hope that from now on, local residents will get a chance to have a say at every step of the way.”
Alexandra councillor Juliet Solomon adds:
“It’s good to see that the NLWA is doing something about the lack of information for local residents – and they are now planning to write to everyone living close to the site, to set the plans out in more detail.
“It’s crucial that local people know what’s going on so that they are in a good place to respond to the planning application later on in the spring. In the meantime, residents can of course write to both Lynne and me with their concerns, and we will communicate them to the NLWA. We’re here to support you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch”.
Lynne Featherstone MP met with mums who live close to the site on Friday (1st April 2011) to listen to their concerns and find out what consultation has taken place to date on the controversial plans. One local mother, Sakina Chenot, said she was “outraged” at the lack of consultation.
The Hornsey and Wood Green MP arranged the meeting after being contacted by worried residents who feel they have not been informed or consulted about plans to build a waste processing plant at Pinkham Way in Bounds Green. At the meeting, local residents Sakina, Lisa, Tara and Parveen questioned Haringey Council and the Waste Authority’s claim that local people had received letters about the plans in February. Whilst Barnet Council, who own the land, have made efforts to inform residents about the plans, Haringey Council have been quiet on the issue, leaving local residents unsure of what is happening.
To make sure people affected by the plans get a chance to have a say, Lynne Featherstone MP last week wrote to thousands of local residents asking for their views before she meets with the Waste Authority on the 14th April. Residents who want to write to Lynne about the plans, should either email her on firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“I’m really worried about the plans for Pinkham Way and their knock-on effect on people living in the Bounds Green and Alexandra Area. And a lot of local residents share my concern.
“With any such major plans, it’s essential that local people have a say. It’s really worrying that local people feel they have not been informed or consulted.
“That’s why I wrote to thousands of local residents last week, asking for their views. I’ll make sure the Waste Authority hear of them when we meet up. And there is still time. If you are worried, do get in touch.”
Bounds Green resident Sakina Chenot adds:
“The waste authority is planning to build a waste plant very close to my house, but no one from either the NLWA or Haringey have contacted me about the plans. I’m very surprised at claims that we have all received letters about this. All four of us here today live within close proximity to Pinkham Way, and none of us have had anything through our letterbox.
“As a local resident who will be directly affected, I am outraged that I haven’t had a say yet. I want to make my voice heard on this development, which I fear will have a real detrimental effect on the local neighbourhood – consult me now!”
Liberal Democrats have renewed their calls for consultation with local residents on the controversial plans for a depot and new waste processing facilities at Pinkham Way.
Earlier this month local councillor, Juliet Solomon, met with Council bosses to highlight the complete lack of any consultation with residents in Alexandra ward and to raise a number of their concerns, in particular the impact of the additional lorry traffic on an already busy area.
Cllr. Solomon and Lynne Featherstone MP are now asking for all local residents’ views on the proposals so they can ensure that these concerns are clearly taken into account when they meet in a few weeks’ with top bosses at the North London Waste Authority (NLWA).
Last week residents in Bounds Green met to discuss the issue and agreed to fight the plans, highlighting their concerns over the size of the development, the noise and traffic created by the 24-hour facility and the potential storage of methane gas.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“It’s clear from the many residents’ meetings over the past week that many people think they are being left out of a massive decision that will affect their community greatly.
“Liberal Democrats want local residents’ voices to be heard and that is why we will be going to NLWA armed with concerns from local people. I ask that anybody who is concerned get in touch and we will make sure that NLWA sit up and listen.”
Cllr Juliet Solomon (Alexandra ward) adds:
“I am still not convinced that council bosses fully understand that local people deserve to be consulted. This is the largest development in this area for years yet many people feel that their concerns are being ignored.”