MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
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.”
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of sheltered housing scheme Passmore Edwards House, Lynne Featherstone MP on Friday joined the residents in special birthday festivities.
The Liberal Democrat MP, who has visited the scheme on many occasions, most recently to see an allotment project co-run with Bounds Green school, had the honour of cutting the birthday cake. The MP also got to meet four very special residents, Kiymet Huseyin, Maureen Greene, Audrey Hagger and Rene Contzen, who have all lived at the scheme from the very first day it opened.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“Passmore Edwards House is such a warm and welcoming place, and I always have such fun when I come here, be it to check out the allotment, or sing with the residents.
“So it feels very special to be celebrating with such a lovely crowd here today, especially with Kiymet, Maureen, Audrey and Rene who have been here from day one! So happy birthday Passmore Edwards!”
Liberal Democrat Crime Spokesperson Cllr Ron Aitken has demanded action after it was revealed that a key Haringey Council crime-fighting post has been left vacant for several months.
Minutes from Haringey’s Safer Communities Executive Board (18 February 2010) show that the post of CCTV Manager has been vacant for several months at a time when residents have been demanding measures to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. The funds allocated for the post have been used to provide temporary cover, but the Liberal Democrats say the lack of a permanent post-holder has caused other initiatives to be stalled.
Cllr Ron Aitken, Liberal Democrat Crime Spokesperson, comments:
“The lack of a permanent CCTV Manager is affecting other aspects of Haringey Council’s crime-fighting strategy.
“For example, a request by the Queen’s Road Neighbourhood Watch for a CCTV camera, to watch a notorious crime spot near Bowes Park over-ground station, was turned down.”
Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green adds:
“It’s really worrying that for months there has been no permanent staff member in such a crucial post – the effective use of CCTV does not simply depend on the cameras but on the people who manage and monitor them.
“With evidence that other aspects of the crime fighting strategy may be suffering as a result, Haringey Council needs to get its act together and recruit a permanent member of staff as soon as possible.”
The police are planning to expand their presence in Wood Green – keeping the existing police station in use but also moving the front counter to the Fishmongers Arms (right next to the Civic Centre, closer to the centre of Wood Green, closer to where people congregate and closer to the crime hotspots).
I was impressed with the new front counter – not yet in use – when I went with Cllr Robert Gorrie (Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Haringey Council) to see it and meet the local Commander, Dave Grant.
Having staffed and open police stations in the heart of our community is central to the fight against crime and the fear of crime. It gives us a police service that knows its community and whose community knows it. That’s why I fought for so longer to get the Muswell Hill front counter reopened.
The new front counter in Wood Green is much better equipped and located than the current one. It’s all ready to go – brand, spanking new – and has the advantage that local people would be able to use the front counter to report their problems in a much more peaceful and calm atmosphere – no longer needing to mix with the less salubrious side of station life with those who have to report to the police station, and so on.
If the existing building is also kept in use for police services, such as cells and a base for patrol cars etc, then this means overall a bigger and better police presence in Wood Green. Hurrah!
We need to be sure that moving the front counter doesn’t become an excuse to cut back, sell off property – and leave us with fewer services. That has to be the concern in these times of economic uncertainty.
And then there’s still the question of exactly what policing will be done from the existing police station building. The police have promised a public consultation on that – including the possibility of moving the front counter back from the Fishmongers Arms, if it isn’t a success in its new location and local people want it moved back.
We also need to make sure that any building work on the old police station preserves its historic front, which is a real architectural gem that adds to our community. Last time the police made proposals for the station the local community was rightly up in arms at the insensitive architectural designs. That planning application was withdrawn and we await a new one, due to be submitted in the autumn.
So we should be due two chances to have our say – the public consultation on police services in the area and also the planning application for the Victorian police station building.
But ahead of that the police want to try out starting to use the new facilities at the Fishmongers Arms – moving their front counter service from the existing police station to the new location.
I know some people have been skeptical about this, worried that it’s a way for the police to preempt those two chances for us to have our say later in the year.
But if it is a genuine trial, making use of new expanded premises and with a commitment written in blood that the final decisions will only come after we’ve been consulted – then it means we get to try out the new services sooner and it makes for a better decision in the end if there’s some practical experience to draw on.
So this is a debate which will run for some time – and do let me know your own views.
You can also watch my latest film about Wood Green police station: