MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
The Mayor’s ‘crime plan’ for Haringey will see Muswell Hill’s volunteer front counter closed, and counters at Wood Green and Hornsey stations downgraded from 24hrs to part time.
The Haringey Lib Dems responded to the initial consultation, and spoke out against the proposals. After the final announcement, Local Lib Dem councillors have written again to the Deputy Mayor for Policing expressing their disappointment.
In November, the Mayor of London promised “equivalent or superior access to the police.”
The petition calls on the Mayor to keep this promise, and maintain a front counter service and police base in Muswell Hill.
Cllr Richard Wilson, Lib Dem Leader of the opposition, added:
“The Mayor’s decision to close Muswell Hill police counter is extremely disappointing. We will continue the fight to keep a front counter and safer neighbourhood team base in Muswell Hill.
“I urge local residents to sign our petition and put pressure on the Mayor to change his mind.”
Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone said:
“The final crime plan announced by the Mayor was extremely disappointing. During the consultation period we conducted a survey, and it was clear that residents wanted their front counter services to stay.
“We were promised equal or better access to the police, but the Mayor has simply not delivered this. It is unacceptable and I will continue the fight to keep this counter open – as I did successfully in 2011.
“Residents can now sign our petition, which calls on the Mayor to retain a local base for the Safer Neighbourhood Team on, or near, Muswell Hill Broadway with an accessible front counter for the public to report crimes.”
Lib Dem councillor and crime spokesperson, Martin Newton has written to the Deputy Mayor of London objecting to the decision and calling on him to change his mind.
The Lib Dems have argued that having a contact point in Muswell Hill Library instead of the police counter is unacceptable because it will only be open for a short time and will be based in Muswell Hill Library. The library does not have disabled access so will not be usable for disabled people who would be forced to travel across the borough to report a crime.
Haringey Lib Dems have been campaigning for a local base for the Safer Neighbourhood Team on, or near, Muswell Hill Broadway with an accessible front counter for the public to report crimes.
Local Lib Dem MP, Lynne Featherstone, is also fighting the decision and has stated her opposition to the closure of Muswell Hill volunteer counter and the reduction of opening hours at Hornsey and Wood Green stations.
Martin Newton, Lib Dem crime spokesperson and councillor for Fortis Green, Muswell Hill, comments:
“This decision by the Mayor is unacceptable. We need to keep a front counter and safer neighbourhood police base in the Muswell Hill area and to keep Hornsey and Wood Green open twenty-four hours a day.
“The contact point in Muswell Hill Library, open three hours a week is completely unsuitable and will not have disabled access.
“We will continue the fight to keep a police presence in Muswell Hill and keep Hornsey and Wood Green police stations open twenty-four hours.
“I have written to the Deputy Mayor calling on him to change his mind, protect our twenty-four police stations and keep a proper police base in Muswell Hill. I hope he sees sense and listens to us and the pleas of local residents.”
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“I am deeply disappointed with the Mayor’s crime plan for Haringey, which leaves the whole of the west of the borough without any nearby police station open twenty-four hours.
“In the past, I was promised that the Muswell Hill counter would never close without a suitable replacement service. The current alternative presented by the Mayor is certainly not suitable, and I will continue to campaign for an equal or better replacement in the Muswell Hill area. I will also continue to oppose the downgrading of front counters in Wood Green and Hornsey Police Stations.
“I encourage residents with views on the plans to also make themselves heard by contacting the Mayor directly.”
Read the full letter here.
The Haringey Liberal Democrats and Lynne Featherstone MP last week launched a petition for 30 minutes of free parking on Haringey’s High Streets. The petition has already been signed by 399 people with another 105 people liking the campaign on Facebook.
The campaign has also attracted the support of traders in Muswell Hill who recently 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.
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.
Lynne Featherstone MP and Haringey Lib Dems are calling on local shoppers to add their support to the campaign and sign the petition here.
Jim Jenks, Muswell Hill councillor and Lib Dem spokesperson on parking comments:
“The council must do more to support local businesses. Independent traders are struggling and 30 minutes of free parking would encourage more people to shop on our high streets and boost local trade.”
“I encourage anyone who lives in Haringey or shops locally to sign our petition and put pressure on the council to introduce 30 minutes of free parking on high streets.”
Lynne Featherstone, Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green comments:
“I’m delighted that our petition has already got the support of hundreds of people!
“Haringey Lib Dems and I will continue to campaign to get the Labour Council to make the change and introduce 30 minutes of free parking.
“It will benefit local residents and help to keep small independent shops on our local high streets.”
Peter Drummond, local resident and President of the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC), comments:
“I support the campaign to lower parking charges on high streets. In my view, it is absolutely critical that high streets are not put under even greater pressure, and that local councils do not simply see parking charges as a revenue earner. If they do, retailers will fail, rents and rates will reduce and in the long run the council will be worse off.”
Last year, retailers on Muswell Hill Broadway reported months of poor trade after the parking charges were increased from £1.40 to £3 per hour.
The traders started a petition to lower the charges – which attracted over 5,200 signatures – and presented it to Haringey Council. Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone also wrote to the Labour-run Council and requested that the charges be lowered. Despite this, the Council refused to reduce the charges.
Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats are now calling for 30 minutes of free parking on Haringey’s High Streets, to encourage people to stop and ‘drop in’ to the Borough’s independent shops, and boost their trade.
Jim Jenks, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Muswell Hill said:
“Haringey retailers need our support. But the Haringey Labour Council has, as usual, a ‘one size fits all’ approach with high parking charges throughout the Borough. We need local parking solutions that help get more people into our shops.
“We need as many people as possible to support our campaign, so we’re encouraging our supporters and residents to sign our petition and let their friends and families know about it, too.”
Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green commented:
“In my constituency, the high streets in places like Muswell Hill and Crouch End are packed with independent retailers. It sets us apart from other places which are full of bland chain stores.
“I’m afraid this refusal to listen to trader’s concerns is typical of the Labour-run Council – more interested in making a quick buck on parking fees than preserving our community assets.
“I urge anyone who wants to support independent shops – and would like to enjoy 30 minutes free parking – to sign our petition.”
Sign the petition here
Lynne Featherstone MP has today expressed her frustration with the parking charges set by Haringey Council, which are having a detrimental effect on many shops and businesses in Hornsey and Wood Green.
In September, local business owner Chris Oswald contacted Lynne Featherstone. He reported that independent businesses have suffered months of poor trade after the parking prices were increased from £1.40 to £3 per hour last year.
The Liberal Democrat MP contacted the Council ask asked them to examine the parking charges around Muswell Hill and consider reducing them to a more realistic level so that shoppers can be encouraged to stop and shop in the area instead of going elsewhere.
The Council last week confirmed that, following a review completed this year, a decision was taken to make no further changes to the charge of £3 per hour.
Chris Ostwold, manager of Crocodile Antiques in Muswell Hill Broadway, said:
“I am very disappointed with the Council’s response. We traders have told the Council that the charges are having a negative effect on our businesses – but they just won’t listen. I simply don’t understand how they have supposedly reviewed the impact, yet not realised how damaging this extortionate charge is.
“I will continue to collect signatures for my petition, which calls for a reduction in parking charges.”
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“This is just typical of Labour-run Haringey Council. They should be supporting local businesses, not discouraging residents from shopping on our high streets.
“I am fully behind the Haringey Liberal Democrat campaign for 30 minutes of free parking on Haringey’s high streets. I am also supportive of Mr Oswald’s petition to lower the parking charges.”
The location of the first stop on the W7 and 144 bus routes from Muswell Hill is set to change on a trial basis. The change, which was officially announced last night at a local area forum, follows a four year campaign by local Liberal Democrats.
The stop is located on the steep Muswell Hill. This has caused numerous problems for residents, who have complained about the inaccessibility and safety risks of the current location. The problems prompted Lynne Featherstone, local MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, and local Liberal Democrat Councillors to campaign for the bus stop to be moved.
In 2011, after three years of campaigning, the Liberal Democrat MP received confirmation that the bus stop would be moved to outside Boots on Muswell Hill Broadway. In July of this year, Lynne Featherstone expressed her anger that, despite the confirmation, the bus stop still had not been relocated.
Tfl have now launched an official consultation on the provision of a new, accessible stop. They propose that routes 144 and W7 would serve a new southbound bus stop on the roundabout between Muswell Hill Broadway and Duke’s Avenue. This would be the new first stop and would allow for a wheelchair ramp to be deployed. The consultation also forms part of the Council’s trial.
Sophie Erskine, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Fortis Green, said:
“After years of petitions, meetings and campaigning, I am delighted that an official consultation has been launched. This gives residents a chance to really get their views heard – so I encourage everyone to take part.
“I hope that finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that the stop will be moved permanently.”
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“The location of this bus stop has been a long standing problem for many residents. Despite assurances that the stop would be moved, Labour-run Haringey Council never managed to coordinate this, leaving elderly and disabled users without proper access to the services.
“You can be sure that I will be responding to the consultation, and pushing TFL and the Council to ensure that the move is a permanent one.”
The results of a survey by local MP Lynne Featherstone released this week reveals the level of concern amongst local residents about school places in Haringey.
Survey returns from over four-hundred homes in Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Fortis Green wards show that nearly half of those who responded felt that more school places are needed in their area. Places at primary schools were considered as the top priority.
Liberal Democrats have called on Haringey Council to take concerted efforts to do all they can to increase the supply of school places, including backing the campaign against Islington Council’s plans to turn the former Ashmount school site into a housing development.
Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green, comments:
“Haringey Council needs to listen to local residents and look to see where there is the highest pressure for places.
“The Government has given Haringey an additional £1.7million this year to relieve the pressure on school places on top of their share of £800million nationally.”
Councillor Sophie Erskine (Fortis Green) adds:
“In the first round of applications this year 130 children in Haringey did not receive a place at any primary school. The Council must do all it can to ensure our families have access to good local schools.
“It is about time that the Council backed the campaign to keep the Ashmount school site for educational use.”
The demand comes after Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon unearthed information that shows 347 pedestrian crossings in London have no facilities to help blind and partially sighted people to safely cross the road, with 15 of these located in Haringey. This is despite there being long standing national accessibility standard to ensure every pedestrian crossing has either an audible sound and/or a rotating cone to assist blind and partially sighted people.
In addition to widespread poor access for blind and partially sighted people, Liberal Democrats have also found that Haringey has seven crossings that also fail national safety standards by not providing the minimum amount of time for pedestrians to safely cross the road.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“It’s a disgrace that Haringey has fifteen crossings that are not accessible to blind and partially sighted local residents, and seven that do not leave residents enough time to cross.
“The Mayor has a responsibility to make sure that all crossings in London are accessible, but this poor record shows that blind and partially sighted residents, in particular, and pedestrians more widely, are not getting the priority they deserve. This needs action and it needs action now.”
Liberal Democrat Transport and Environment spokesperson Cllr Jim Jenks adds:
“Blind and partially sighted residents already face a whole range of obstacles when they walk on our local streets, be it advertising boards or other items strewn across our high streets.
“It should be safe for all to cross at pedestrian crossings. By their very nature they meant to help pedestrians cross busy roads safely. It is just not good enough that fifteen crossings in Haringey fail to meet basic safety standards for blind and partially sighted people even though guidelines have been around for over 15 years. I hope that the Mayor will now sit up and change this disgraceful record once and for all.”
Muswell Hill residents packed the British Legion Hall last Thursday to hear about the controversial Pinkham Way Waste Plant from Haringey Council officers at the first meeting of the new Muswell Hill Area Forum. The Pinkham Way proposal was on the agenda at the insistence of Liberal Democrat councillors who demanded residents be given the opportunity to discuss the plans, and question planning officers.
Haringey will be handling the planning application, so the meeting was welcomed by many who were disappointed by the North London Waste Authority’s refusal to speak at a public meeting Lynne Featherstone MP was hoping to organise earlier in the spring. At the Forum Committee meeting, local councillors also voted overwhelmingly for a motion that criticised the Pinkham Way waste facility proposals.
Liberal Democrat Councillor for Alexandra, Juliet Solomon commented:
“This is an issue that local people care passionately about, and I have frankly been astounded that the waste authority is so unwilling to meet with local people and hear their concerns. I was therefore delighted that the issue was discussed at the Area Forum, and residents didn’t hold back in showing their outrage at the plans.
“I am also really pleased to see local councillors taking an unequivocal stand on this troubling proposal. Local residents in three boroughs are shocked and dismayed by the proposals and will be reassured to know that their fears are shared by their elected representatives who will be arguing against the plant strongly in every possible arena.”
Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone added:
“The waste authority is planning to squeeze in this giant waste plant in the middle of a residential area, and residents are rightly outraged. I am this week meeting with the MPs from Enfield and Barnet, to see how we can jointly stop this monstrosity. Once the planning application is available for comment, we will also be writing to local people to tell them how best to respond. Please also sign our petition and show your opposition to the plans. Together we will fight these plans.”
The text of the motion passed reads:
“This Area Committee opposes the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) plans for a waste facility at Pinkham Way, and calls on the NLWA to drop the plans.
“Whilst we recognise the need to plan responsibly for waste disposal, this must not be through the location of a huge plant in a residential area with the excessive movement of large lorries that will result.”
“We further oppose plans for the use of the site by Barnet LB as a lorry park. The London Borough of Barnet should make arrangement for the parking of such vehicles in its own borough.”
To thank a much loved postman for more than 30 years of dedicated service to people in Fortis Green, Lynne Featherstone MP and residents on Southern Road last Friday threw a small street party for Postman Bob.
The Hornsey and Wood Green MP heard of Robert Konig’s impressive service to people in Fortis Green by Southern Road resident Deborah Langdon-Davies, who wanted to do something special for this much-loved man.
As postman Bob has just been nominated for a Royal Mail Chairman’s award, The Liberal Democrat MP and neighbours on Southern Road decided to say their own thanks and on Friday presented him with flowers and chocolates.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“I was really touched to hear of postman Bob, his amazing work, and how much he is loved and appreciated by local residents.
“It’s easy to take good people for granted, so on this occasion, we wanted to do something special to say thanks, hence a small party with a big thank you for a job tremendously well done!”
Southern Road resident Deborah Langdon-Davies adds:
“Bob always goes the extra mile, doing his utmost to make sure our post is delivered safely each day. It’s not rare for him to backtrack to deliver a parcel if he recognises us coming back in our cars, or leaving parcels with neighbours he knows we can trust.
“It’s just so refreshing to see someone who takes real pride in his job, and he is definitely up there with the best! As he’s retiring in the summer, after more than 30 years of delivering the post on our street, we wanted to say a huge thank you.
“He will be sorely missed but I am truly grateful for having had the world’s best postman for the ten years I’ve been living here.”