MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Here’s an email I sent to my constituents yesterday. If you live in Hornsey and Wood Green – please do fill in the survey!
It’s almost twenty years since I first got involved in local politics here in Haringey. I joined a residents’ group and we protested against an unpopular parking scheme being imposed on us by the Council.
We were successful – and it showed how a small group of determined people could make changes, benefitting a huge number of residents. After this, I became a local councillor and then MP for our area.
I believe in a fairer society – it’s what I work for day in, day out – in Haringey and in Parliament.
That’s why, along with local residents, I launch campaigns to protect and improve our local services: like hospitals, libraries, stations, parcel collection points, bus stops, police front counters and more.
It’s also why my local team and I worked so hard to secure fairer education funding for Haringey – and now we’re pushing for fairer funding for our health services too.
Creating a strong economy is also important, to support our public services. That’s why my party took the difficult decision to enter into coalition in 2010 – to be part of a stable Government, capable of rebuilding the economy.
Now, both the deficit and unemployment are down. Youth unemployment here has halved – giving so many more young people a better opportunity to get on in life. But there is still work to be done.
I am standing again to be the MP for our local area at the General Election in May this year. Do I have your support? You can let me know who you’re supporting by replying to this email, or filling in this survey.
In the survey, you can also let me know of any issues or problems you’d like to raise with me. I’ll get back to you asap.
Thank you, and Happy New Year,
Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
I’ve sent the following email about the NUT strikes in Haringey to local residents. Any residents who want to let me know their opinions on the strike can do so here.
Strikes at our local schools are the last thing we want. Our local children miss out on learning opportunities, and parents have to arrange urgent childcare or take time off work.
This is exactly what is happening in Haringey at the moment.
The strikes follow the suspension of Julie Davies – Haringey’s National Union of Teachers (NUT) representative. Ms Davies was suspended months ago by the local authority, Labour-run Haringey Council, and a dispute has followed.
For a long time, local head teachers expressed concerns about Ms Davies. A week after tensions reached boiling point, Haringey Council suspended her – on grounds of gross misconduct.
Haringey Council should have stepped in much earlier and handled this better.
Haringey’s own report (published nearly 2 years ago) said that a large proportion of primary head teachers and all secondary head teachers were deeply concerned about the “unconstructive role played by the main teaching union” and recommended an “urgent need to reconfigure union facilities time to ensure it supports the best interests of children.”
This should have been dealt with long before.
Instead, the situation has escalated following Julie Davies’ suspension. The NUT has called local strikes, which have already disrupted over 3000 local pupils. This also seems vastly disproportionate, and head teachers are livid.
That’s why I have contacted Haringey Council’s Chief Executive to ask for his direct intervention in finding a resolution – in what seems to now be a dispute between the Labour-run council and the Union.
Ultimately – I’m sure we all agree – it’s vital that the situation is resolved, and that no more teaching time is lost.
If you would like to let me know what you think – please do fill in this survey. I’m keen to hear as many opinions as possible.
The event – which takes place at 2pm, on Thursday 28th August, at Haringey Civic Centre – gives young people the chance to meet with companies who are offering apprenticeships, and get advice about making applications.
Barclays and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation are confirmed, alongside the National Apprenticeship Service and companies like Hawk training.
The event, which is backed by Wood Green Jobcentre Plus, is open to all young people – not just Haringey residents. Last year, one young person was taken on the day after the event.
The event follows news that youth unemployment in the Lib Dem MP’s constituency has halved since 2010.
Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“I am very much looking forward to this year’s event. We have a diverse range of companies attending, and I know Haringey is full of bright, ambitious young people, who will come along to meet the companies and find out more.
“Apprenticeships are a great way to kick start a career. You get paid to learn a trade, and you get a qualification at the end. You also get to make contacts within an industry, which could help secure full time work.
“Youth unemployment here has halved since 2010 – I want to work with businesses and local young people to make even more progress.”
Lynne Featherstone MP has spent the past week giving street surgeries across Hornsey and Wood Green, where she met and discussed a wide range of issues with local residents.
During the surgeries, Lynne Featherstone spoke with residents in Muswell Hill, Hornsey and Fortis Green, offering advice and assistance on a range of concerns including housing and repairs. The local MP also discussed problems with the Labour-run Haringey Council, dumped rubbish and immigration cases with local people.
The Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green will continue to hold street surgeries throughout next week in residential areas in order to allow locals to raise any issues or concerns with her directly.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“It has been wonderful to bring my advice surgery out onto the street. These visits are a great way for local residents to meet with me at a location convenient to them. I hope it will make it easier for people to come along and raise any issues.
“With more street surgeries next week, it will be great if as many people as possible take the opportunity to come and talk about any worries or problems they may have.”
An £800 income tax cut for people in Hornsey and Wood Green is the real budget boost, Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone said today.
The budget revealed plans to increase the personal allowance from April 2015 and put an extra £100 back in taxpayers’ pockets.
Lib Dems have already delivered on a £700 tax cut for low to middle earners, but today’s news goes even further for hardworking people.
The number of people who could benefit from a cut to the personal allowance in Hornsey and Wood Green is expected to be around 45,090
Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone said:
“This tax cut is the real budget boost for working people and would not have happened without Lib Dems in Government creating a stronger economy and a fairer society. This was on the front page of our manifesto!
“The Tories are desperate to claim credit, but in reality their focus is on changes such as an inheritance tax cut for millionaires which we blocked, while Labour simply cannot be trusted with the economy.
“We are also helping people with a freeze on fuel duty and new tax-free childcare to help parents.”
TfL are planning to extend the 263 route which currently runs between Chambers Road and Barnet Hospital. I am aware that many constituents use this service, which stops at Highgate, Muswell Hill, and Fortis Green on its way to Barnet.
The plan is to extend the route along Holloway Road, stopping at Highbury and Islington station and terminating at Highbury Barn. This will mean a more frequent service along Holloway Road, but three current stops will no longer be used.
TfL are consulting on this to establish how local people feel this will affect them, and so please do let them know what you think. The consultation closes on 11th April – more details and the survey can be found at https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/bus-route-263.
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!
Here’s my latest Ham and High column, following a great year of working with local residents to protect our services
2013 was a year of people power in Haringey – with thousands of local residents and Liberal Democrats joining forces to protect local services.
At the beginning of the year, the proposed sell off of land at the Whittington Hospital was successfully halted, following a campaign by over 4,500 local residents and the Haringey Liberal Democrats.
Later in the year thousands of Lib Dem petition signers also prevented Royal Mail’s planned closure of Hornsey Sorting Office, and also stopped the threatened loss of local rail services at Hornsey and Harringay stations.
Local High Street traders also made their voices heard, calling for lower High Street parking charges. The Haringey Lib Dems and I backed them, by running a campaign for thirty minutes free parking and holding the Independent Shops Competition to give our best local stores some much deserved publicity.
The North London Waste Authority also finally backtracked on their idea to build a waste plant on the Pinkham Way site, thanks to a great campaign effort by the Pinkham Way Alliance, local residents and the Lib Dems. The NLWA still own the land, though – so we remain vigilant.
Last year was also great for jobs and apprenticeships – with more and more Haringey residents finding work. Since 2010, unemployment is at its lowest level in my constituency (over 1000 less JSA claimants), and youth unemployment has fallen by a third.
The apprenticeship event I ran this year was very popular and successful. I was so impressed with the ambition and drive of the young people who attended – and so were the employers. One Haringey young person was snapped up by an employer just a day after the event!
Looking forward to next year, I hope for more hard work and successes for the Lib Dems and people power. And one date in particular springs to mind – May 22nd, the next round of local elections.
Last year, Haringey Council (which is currently run by Labour) failed to deliver on many key local services. Our roads are in a state, two thirds of residents are dissatisfied with their rubbish collections, and Childrens Services has been tarnished with more child protection scandals.
And at the same time, the Labour-run Council continues to waste money. £3.7 million in shockingly large bonuses were dished out to repairs staff – while essential repair work to local homes was cancelled. It’s no wonder Haringey Council is the fourth most complained about in the country.
That’s why I want to see a change in how our local services are run and how our Council Tax money is spent.
And after this great year of local delivery and working with residents, I hope it’s the Haringey Liberal Democrats that take control of Haringey Council, so they can work with residents to fix Haringey for good.
Now, that really would be a happy new year!
During the consultation, the local Liberal Democrats and the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green surveyed over 2000 residents, to ascertain residents’ views on the proposals.
Based on the results of the survey, the local MP and Liberal Democrats backed a borough wide 20mph zone – but only on residential roads and, where appropriate, town centres. They also recommended that the scheme should be enforced by signs, rather than speed humps.
The Liberal Democrat MP and local Lib Dem group have campaigned for residents to have their say on the introduction of a borough wide 20mph limit since 2010.
The launch of the consultation represents a u-turn by the Labour-run Council, who previously refused to consult on a 20mph limit – rejecting the proposal outright in October 2012.
Cllr Jim Jenks, Haringey Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson, said:
“We have been campaigning for a borough wide 20mph zone since 2010. Our survey clearly shows the majority of local people back that policy.
“Having previously rejected the idea, I hope the Labour-run council will finally listen to us and to residents and implement a borough wide 20mph zone on residential roads.”
Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“The Haringey Lib Dems and I campaigned for so long to get a consultation – and it’s great that residents have now had the chance to have their say.
“Over 2000 people responded to our survey, and we have passed these on to the Council and stated our support for the majority view.
“Thank you to everyone who took part. I will be keeping residents informed, particularly when the Council makes the final decision on a 20mph speed limit in our borough.”