MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone today welcomed Royal Mail’s decision to continue to allow Highgate residents to pick up their parcels for free at the Archway Road Post Office, in response to months of campaigning by the local Liberal Democrats.
The Royal Mail representatives, who met with the MP this morning, also confirmed that the Hornsey sorting office has been reprieved. Whilst Royal Mail still plans to relocate the sorting office, residents will be able to pick up their undelivered parcels for at least 6 months, and in the meantime an alternative location in N8 for a collection point will be sought.
Royal Mail had planned to close Hornsey sorting office, stop the free collection service at Archway Road, and move the undelivered parcel collection points to Holloway and Tufnell Park. The move would have forced local residents to travel miles to collect their undelivered parcels, if they didn’t wish to leave parcels with a neighbour, or pay to have them redelivered.
Over 3000 people signed the Liberal Democrat petitions to save services in Hornsey, Highgate and Harringay Green Lanes.
The news has been very well received by the Hornsey and Wood Green MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats, who have been fiercely campaigning to keep free, local collection points since Royal Mail announced their reorganisation in September last year.
Highgate Liberal Democrat Councillor Rachel Allison said:
“I am so pleased that Royal Mail has seen sense, and is retaining the free collection point at Archway Road Post Office.
“Over 500 Highgate residents signed the petition and I’m glad that their views have been listened to by Royal Mail.”
Haringey Liberal Democrat Leader, Cllr Richard Wilson said:
“I am delighted that the threat to close Hornsey Sorting Office next month has been withdrawn, and that Royal Mail will now look for a new local collection point in Hornsey.
“We will carry on campaigning to secure a collection point around the Finsbury Park and Green Lanes area after the office there closed on the 28th January.”
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“From day one, we were adamant that no service should be lost without an equal or better local replacement.
“The news today is very encouraging. We have taken a huge step towards saving vital local services – and it’s all thanks to the residents who took part in our campaign and signed the Lib Dem petition.
“The combination of Lib Dems and people power has once again had a positive effect in Haringey, and we will continue to fight on!”
Currently, residents can collect undelivered parcels at local office and collection points in Hornsey, Highgate and at the Arena on Green Lanes. As part of their reorganisation, however, Royal Mail plans to close these offices and move the collection points to Holloway and Tufnell Park.
The move will force local residents to travel miles to collect their undelivered parcels if they don’t wish to leave parcels with a neighbour, or pay to have them redelivered.
Following a massive campaign effort by the local Liberal Democrats, the petitions to save the under threat services in Hornsey, Highgate and at the Arena in Tottenham have already been signed by nearly three thousand people.
In total, 25,293 addresses will be affected by the changes Royal Mail wants to make.
Cllr Richard Wilson, Liberal Democrat Opposition Leader, comments:
“Nobody should have to travel so far just to pick up an undelivered parcel. Going all the way to Tufnell Park or Holloway will be inconvenient for most people and will be particularly difficult for the elderly and people with mobility problems.
“The Royal Mail must listen to demands from residents for a local collection service for undelivered parcels. If you haven’t already signed the petition please show your support for our campaign and sign the petition.”
Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone comments:
“I am delighted that so many local people have given their support to our campaign to keep local parcel services. I have arranged a further meeting with Royal Mail to present the petition to them. The more signatures we have, the more chance there is of changing their minds.
“Please sign the petition – and encourage your friends and family to do the same – so we can show Royal Mail the strength of feeling on this issue.”
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
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.”
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 launch the ‘Where’s your Watch?’ Campaign, to encourage local streets to start Neighbourhood Watch groups, Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton recently went to speak to a newly started Neighbourhood Watch in Highgate.
Residents on Southwood Lawn Road and Highgate Avenue started their ‘Watch’ after a recent spate of burglaries. With the help of Highgate Safer Neighbourhoods Team, the neighbours decided to do their bit to help keep homes on their street safe.
To encourage other streets to follow suit, Local Liberal Democrats are now writing to streets in Hornsey and Wood Green that do not already have a ‘Watch’.
Liberal Democrats on Haringey Council are also fighting to get the post of Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, recently axed by Haringey Police, reinstated by the Council.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“Neighbourhood Watch groups are great. They can help cut crime, reduce the fear of crime, and they can be a fantastic way for neighbours to get to know each other better.
“And that certainly seems to be the case with the Southwood Lawn and Highgate Avenue Watch. There was an impressive turnout for the meeting and a fantastic sense of community.
“I hope our ‘Where’s your Watch’ campaign will result in other local streets reaping the same benefits.”
Liberal Democrat Crime Spokesperson Cllr Martin Newton adds:
“Being a victim of crime is awful, and the recent burglaries on Southwood Lawn Road have really shocked the residents. But they are certainly doing what they can to stop this happening again.
“With better contact with the local police, I really got a sense of the neighbours feeling empowered and more in control. When people look out for each other we get better, warmer, friendlier communities – not a bad return for starting a Neighbourhood Watch!
“Liberal Democrats on the Council recognise the importance of Neighbourhood Watch groups and recently proposed to fund the axed Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator in Haringey. It was a shame however that Labour decided that this is not a priority and voted against our proposal.”
To help inspire students to engage in the local community and make a difference through campaigning and lobbying, Lynne Featherstone MP on Friday spoke to year ten at Highgate School.
The Hornsey and Wood Green MP was speaking to the students as part of their citizenship class about the workings of Parliament, lobbying MPs, and what can be achieved through local campaigning. The Liberal Democrat MP gave the students a range of examples of where the local community has come together to effect change, like the successful 603 bus campaign, and the campaign to save the Whittington A&E.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“It’s pretty amazing the way things can be changed when local people come together to fight for a cause. I have seen it over and over again as a local MP.
“It was great to be able to show the young people here today that it can be done, and that as a citizen you have the opportunity to influence politics and the world around us. And they sure are an inquisitive lot, so I guess it’s just a matter of time before they start lobbying me on Government policy!”
To see the children at Highgate Primary in full creative Christmas spirit, drawing entries for her fifth annual card competition, Lynne Featherstone MP on Friday visited the Storey Road school.
This year the Hornsey and Wood Green MP has decided not to set a theme for the competition, instead the children are encouraged to draw what Christmas means to them. The Highgate children were drawing a range of colourful designs, from Christmas trees to stars and snowmen. The competition deadline is the 11th November, and the winner will be announced shortly after that.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“It’s so wonderful to see the children having so much fun and getting in to the Christmas spirit as they create their festive designs for the competition.
“The decision this year to have an open theme has worked really well – the kids are really using their full imagination and creativity to make wonderful colourful, sparkling designs.
“I have certainly seen some real contenders here, and can’t wait to see the rest of this year’s entries!”
On a tour of the new Highgate Children’s Centre on Gaskell Road today, Lynne Featherstone MP got the chance to chat with fathers who attend the centre’s unique ‘dads club’, a special playgroup for local stay-at-home dads and their kids.
The club, one of only a handful in London, was started by a local dad and has been running twice a week since the centre opened in the spring. The Liberal Democrat MP, who has long been campaigning for special dads’ clubs to help involve dads in their children’s education – so called ‘dads and doughnuts clubs’ – was excited to see such an outstanding example on the site of her old primary school.
The Gaskell Road centre, which has proven highly popular since it opened in May, is also helping local parents with health care, information and general child care.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“The club is brilliant! Being a stay-at-home parent can be hard – and the dads club offers a unique chance for Highgate dads to share experiences with people in the same situation. I would love to see similar groups start-up all over the borough.
“Highgate has long been in need of a children’s centre, and this place is a true gem! They run a fantastic range of playgroups and the dedicated staff offer invaluable support to new mums and dads. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”