MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
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.
Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone wrote an urgent email to Haringey Council on Friday, after a local resident alerted her to a dangerous pothole on Lightfoot Road – the same road on which a man previously tripped on a pothole and suffered brain damage.
Last week, Haringey Council were ordered to pay £1 million in compensation to Kyle Bullock, who tripped on a three inch deep, fifteen inch wide pothole on Lightfoot Road in 2007. He spent four months in hospital and suffered a severe brain injury.
After the court judgement, the Council issued a statement saying it had: ‘introduced a comprehensive maintenance programme to prevent such accidents happening again.’
Despite these assurances, however, another local resident later tweeted a picture of a current large and dangerous pothole on Lightfoot Road.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone said:
“This is an absolute disgrace. A man was seriously injured and Haringey Council were forced to pay out £1million in compensation, yet they still leave gaping potholes unaddressed on the same road.
“It is insulting to tell residents that their maintenance programme will prevent accidents happening again, whilst the danger still remains.
“Haringey residents pay one of the highest Council Tax rates in London. The least we deserve in return is safe roads and pavements.
“In Haringey, we are unfortunately used to being let down by the Labour-run Council. Local residents deserve better.”
The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green participated in a class of 13 to 14 year old students. Together with representatives from the organisation PLAN, they discussed the causes and consequences of violence against women and girls. They also discussed how empowering women and girls – and protecting them from violence – will be vital for meeting the UN’s Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
The Liberal Democrat MP flew back from New York on Thursday, having represented the UK Government at the 57th annual meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
At the Commission, Lynne Featherstone MP reiterated that she wants Female Genital Mutilation ended within a generation. In this regard, she announced that the UK is committing up to £35 million to stop this most extreme form of gender-based violence.
Following the visit to the school, Lynne Featherstone MP travelled to Brighton for the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference, where she gave a rally speech on her experiences in tackling violence against women and girls.
Following the visit, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“It was a delight to visit this school and the bright students on International Women’s Day to talk about violence against women and girls – which I am so passionate about tackling.
“I was so impressed with the students’ understanding and awareness of gender based violence. It is clear that progress is being made in the UK.
“We are making sure that our young girls are made aware of these issues, and given the right support, advice and education. It is, of course, also vital that boys are made aware from an early age that such violence is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
“I am so proud that Britain is a world leader in international development, respected widely for how effective our work is. We may be two genders, but we only have one future!”
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
On Friday last week, Lynne Featherstone MP visited two coffee mornings which were being hosted in Hornsey and Wood Green. The Liberal Democrat MP firstly dropped in on residents at Minster Walk in Hornsey, and then visited a local Barclays Branch in Wood Green.
The coffee morning at Minster Walk was hosted by local resident Phyliss Grant. The MP spoke with residents at Minster Walk about their own experiences with Cancer, and also took the opportunity to discuss a mixture of local and national issues. At Barclays, Lynne Featherstone spoke to staff about the coffee morning, which they take part in every year.
Both coffee mornings were being held as part of Macmillan’s ‘world’s biggest coffee morning’ event. Macmillan runs the event every year as a fundraiser. They ask people across the UK – and sometimes further afield – to hold a coffee morning, and collect donations. This year, over £10million has been raised to assist Macmillan in helping people with Cancer.
Following the event, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“I was delighted to take part in the coffee morning fundraiser. Macmillan is a fantastic organisation, providing invaluable help and support to cancer sufferers.
“We face huge health inequalities in Haringey, and it is reassuring to know that organisations like Macmillan are there to support those in need, regardless of where they’re from.
“I wish the organisation the very best for all of their future activities.”
Lynne Featherstone MP last week met up with local resident Joe Churcher who has a genetic eye disease, to hear of his plans for a challenging trek across Iceland’s volcanic interior in a bid to raise urgently needed funds for research into a cure.
The Hornsey resident is one of an eight-strong team of people with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) putting their limited vision to the test as they pick their way between spouting geysers, lava-filled chasms and the ash clouds that have of course become all too familiar here in the UK.
Damage to the retina caused by the faulty genes behind RP leads to a gradual loss of sight – first tunnel vision and night blindness and then difficulties with reading and seeing colours – sometimes combined with other symptoms such as profound deafness.
But with the help of fully-sighted guides – and the bonus of little darkness to cope with in “the land of the midnight sun” – Joe and his fellow trekkers are determined to complete the mission and help prevent future generations suffering the same problems.
As many as 20,000 people in the UK are affected by RP, which is one of the most significant causes of blindness in children and people of working age, but there is at present no known cure or proven treatment to stop the symptoms worsening with age.
Anyone who wants to sponsor Joe can do so by visiting: www.justgiving.com/Joe-Churcher.
Joe Churcher comments:
“Iceland’s been a bit of a dirty word in this country recently, what with the collapse of the banks and the ash clouds causing flight chaos but we’re hoping it will prove a winning location for people with RP, especially the millions who will inherit the condition in future,”
“My eye disorder causes me only relatively minor problems, but for many other sufferers, RP has a devastating effect on their everyday lives and I’m doing this for them.”
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“I am really chuffed to be backing Joe. RP is a really common eye disease, yet few people have heard of it.
“Having worked closely with local organisations that support blind and partially sighted residents, like the Haringey Phoenix group, who are also backing Joe, I know how life-changing and difficult having eye diseases like RP can be.
“Hats off to Joe for a fantastic awareness raising and fundraising effort, and try and avoid those spouting geysers!”
Liberal Democrats have this week backed local residents in their fight to stop a giant train depot being built at Coronation Sidings in Hornsey. A strong consultation response to Haringey Council was made by Hornsey Councillor Robert Gorrie, backed by local Liberal Democrats and Lynne Featherstone MP, following a meeting last week between Network Rail, Residents’ Association chairs and Liberal Democrats.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“Local residents are enraged at the plans to build this huge train shed right next to New River Village, and I was delighted to be able to help residents put their concerns directly to Network Rail bosses in the meeting last week.
“I firmly back local residents, the Residents’ Association chairs who came to the meeting, as well as my colleague Councillor Gorrie in their submissions to the consultation. I hope that with such a resounding ‘no’ from the local community, the council will throw out this application, and Network Rail will have to look elsewhere to build their shed.”
Hornsey Councillor Robert Gorrie adds:
“I have been working very closely with residents for the past two years to help them fight these plans. Residents’ Association chairs from the neighbouring area have been very thorough in their review of this huge and complex application. They have worked tirelessly to identify the shortcomings in the plans and I wholeheartedly back them in their opposition.
“My main concerns, which I have made very clear to the Council, are about the lack of transparency in the Network Rail consultants’ selection of Hornsey as the location of the depot, the lack of mitigation proposed for the impact this massive operation would have on local residents, and the lack of information of how the shed would be run by whatever unidentified subcontractor is picked for the job. I hope that the Council will listen to local people and stop this monstrosity.”
To fundraise for Shelter, the charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness, Lynne Featherstone MP and staff on Friday hosted a Cake Time party at their office in Hornsey.
The keen bakers whipped up a range of yummy treats like brownies, cinnamon buns and banana cake to sell to councillors and activists to help raise money to support the charity’s important work in giving help and advice to people with housing problems.
Residents who want to host their own Shelter Cake Time party, can visit the Shelter website to order a fundraising pack on http://england.shelter.org.uk
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“Homelessness is a major problem here in Haringey – I see it every week in my advice surgery with local residents who have waited years for permanent housing. Shelter is a great charity, and I often refer constituents to their helpline, to get expert advice on their best housing options.
“That’s why I jumped at the chance to help give something back to the charity by joining this year’s Cake Time fundraiser. Hopefully in a small way, we have helped more people in the UK get support with their housing issues – not a bad result for an afternoon’s cake party!”