Local Lib Dem Councillors Laura Edge and Lynne Featherstone have called onHaringey Council to safeguard the future of the popular and longstanding 101Playgroup in Tottenham Lane following a proposed increase in its rates from£3,000 per annum to £9,650.

The staggering 300% rise reflects a change Haringey Council’s policy wherebycharities and community associations are charged market rates for leasingcouncil property.

Such groups were previously charged only peppercorn rentsbut Haringey Council has now moved to providing what it says is more transparentsupport through grant funding.

However, as Cllr Edge has discovered, in anapparent failure of joined-up thinking, no additional funding has currentlybeen earmarked for the Council’s Education Services to provide playgroupssuch as 101 with the support which they will desperately need in the face ofsuch enormous rent increases.

The 101 Playgroup, which has been in Hornsey for 16 years and hasconsistently received excellent Ofsted reports, is running to capacity andhas a waiting list. Being a small charitable group with places foronly 43 children it would be unable to sustain the proposed rent hike and,without alternative support would almost undoubtedly face closure.

Laura Edge and Lynne Featherstone have joined local parents in expressinganxiety over the current situation and have called on Haringey Council to earmarkfunding to safeguard the future of playgroups such as the 101 at theearliest opportunity.

Laura Edge comments:

“I have received numerous calls from parents and residents who areunderstandably extremely concerned about the future of the 101 Playgroup,which is clearly making an outstanding contribution to the lives of youngchildren and families in our local area. I strongly urge the Council to putpeoples’ minds at rest and indicate how it will support the playgroup’svaluable efforts in the future.”

Lynne Featherstone adds:

“The population of the Hornsey area is changing, with increasing numbers ofyoung families moving in. It is all the more vital that the Council ensuresthat support is available for groups such as the 101 Playgroup which iscommitted to providing high-quality, affordable care for local children”.