Flowers, veg, library and hospital

Busy,At local allotment's Annual Show busy weekend. Saturday afternoon was the first of what is a very horticultural weekend with giving out the prizes at the Muswell Hill & District Horticultural Society Autumn Show. It was fantastic – such a lovely thing to go and do. A blaze of colour and fine blooms – and given the hottest July on record followed by the August downpours, I was amazed by the quality of the blooms. Not being an expert in these matters and certainly without a green finger to my name I can but be impressed as a spectator – those who tend to garden do us all a great service as we enjoy the fruits of others’ labour as we pass by.

Sunday afternoon was more fruits (literally) and vegetables at the Annual Show of the golf course allotments. So many contributions of fantastic veggies. I now know what makes a good green bean. The first time I looked at the various entries, they all looked much of a muchness to me – green and long. But having enquired what makes a green bean a winning green bean, I now know what details to look for. Having given out the prizes – many, many certificates and many cups and medals – I was given the most beautiful basked of produce from Gina’s allotment – absolutely gorgeous and will eat some tonight. She had even put fresh figs in!

The allotment association had applied for funding from the lottery just recently to get a pretty small amount to put up a new meeting room/shed. However, their bid failed because they were told that they needed to have planning permission (a formality in this case – as it is a replacement not a new building) in advance of their bid application. But Haringey Council hadn’t told them this. Apparently, one of the organisers told me, Haringey hasn’t given the allotments any money whatsoever in the last 15 years – and yet Haringey Council is raising the annual rental by 50% over two years. I have no doubt that the planning permission will be granted and I will certainly help them with their new application that will then follow.

Allotments are just the most wonderful breathing space for those without gardens. True oases of peace and quiet. There are something like 16 allotment sites in Haringey and 1,600 plots. There is a very long waiting list – and happily I think even Haringey Council understands that these oases are sacrosanct.

This morning, reading the endless column inches of Blair-Brown bitching, I am actually horrified by the Labour party’s seeming desire to self-destruct. Blair has been the single reason they won three elections. He has said he will go. Cameron is not very special other than he is clearly a good PR practitioner – but the Labour party’s disarray allows him more leeway than he deserves. They are still the Nasty Party and it will take a lot more than hot air (or conversion to recognition of the threat of climate change) to convince me that the leopard has changed its spots.

Blair was wrong to go to war in Iraq illegally, and he is dangerously cavalier with civil liberties and human rights – but Labour MPs who think that getting rid of him and installing Gordon will help them in the next election are wrong.

On a more local tack – there are two important local meetings coming up on issues I’ve been working on with my councillor LibDem colleagues.

Firstly, there are plans on the table to update Muswell Hill Library. The library is a well-used and well-loved local library, at the centre of our community. Upstairs the busy Children’s Library jostles for space with the IT suite, connecting people who don’t own a home computer to all the opportunities of the internet. The Toy Library supports local families with toys, games, advice and support. And twice a month the library even hosts Lib Dem councillors’ surgeries!

Of course the building needs updating. A key priority is access for people with limited mobility. And, sadly, the wonderful Grade II listed features have been allowed to fall into disrepair.

But many people were shocked and surprised to learn that Haringey’s Labour Council want to replace the ground floor with a restaurant, and move the library facilities out into an extension. In order to fund this, the Council plans to sell off land at the rear of the library, which currently provides parking to hard-pressed residents of Avenue Mews. Some of the land will be used to create a Community Garden – but there is no indication of how big this might be.

The local Lib Dem councillors and I have been pressing the Council to release a full breakdown of the costs of this proposal, and to provide more detailed plans with better information about the size of key areas such as the adult library, the Toy Library and the IT facilities. This information has yet to be provided.

The next public meeting to discuss these plans will be held in the Library this coming Wednesday, 6 September at 7pm. I hope lots of people attend.

The following Wednesday (13th September) there is to be a public meeting on the “development of local health services at the Hornsey Central Hospital site” between 6pm and 8pm at the Middle Lane Methodist Church, Middle Lane, Crouch End. (See here for a map).

I have been campaigning along with local residents and the Friends of Hornsey Central Hospital since the hospital was closed in 2001 to ensure that local health services are re-provided on this site.

It is six years since we were promised that if we (local residents, the Friends of Hornsey Hospital and Lib Dem campaigners) stopped our campaign to save the hospital – then the Trust would work together on consultation with us to a create new health facility for the community. So we worked with the Trust. There were public meetings and plans and public meetings and working meetings and lots of commitment – even complete planning permission at one stage. But after six years – we are nowhere.

And that’s just for starters … so I really am back in the swing of things again!

0 thoughts on “Flowers, veg, library and hospital

  1. Dear Lynne,My name is Gepke Warham . I used to work as a physio in hornsey central hospital. It had its own gardener volunteer and allotmentholder Len Cropley. Lenn has passed away. Since 1964 I have been living in Crouch End, raised three sons and our youngest , James, is a dialysis patient. He is 29 now but lost his kidneys since he was 5years old. We have been travelling throughout the years to Guys Hospital and now he is under The Royal London in White Chapel. He has been travelling backwards and forwards through the unhealthy trafic of London’s congested routes in order to get treatment in episodes of 9 years 3 times a week and other. Later he was moved to Whipps Cross a satellite unit of the Royal London for renal patients , a lovely place designed for the purpose of dialysis. He liked it very much there. Still a long way to travel. He always has travelled with either one of his parents as his health did not permit to travel on his own. But lately because of the NHS problems of all sorts, he has been asked to dialyse in a private clinic in Camden in a converted warehouse run by an american firm Fresenius, where the service is much to be desired and staff are puppets of a protocol restricting them from doing their job properly. This is being paid for by the NHS because they cannot cope with the overload of patients that need life saving treatments, shortage of staff and ironically lack of funds. They also take patients of the Royal Free Hospital in Camden.There is a need for people to dialyse locally, where they live and at the moment we are considering home dialysis for James.I propose the question because of necessity to keep people alive needing dialysis, as there is a demand for a new dialysis unit every year, to consider part of the reconstruction of the Hornsey Central Hospital to be used for dialysis patients. I am hoping to be trained into the dialysis care and thought of the possibility that if I can do one patient why not work on setting up something where other local patients can benefit of the same service?I hope you get the gist of this letter.Yours sincely,Gepke Warham 15 Glasslyn Road N8 8RJ tel 020 8348 5694e-mail enquiries@sekhemte.plus.com

  2. There is definately a need for more dialysis units. Because of cost (I was through Fresenius in Canada myself) I have noticed it is whatever to keep us alive but not always the most optimal. There also needs to be more awareness and plublications in the local paper to get even more awareness so the general public realizes the need. Much is known to the general public about Breast Cancer and Aids yet people don’t know as much about Kidney Disease and even what dialysis is. The travelling back and forth is exhausting for any dialysis patient.

  3. The Hornsey Hospital is now up and running, and following the 2 comments on home dialysis, I would like to add to this.
    Those who be, should not emit a possibility of a small dialysis unit, in the Hornsey Hospital. The French Autodialyse system consists of a number of small station (between 4 to 12 machines.) which are dotted in local areas around France. Serving as they should do, local communities. The nearest dialysis centres for those in Haringey are two commercially run private clinics (highate and camden) that charge the NHS a heavy fee, and even extras by the hour.
    In the very least the Hornsey Hospital could be used for blood tests for home dialysis patients, saving time (in my case having to trek to Whipps Cross)
    World Kidney Day will be on the March the 11th 2010

    James Warham, former chair of the National Kidney Federations Young Persons group