This is this month’s column in the Highgate Handbook and Muswell Hill Flyer:
You may have read in the last edition of the ‘flyer’ about when I visited Muswell Hill police station for CSV volunteering day. I met with volunteers who keep the front counter open and went on the beat with special constables – volunteering police officers who give up their free time to patrol our streets.
That was the first of many activities that I have done with my Liberal Democrat colleagues this November and December to ‘Be Local’. Our ‘Be Local’ campaign is all about meeting the amazing people in our area who give up their time to make it better, and encouraging more people to do the same.
It’s also about us doing our bit to support local shops and businesses – the beating heart of our high streets – and getting people to use our local town centres in the run up to Christmas. To support local businesses, we have launched a business survey to hear directly from businesses about what issues matter to them, and see how we can help fight their corner.
I recently surveyed Hornsey High Street with Councillor Robert Gorrie and it was great to get the chance to speak directly to traders about the problems they face. We visited the newly opened ‘Garden Shop’ in Hornsey where they have done a great job integrating into the local high street and, in the run up to Christmas, have decorated their shop beautifully. We also wanted to say a big Thank You to the shop owner, for donating the Christmas tree for Hornsey’s Christmas Celebrations at the beginning of December – a great example of a local businesses giving back to the local community.
Apart from surveying local businesses up and down the high streets, I am also writing to local residents this December, to encourage them to do their Christmas shopping locally – and help the local shops thrive in the winter chill!
As part of the continued work to highlight the amazing effort of volunteers, I also joined members of Muswell Hill Synagogue and the local community in doing good deeds for Mitzvah day. It was a spectacular day of residents doing good in the Muswell Hill area – from tree planting in Coldfall Woods, to urging shoppers at Sainsbury’s to donate one item of food to the homeless. I joined residents at the Synagogue in wrapping toys donated by local people to give to children in care at Barnados.
So, if you have the itch to go do some good in the winter chill, why not volunteer? And if you want to help support local businesses – use our High Streets this Christmas – and ‘Be Local’!