Here’s my latest Muswell Flyer article – on the changes I want to see in our borough this year. Also available here.
The Christmas festivities are over and I hope everyone had a great time welcoming in the New Year. Alongside my usual resolutions, there is something specific I want to see in 2014.
This year, I want to see a change in how our local services are run and how our council tax money is spent. And with a local election taking place in May – change is a real possibility!
Our borough has so much potential – it is a truly vibrant and diverse area. But, like many Haringey residents who contact me, I am fed up of paying one of the highest rates of Council Tax in London and receiving a poor service in return.
Last year, Haringey Council (which is currently run by Labour) failed to deliver on many key local services.
On housing, the Council allowed £3.7 million to be spent on bonuses for housing staff while cancelling vital and long-overdue repair works for local homes. I receive so many complaints from local residents in social housing about the lack of repairs – and I just cannot believe that millions have been spent on bonuses for failure.
Our local streets are also not up to scratch. A survey I ran last year on rubbish collections turned up over 400 complaints about missed collections, bins in the wrong place, and piles of rotting rubbish.
Another survey revealed hundreds of complaints about potholes and lighting, too – despite the Council promising a ‘pothole blitz’ earlier in the year.
And also – the Labour-run Council is still refusing Lib Dem calls for an independent review into Children’s Services, despite further shocking failures to protect some of the borough’s most vulnerable children.
This is a small summary of the problems we have in Haringey. Labour has had 40 years in charge of Haringey Council, and I think it’s about time that changed.
In contrast to Labour, the local Lib Dems are constantly campaigning for improved local services. They’ve been instrumental in saving our parcel collection points and local train services, alongside pushing the Council into action on numerous issues – forcing them to consult on 20mph roads and to build new homes to ease the housing crisis, for instance.
The local Lib Dems are also committed to continuing the fight against development on Pinkham Way, and to improving the state of our streets. We’ve fought hard for independent shops by campaigning for thirty minutes free parking, and free parking over the entire Christmas period. And, the Lib Dems are committed to supporting our local Credit Union as an alternative to payday loan shops.
For me, the choice is easy. What we need is a Council that listens to residents and works for them. I will be campaigning hard to help the Lib Dems take control of the Council so that we can see real, positive changes to Haringey in 2014. Now, that really would be a happy new year!