Shop local this Christmas!

During the festive season, I love shopping in our local stores for presents. From the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green to the delightful delicatessens in Highgate – there is a big enough range to get gifts for everyone!

This year, the Haringey Lib Dems and I have worked hard to support and promote independent traders – through our campaign for cheaper high street parking and our independent shops competition.

And to round off the year, I’m happy to promote the following special offers from some of our best loved independents:

  • Crocodile Antiques in Muswell Hill are offering two mugs – with pictures celebrating Muswell Hill shops throughout the ages (example here) – for £10
  • Dunns Bakery in Crouch End are offering a box of 8 assorted mince pies for £6.99 (usual price £9.30), and a free jar of our homemade brandy butter with Christmas orders over £50
  • Little Paris are offering 10% off orders over £40. Customers can accept the 10% off, or give it back to Little Paris, who will then use the money to donate gifts to the Haberdashery coffee shop for their secret santa. The Haberdashery are open over Christmas, and on Christmas Day they will be providing dinner and secret santa presents to around 30 elderly and vulnerable local residents.

This Saturday (14th) Crouch End will also host a Christmas Craft Fair, with over 30 stalls, a brass band, school choirs, tombola, mulled cider, cakes and more!

And on Sunday 15th at 10am, Pickled Pepper Books in Crouch End are having a party to celebrate the first snow of winter – winter story telling, puppets, party games and crafts.

Happy shopping – and remember that buying gifts locally can make a big difference to our high streets and traders!

Support for community Christmas lunches

Are you a local group who plan to organise Christmas lunches for members of our community?

Waitrose in Muswell Hill have said they will support local Christmas lunch events, which are run for the benefit of people who would otherwise be on their own.

A recent survey has shown that 750,000 people in the UK over 65 either always or often feel lonely, and Christmas can be a particularly difficult time. With their business partners, Waitrose is aiming to reduce this number of people feeling isolated during the festive season.

The deadline for applications is 15th November, and Waitrose are looking to support any community group or individual involved. This will include help from Waitrose employees, who will be paid their full time salary for any time they take off to volunteer.

I think this is an excellent scheme. It is so important to remember that, whilst we may be surrounded by loved ones at Christmas, there are many people less fortunate. As such, if you are planning a community Christmas lunch, or know someone that is, please do apply for support from Waitrose.

To do so, please contact the Muswell Hill branch manager, Jay Radia, using the following details:

Waitrose, 390 Muswell Hill Broadway, N10 1DJ

Telephone: 0800 188 884

Lib Dems call for free Christmas parking on local high streets

Lynne Featherstone MP at a ticket machine on Muswell Hill Broadway.Haringey Liberal Democrats and Lynne Featherstone MP have called for 4 days of free parking at Christmas on local high streets, at shopping areas and council car parks.

The Lib Dems have called for the free parking in the run-up to Christmas to help local traders who are struggling and to encourage residents to do their Christmas shopping locally.

The Liberal Democrats have previously campaigned for 30 minutes of free parking on local high streets and launched a petition calling for the measure which has been signed by hundreds of people.

Last year the Lib Dems also submitted a motion to a council meeting calling for free parking in the run up to Christmas to be followed by 30 minutes of free parking on the borough’s high streets all year round. The idea was rejected by Labour councillors.

Haringey’s Labour politicians are still refusing to budge on the question of lowering parking charges permanently.

Cllr Richard Wilson, Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition, comments:

“Local small businesses and traders need all the help they can get to keep our high streets distinctive and thriving.

“Haringey Liberal Democrats are calling for free parking at Christmas to help local traders and boost our local shopping areas. We think that Labour can and must do more to support our local high streets.

“I encourage residents to do as much Christmas shopping as they can locally and to support our campaign for 30 minutes of free parking on local high streets.”

Local Lib Dem MP, Lynne Featherstone, comments:

“This year the Haringey Lib Dems and I have worked hard to support and promote independent shops. We ran the independent shops competition and fete, and have collected thousands of signatures to support our campaign for 30 minutes free parking, so people can pop into their favourite high street stores without worrying about parking charges.

“Contrast this with our local Labour Council – who have raised High Street parking charges to a whopping £3 an hour. Retailers have told me that this is stifling their businesses – but the Council will not listen.

“Now, we’re calling on Haringey Council to allow free parking on our local high streets for just four days in the run up to Christmas, to encourage people to buy presents in our local independent stores. It really is the least they could do.”

Lynne Featherstone MP delivers Christmas encouragement to Royal Mail posties at Muswell Hill Delivery Office

Lynne and Alton Kennedy MH delivery officeLynne Featherstone MP on Friday visited Royal Mail’s Muswell Hill Delivery Office to pass on her best Christmas wishes and encouragement to the postmen and women at their busiest time of year.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP was shown round the Delivery Office by local Delivery Office manager Alton Kennedy and was introduced to the postmen and women who are working hard doing their bit to sort and deliver Muswell Hill’s share of the estimated total 2 billion UK Christmas mail bag.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It was great to meet the hard-working Royal Mail postmen and women at Muswell Hill Delivery Office and to see firsthand just how much effort they put into delivering the Christmas post for people this December.

“Posties do such an important job at this time of year and I would like to thank them for their efforts and wish them all the best over the busy festive period.”

Muswell Hill Royal Mail Delivery Office Manager at Alton Kennedy said:

“Christmas is the busiest time of year, and our people really do pull out all the stops to deliver the Christmas mailbag. We are pleased that Lynne Featherstone MP came along to witness the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.”

“The postal staff do a fantastic job at this time of year to ensure that friends and families stay in touch through their Christmas greetings and gifts.  And as usual, we urge our customers to post early so that friends and family have longer to enjoy their Christmas greetings!”

It is also vital that people remember the last posting dates for mail. These are:

  • Tuesday 20 December for 1st Class items
  • Saturday 17 December for 2nd Class items
  • Thursday 22 December for Special Delivery items

To help Royal Mail at its busiest time of the year, customers are being encouraged to take a few simple steps:

  • Post early – to help Royal Mail spread the workload, post early and order presents early. The last posting dates this Christmas are: December 17 for 2nd Class mail; December 20 for 1st Class mail; December 22 for Special Delivery
  • Use a postcode – A clearly addressed card or parcel, with a postcode, helps Royal Mail sort the item more efficiently   
  • For more information about Christmas with Royal Mail visit: or call 08457 740 740.