Lynne Featherstone joins local police on neighbourhood walk

Lynne Featherstone MP and local neighbourhood watch joins local policemen on a walk-about in Crouch End

Lynne Featherstone MP joined two policemen and a neighbourhood watch representative on a local walk in Crouch End.

They discussed tackling burglary and vehicle crime in the local area, as well as preventative measures to deter anti-social behaviour and crimes against the person.

Crime in Haringey has fallen in the last five years. Crime across the country has also dropped drastically – last year reaching its lowest level in 33 years.

New police recruits are also due to come to Haringey as part of a mentoring programme.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“The fall in crime in Haringey and across the UK is really welcome news – but there is still much more to be done, particularly on violent crimes and crimes against the person.

“The local police do a fantastic job around here. It was great to join them on the walk-about and see them in action.”

Campaigning for you in 2015

Here’s an email I sent to my constituents yesterday. If you live in Hornsey and Wood Green – please do fill in the survey!

It’s almost twenty years since I first got involved in local politics here in Haringey. I joined a residents’ group and we protested against an unpopular parking scheme being imposed on us by the Council.
We were successful – and it showed how a small group of determined people could make changes, benefitting a huge number of residents. After this, I became a local councillor and then MP for our area.
I believe in a fairer society – it’s what I work for day in, day out – in Haringey and in Parliament.
That’s why, along with local residents, I launch campaigns to protect and improve our local services: like hospitals, libraries, stations, parcel collection points, bus stops, police front counters and more.
It’s also why my local team and I worked so hard to secure fairer education funding for Haringey – and now we’re pushing for fairer funding for our health services too.
Creating a strong economy is also important, to support our public services. That’s why my party took the difficult decision to enter into coalition in 2010 – to be part of a stable Government, capable of rebuilding the economy.
Now, both the deficit and unemployment are down. Youth unemployment here has halved – giving so many more young people a better opportunity to get on in life. But there is still work to be done.
I am standing again to be the MP for our local area at the General Election in May this year. Do I have your support? You can let me know who you’re supporting by replying to this email, or filling in this survey.

In the survey, you can also let me know of any issues or problems you’d like to raise with me. I’ll get back to you asap.
Thank you, and Happy New Year,
  [Lynne Featherstone's signature] 
Lynne Featherstone
Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green

Lynne Featherstone MP takes part in Shop Local events

Accumul8Lynne Featherstone MP attended two local markets this weekend, to support and promote local small and independent businesses in the run up to Christmas.

The Liberal Democrat MP attended Christmas markets in Crouch End and Bounds Green, where she visited the stalls and spoke to traders.

The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green then tweeted pictures of the traders, pictures of their products, and links to their websites to over 18,500 followers.

Saturday 6th December – the day of the Crouch End market – was Small Business Saturday, a national event which encourages people to shop local and promote small businesses.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It was great to see so many local people and businesses taking part in Small Business Saturday. The people who organised the markets, the traders who had stalls and the customers all came together to give our local businesses a huge boost.

“I was more than happy to send out tweets encouraging other local residents to come to the market. Our independent shops and retailers are such a huge asset to our area – and I’m more than happy to support and promote them.”

Barclays and Tottenham Hotspur among companies confirmed for MP’s Apprenticeship Event

Lynne Featherstone MP  with Gordon Birtwistle MP, talking to an organisation representative at the Haringey Apprenticeship eventEighteen companies, with hundreds of vacancies between them, have signed up to attend Lynne Featherstone MP’s annual apprenticeship event.

The event – which takes place at 2pm, on Thursday 28th August, at Haringey Civic Centre – gives young people the chance to meet with companies who are offering apprenticeships, and get advice about making applications.

Barclays and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation are confirmed, alongside the National Apprenticeship Service and companies like Hawk training.

The event, which is backed by Wood Green Jobcentre Plus, is open to all young people – not just Haringey residents. Last year, one young person was taken on the day after the event.

The event follows news that youth unemployment in the Lib Dem MP’s constituency has halved since 2010.

Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“I am very much looking forward to this year’s event. We have a diverse range of companies attending, and I know Haringey is full of bright, ambitious young people, who will come along to meet the companies and find out more.

“Apprenticeships are a great way to kick start a career. You get paid to learn a trade, and you get a qualification at the end. You also get to make contacts within an industry, which could help secure full time work.

“Youth unemployment here has halved since 2010 – I want to work with businesses and local young people to make even more progress.”


£800 tax cut for 45,090 people in Hornsey and Wood Green

An £800 income tax cut for people in Hornsey and Wood Green is the real budget boost, Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone said today.

The budget revealed plans to increase the personal allowance from April 2015 and put an extra £100 back in taxpayers’ pockets.

Lib Dems have already delivered on a £700 tax cut for low to middle earners, but today’s news goes even further for hardworking people.

The number of people who could benefit from a cut to the personal allowance in Hornsey and Wood Green is expected to be around 45,090

Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone said:

“This tax cut is the real budget boost for working people and would not have happened without Lib Dems in Government creating a stronger economy and a fairer society. This was on the front page of our manifesto!

“The Tories are desperate to claim credit, but in reality their focus is on changes such as an inheritance tax cut for millionaires which we blocked, while Labour simply cannot be trusted with the economy.

“We are also helping people with a freeze on fuel duty and new tax-free childcare to help parents.”

Lib Dems hand in free high street parking petition

Last week Haringey Liberal Democrats submitted their petition calling for 30 minutes of free parking on local high streets. The petition has been signed by 1,750 people and will be officially received by Haringey Council at the Budget meeting on Wednesday 26th February.

The Lib Dems believe that 30 minutes of free parking would boost trade on local high streets and support the independent shops that make Haringey’s high streets unique.

At the budget meeting on Wednesday the Liberal Democrat councillors will be putting forward a budget amendment to implement 30 minutes of free parking on local high streets. The proposal would be funded by cutting the council’s huge agency staff bill and by ending the automatic refilling of vacant posts, ensuring only those posts that are needed are filled.

The campaign by Haringey Lib Dems for 30 minutes of free parking attracted the support of traders in Muswell Hill who gathered a petition with over 5,000 signatures calling for lower parking charges.

The campaign for 30 minutes of free parking was sparked by the Labour-run council’s decision to double parking charges in Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Green Lanes from £1.40 to £3 per hour. So far the council has refused to bow to pressure from traders, residents and Haringey Lib Dems on the issue.

Cara Jenkinson, Lib Dem candidate for Muswell Hill and lead petitioner, comments:

“Haringey Labour’s high parking charges encourage people to drive further to out-of-town supermarkets where the parking is free. We want people to be able to stop, park and shop locally.

“Local people clearly want to see the Labour council take some action on parking. We had 1,700 people support the Lib Dem petition for 30 minutes free parking on local high streets. I hope councillors on all sides consider that when they vote on the Lib Dem budget amendment proposing free parking on local high streets.”

Lynne Featherstone, Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, comments:

“Local shopkeepers have told me that they are suffering because of these ridiculously high charges. 30 minutes of free parking is vital to keep small independent shops on our local high streets – and it would benefit residents too.

“Labour may say there’s no money available – but as the Lib Dem budget amendment shows – Labour-run Haringey Council could easily afford 30 minutes of free parking on local high streets by cutting the agency staff bill and not automatically filling jobs when people leave.”

Backing local residents' campaign to save Park Road diving

Lynne Featherstone MP is backing a local community campaign to save diving facilities at Park Road leisure centre in Crouch End.

Dozens of local residents have contacted the local MP asking for support, after Haringey Council announced that they would remove the diving boards.

The Labour-run Council took this decision without any consultation, and despite previous assurances that the diving boards would remain in place and be improved.

The Liberal Democrat MP last week contacted the Council and demanded an explanation, and is backing local residents’ calls to pause the plans and think again.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone commented:

“When Haringey Council gave Fusion the contract to manage Park Road – they promised residents that the diving facilities would remain in place and be improved.

“Now, the Labour-run Council and Fusion are about to remove these facilities without consultation.

“Many local residents have contacted me to express their disappointment and concern at the loss of the diving boards. I am right behind them – and very happy to support their campaign to save the boards.

“As I haven’t yet received a response from the Council – I have contacted the Chief Executive today to request his urgent intervention.”

Residents can sign the petition to save the diving facilities here.

Support for our wonderful high streets

I have always loved living in Haringey – an area that has such an abundance of independent shops and small businesses. As the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green constituency, I am proud to represent such an entrepreneurial and vibrant area.

It’s the traders themselves and customers that make the high streets – but in these tough economic times, the Government should step in too, to help out small businesses and retailers.

So, I am very pleased that the Coalition Government has made significant changes, such as:

  • Reducing the rates bill of small businesses, shops, and pubs by £1000 for the next two years.
  • Continuing the doubled small business rates relief for another year.
  • Introducing a reoccupation relief, which will halve rates for 18 months when a business takes over a long-term empty shop.
  • Giving local authorities the power to provide additional rate relief for eligible businesses (but not pay day lenders, betting shops or pawnbrokers).

We are also encouraging innovation through the Future High Streets Forum, which will advise the Government on how to continue improving the high street environment.

It is so important that this help is provided – to encourage small businesses, to support retailers, and to keep our high streets diverse and vibrant.

Unfortunately, our local Labour-run Council don’t seem to share this sentiment – they have raised high street parking charges to £3 per hour. Traders say this is harming their businesses and forcing shoppers to go to superstores with cheap or free parking.

The Coalition Government has also launched a consultation about how to address this kind of unnecessary behaviour by local authorities. You can contribute here.

The economy is improving, and 600 new enterprises have opened in our area since 2011. The Lib Dems in Government will keep fighting to ensure that the UK is open for business, and that small businessmen and retailers see the benefits of the economic recovery.

Growing economy – Good news for Haringey!

Great news – the economy is growing at the fastest rate we’ve seen since 2007 – according to the Office of National Statistics.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also increased its growth forecast for the UK economy from 1.9% to 2.4%.

The UK has also seen a sharp drop in unemployment, and there are now more people in work than ever before. All good signs that the economy is recovering.

And we’re really leading the way in Hornsey and Wood Green. There are now over 1100 fewer people claiming Job Seekers Allowance than there were in 2010.

Youth unemployment here is now 3.8% – almost halved since 2010.

And finally, the number of registered enterprises in Hornsey and Wood Green is on the up, from 4,855 in 2011 to 5,450 now.

The plan is working – and so are we!

What changes would you like to see in Haringey?

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!