Extending Oyster Pay As You Go

Started the day campaigning at Alexandra Park Station to bring in Oyster Pay As You Go as soon as possible.

As well as Nigel Scott (our candidate for the by-election in Alexandra ward) and Alexandra Councillors Susan Oatway, Dave Beacham – we also had Caroline Pidgeon who is our Transport Spokesperson on the London Assembly and Denys Robinson Chair of London Region – so it was a big do!

Loads of people took our little petition postcard – so we will be able to keep up pressure on Transport for London (and the Train Operator) who have been a bit tardy with stations north of Finsbury Park in terms of Oyster PAYG. And other Liberal Democrat councillors were out at other stations like Harringay, Hornsey, Bowes Park etc. Onward and upward.

Then visited a delightful supported housing scheme in Wood Green – Raj Kunj – for residents of Asian community. They were so nice and raised lots and lots of issues – chief amongst which is the very short time the lights at the crossing outside their building allows them to get across the main road. Traffic comes whizzing down the main road – very dangerous I think.

Haringey Council results

Well – it was very close! Massive Lib Dem gains, but not quite enough to take control of Haringey Council – Labour majority cut to just three (30-27 – no other parties have any councillors) with Lib Dems making 11 gains.

We also topped the vote across the borough – adding up the top votes in each ward – and actually now have councillors in a majority of the wards in Haringey. So – very close! Best every Lib Dem result, including our first councillors in Tottenham, many in Wood Green etc.

Lib Dem highlights:

Alexandra – 3 Lib Dem holds – Dave Beacham, Wayne Hoban and Susan Oatway re-elected

Bounds Green – 2 Lib Dem gains – Ali Demirci and John Oakes

Crouch End – 3 Lib Dem holds – Ron Aitken and David Winskill re-elected, joined by Lyn Weber

Fortis Green – 3 Lib Dem holds – Matt Davies and Martin Newton re-elected, joined by Sara Beynon

Harringay – 2 Lib Dem gains – Karen Alexander and Carolyn Baker

Highgate – 3 Lib Dem holds – Bob Hare and Neil Williams re-elected, joined by Justin Portess

Hornsey – 3 Lib Dem gains – Robert Gorrie, Errol Reid and Monica Whyte elected

Muswell Hill – 3 Lib Dem holds – Jonathan Bloch and Gail Engert re-elected, joined by Sheila Rainger (who has taken over my old council seat)

Noel Park – 2 Lib Dem gains – Catherine Harris and Fiyaz Mughal elected

Stroud Green – 1 Lib Dem hold and 2 Lib Dem gains – Laura Edge re-elected and Ed Butcher and Richard Wilson elected

Congratulations and commiseration to all candidates and helpers – both those who made it and those who didn’t, in all parties.

UPDATE: There are now further election result details on Haringey Council’s website.

The flippiest flopper in town

Busy day today. First off – accompany Alistair Carmichael (our Shadow Home Secretary) to the Home Office for a meeting with Minister Tony McNaulty. Basically it was to run through his thinking on immigration and asylum. He wasn’t as bad close up as I had feared given to my knowledge he has never smiled. This is probably an exaggeration – and it may well be that he has simply never smiled at me!

Rush back for Home Affairs team meeting followed by Prime Minister’s Questions where Tony Blair made absolute mincemeat of Cameron – and very enjoyable it was too. I am not partial to blood sports – but it would be disingenuous if I denied the pleasure I got from his mauling.

Firstly Blair was well on song – albeit Cameron handed him a real gift by saying that Labour had flip-flopped. Coming from the flippiest flopper in town – it was then open season. I am particularly incensed over Cameron’s rubbish at the moment because of his latest conversion to getting rid of the Royal Prerogative – i.e. Tony Blair’s ability to take this country to war – and wants parliament to have the authority in this. Only a few months ago Clare Short brought in a Private Members Bill for the armed forces which would have done exactly that. Friday morning when such Bills are debated is quite difficult to get MPs to stay for – however lots of Lib Dems and Labour did – because it was so important. But only 6 Tories were in evidence and voted – and guess what – David Cameron was nowhere to be seen! The rank hypocrisy is striking – so his come-uppance was richly deserved.

Then I dashed over to Methodist Central Hall for a lobby by the local Defend Council Housing group – who are up in arms about ALMOs. Their complaint is that the goalposts are moving on what was voted on by leaseholders and tenants. I raise it with my Council Group in the evening and our housing spokesperson, Dave Beacham is going to make sure that the motions they passed in their forum are discussed by the Board.

Then I rush (late) to Environmental Audit Committee where we take evidence on why the government is too lily livered to actually stick to its targets or deal with taxing consumption. Then I rush to a meeting to thrash our the line on DNA (more to come another day). which is one of my passions (a bit nerdy) and then rush back to Haringey to Council Group.