Councillors demand action at accident black spot

 Digital image attached of Cllr Richard Wilson, Cllr Ed Butcher and Lynne Featherstone MP on the pedestrian crossing on Upper Tollington ParkLiberal Democrats have called for urgent action to be taken by the Council to make a road in Stroud Green safer after a spate of accidents. Many local residents are increasingly concerned about the safety of Upper Tollington Park following many reports of near misses and a recent crash near Oakfield Road.

Two years ago local councillors launched a campaign to improve the safety of the road which resulted in the Council saying they would consider funding road safety improvements. Now, Liberal Democrats have said that the Council needs to act to ensure that there are not any serious accidents.

Latest figures from Transport for London show that there have been five accidents involving pedestrians in 36 months.

Cllr Richard Wilson (Stroud Green) comments:

“Since we launched our campaign to improve safety there have been a further five accidents on Upper Tollington Park.  This spate of accidents should be a wake-up call to the Council who need to start listening to residents’ concerns about safety.

“Local families are really anxious about the risk to pedestrians – particularly as the crossing is used by children walking to the nearby Stroud Green Primary School.”

Lynne Featherstone MP, adds:

“Following our two-year battle with the Council to make this road safer it has now identified something needs to be done – now is the time for action, not words.”

From Pride with Pride

Just back from the Pride march – what an amazing event – what a wonderful day! 

There is something so empowering, so overwhelming – about marching, expressing – having a demonstrative voice. So much of the time there appears a passivity – as if nothing can be done, nothing can change. But from the Stonewall riots 40 years to today’s Pride march in the London sunshine – every gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans individual that has had the courage to stand up against  prejudice and fight discrimination – has shown the courage and determination that can change and has changed the world.

I spent the first half of the march at the front with Boris Johnson and Nick Herbert – the policing Minister. Then I walked back through the march to find the Liberal Democrat contingent. They had produced fabulous placards for all of us which said ‘Liberal Democrats – Proud to represent you in Haringey, or Hackney or Richmond or Government or London.

And in the LibDem contingent were lots and lots of LibDems from various boroughs – and then there was Brian Paddick (stood for LibDem mayor of London); Caroline Pidgeon (Leader of the LibDem group on the London Assembly); Ros Scott, (LibDem President); Sarah Ludford (LibDem MEP for London). Ed Fordham (LibDem candidate for Hampstead & Highgate); Ed Butcher, (Councillor in Haringey) and many, many, many more – including Steve Gilbert (MP for St Austell  & Newquay).

Then towards 3pm I had to make my way to the stage area in Trafalgar Square where Nick Herbert and I were going to give short speeches.  Dr Christian from ’embarassing bodies’ introduced us.

We had decided to go on together – as a double act – so to speak. Nick spoke first and told of his selection and election – and how the selection committee, when he told them he was gay, had said no probs! Nick got a huge cheer when he opened by saying that he was gay. I couldn’t match that – but nevertheless – also got a good reception when I spoke about ending the ridiculous situation where a man who had consensual sex with another male (over 16) 30 years ago would still have that come up on a criminal record check. It goes. And how it wasn’t right and it wasn’t fair that LGB&T people still felt too frightened to report hate crime – three out of four hate crimes still go unreported and what we are going to do to put in the support to encourage reporting. And how it wasn’t right and it wasn’t fair that children, six out of ten children, experience homophobic bullying at school and how we are going to support teachers in tackling this terrible experience which can scar a child for life.

It was a really beautiful day – and I have come home filled with Pride.

PS Huge thanks to the organisers – fantastically well done!

Local Liberal Democrats demand action on dangerous crossing

Campaigning for safer crossingsCampaigners have vowed to put an end to local schoolchildren’s “terrifying” route to school, by starting a campaign to make a dangerous crossing in Stroud Green safer.

Local Liberal Democrats have launched a petition to get Haringey Council and Transport for London (TfL) to take action, to make the zebra crossing safer on Upper Tollington Park by installing a pedestrian crossing and, in the short-term, having crossing patrols for local schoolchildren.

Despite many requests from local Stroud Green councillors, Haringey Council has failed to keep to promises to make the crossing clearer to drivers and to slow down the traffic.

Local residents can sign the petition by visiting

Cllr Richard Wilson (Stroud Green) comments:

“It is clear that local residents want action to make this crossing safer for local pedestrians, especially schoolchildren, who use it every day.
“I am very disappointed that, despite promises, Haringey Council has failed to take any action.”

Lynne Featherstone MP, adds;

“We think that the council should employ a crossing patrol now. We cannot wait until a serious accident happens.
“A longer term aim, will be to ask the council and TfL to work to install a permanent crossing or other measures, to make this crossing safer.”

Watch the video interview with our Stroud Green team

My LibDem colleagues standing for Stroud Green ward – Cllr Ed Butcher, Cllr Richard Wilson and Katherine Reece who is the candidate replacing Cllr Laura Edge – were interviewed by The discussion in the video ranges over their reasons for standings, their priorities for Haringey, their favourite things about Stroud Green, final thoughts and how to get in touch. Congratulations to for this – bringing politics to the people!

Liberal Democrat ‘green’ budget proposals success

Haringey Council agreed last night to implement Liberal Democrats plans that will provide new green incentives and better recycling in the borough.

Liberal Democrats proposed that Haringey Council provides new battery recycling services in libraries, community buildings and schools, and new green incentives for local traders and residents to move to ‘greener’ vehicles by reducing parking fees for the least polluting cars.

The new measures will be paid for by freezing allowances for councillors.

Cllr Ed Butcher (Stroud Green), Liberal Democrat Finance Spokesperson, comments:

“I am glad that Labour have, once again, taken the lead from Liberal Democrats. They followed our lead on the Council Tax freeze and now on new green incentives and recycling.

“It shows that even in opposition Liberal Democrats lead on the green agenda and recognise, in these tough economic times, that councillors should not take more of taxpayers’ money.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“My colleagues on Haringey Council continue to hold Labour to account and provide new ideas that move Haringey forward. If they can do this in opposition imagine what could be done in a Liberal Democrat-run Haringey Council.”

Haringey Council wastes further taxpayers’ money after delivery error

Local Liberal Democrats have demanded that Haringey Council comes clean on extra costs, after it emerged that the most recent edition of ‘Haringey People’ may have been incorrectly delivered to thousands of homes. Reports suggest that many residents, living in Alexandra ward,received the St. Ann’s and Seven Sisters editions, rather than the normal Muswell Hill edition. Similar delivery errors were found throughout Haringey.

This new revelation puts into further doubt Haringey Council’s use of resources for communication.  Last year, the council used £3million of local taxpayers’ money on communication with local residents.

Liberal Democrats have asked the council how many copies of ‘Haringey People’ have been delivered to incorrect areas and how much the error has cost Haringey Council.

Cllr Gail Engert (Muswell Hill) Area Assembly Chair, comments:

“Local residents contacted me, to say that they had not received the correct editions – it is just another example of Haringey Labour failing to get even simple things right.”

Cllr Ed Butcher, Liberal Democrat Finance Spokesperson, adds:

“This is another nail in the coffin of ‘Haringey People’.  For years, local Liberal Democrats have said that this publication is not worth the paper it is written on and that Haringey Council should think of more innovative and up-to-date ways of contacting local residents.

“Now, after this latest mess, Haringey Council has to come clean on how much this will cost local taxpayers.”

Lynne Featherstone,  Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey & Wood Green, adds:

“Haringey residents will be appalled that their money continues to be wasted in this way.”

Rise Festival to rise again?

Met with UpRise (London United Against Racism Festival) a group formed to reinstate the Rise Festival that Boris scrapped as one of his first acts to bring London together and spread the love. This was an annual anti-racist, free, music festival in Finsbury Park each summer.

It was indeed supported by that spawn of the devil (as far as Boris is concerned) ex-Mayor Ken – which may be the reason that Boris pulled the plug on it. However, at the risk of extending the ‘plug’ analogy – it plugged a good message – and it is a shame that Boris wasn’t big enough to understand the importance of that message in this very diverse part of London. And with the abhorrent rise of the BNP – my own view is that a public statement where we all hold hands together against racism is a jolly good thing.

Or maybe it was because the unions backed it.

Either way, the two who came to see me and Cllr Ed Butcher (LibDem Stroud Green councillor) have managed to contact many of those involved in the organisation of the original Rise. We suggested that they concentrate also on making it a local community event and bring in the local businesses and schools – so that the heart of the new festival is community too – albeit obviously open to all.

They are working very hard to find funders and sponsors so that – albeit on a smaller scale – Rise can rise again.

Haringey Council ignores 90% of residents in Stroud Green parking consultation

Haringey Council has ignored the views of almost 90% residents who responded to a consultation about the removal of parking space on Woodstock Road, Stroud Green.

The controversial proposals means that a dozen parking spaces previously reserved for local residents will be turned over for the sole use of businesses.

In the initial consultation 8 of 9 local residents responding objected to the proposal. Nevertheless, Haringey Council has ignore their views and proceeded with the original proposal to statutory consultation, the final stage before implementation of any parking changes.

Commenting Councillor Ed Butcher says:

“It is outrageous that Haringey Council is completely ignoring the wishes of the local residents. This Labour-led council should stop using the word consultation because they clearly don’t know what it means. They simply don’t know how to listen”

Councillor Richard Wilson, Stroud Green councillor and Deputy Leader of Haringey Liberal Democrats, adds:

“What makes me angry about this latest parking scandal is that it has nothing to do with the real parking problems of our area.

“Hundreds of residents are crying out for action because there are severe parking problems in streets outside the CPZ parking, yet Haringey Council is steamrollering through changes elsewhere when a clear majority does not want them. There is simply no rhyme or reason.”

Stroud Green Liberal Democrats carried out a recent parking survey in the area outside that Control Parking Area that confirmed two thirds of people thought action was needed from the Haringey Council.

Christmas cheer for Stroud Green after snub from Haringey Council scrooges

Despite the annual refusal by Haringey Council to fund Christmas lights, Stroud Green Road and Finsbury Park will, once again, be dazzling with Christmas cheer this year thanks to neighbouring Islington Council.

The Liberal Democrat Leader of Islington Council announced that Stroud Green Road and Finsbury Park would receive funding for Christmas lights – marking the second consecutive year when Haringey Council have failed to contribute to the area’s festivities.

Local Liberal Democrats have warmly welcomed the move by Islington Council and have pointed out that this is further evidence of Labour’s neglect for the Finsbury Park area.

Earlier this year it was revealed that Labour Cllr Gina Adamou had failed to attend any meetings of a board set up to regenerate the Finsbury Park area and Haringey Council slashed budgets for street sweeping.

Cllr Ed Butcher (Stroud Green) comments:

“This Christmas is going to be difficult enough for shops and restaurants on Stroud Green Road without more wilful neglect from Haringey Council. We are pleased to have secured a bit of festive cheer to encourage customers and raise our area’s status. We are determined to do all that we can to help local businesses through this recession.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“Stroud Green is one of the most vibrant areas in Haringey yet it is neglected year after year by this Labour administration. I’m glad that once again Islington have made Stroud Green‘s Christmas wishes come true.”

Red faces on domestic flights issue

Stunned Labour councillors seemed unaware on Monday night of the information revealed by the Liberal Democrats about Haringey Council’s use of domestic flights. Gasps from the public gallery greeted Liberal Democrat Cllr Ed Butcher’s revelations that, despite a promise to not use domestic flights for council business, 17,038 miles were travelled on flights within the UK in the past two years.

At last night’s Full Council meeting councillors debated a motion to agree to support the Friends of the Earth campaign to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2020. Liberal Democrats highlighted Labour’s failure on the environment and tackling climate change – the broken promise on domestic flights was given as an example of this failure.

Liberal Democrats have now demanded details of when the flights were taken, who travelled, the destination and the cost to the taxpayer.

Cllr Ed Butcher (Stroud Green) comments:

“It was red faces all round in the Labour Group. Embarrassed Labour councillors seemed unaware that their own policy had been broken and this is an example of their lack of grip on this council’s administration.

”The serious issue is that, once again, Labour has said that they will stop the use of domestic flights for council business yet they have broken their promise.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“Local residents will not be able to believe a word Haringey Labour says about the environment. Their green credentials are now dead in the water.”