Sewing lessons

I can’t sew! But this morning, I went to a small women’s training group that teaches sewing, English and maths and IT skills for women. I was there to present the end of term certificates – but first we had a session where they all told me about themselves. There were women from many places in the world – and this lovely small helpful organisation is working away to give them access to jobs and skills. And they were all so lovely – from the two 16 year old sisters from Afghanistan who are clearly going to get to grips with everything in super-quick time (they had certificates in everything) to another girl who had just passed her Britishness test and was telling us all (to much hilarity) what the questions were. Native Brits would almost certainly fail unless they studied for it!

And they asked me to tell them about being a woman in politics. So I did. I rarely speak on that subject or about myself – but amongst this group it seemed appropriate. The group is run by Rafat Mughal who was a Labour councillor when I first was elected to Haringey Council. She left some time back, but her son, Fiyaz, is now a Lib Dem councillor here in Haringey (Noel Park ward – gained his seat from Labour in May).

I think it’s rather good that we can all have different political views, even within families – that should be how it is. We can all believe or think different things, dream different dreams, have different desires – but that is what makes the world go round. I can’t imagine how dreadful it would be if we were all of one mind!

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.