Pinkham Way – one step closer to victory!

Lynne Featherstone and Haringey Liberal Democrats protesting at the proposed site of a waste processing plant on Pinkham WayI have just sent the below comment to the local papers regarding the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) decision to end their procurement process for long term waste management services.

In short – they have decided to keep using the waste facility in Edmonton and keep waste management under control of the local authority (rather than contract them out to a private bidder).

There are now no current plans to use the Pinkham Way site for waste management. I’d like to echo the words of the Pinkham Way Alliance: ‘This is very good news!’

Here’s what I’ve told the local papers:

“The decision to end the procurement for long-term waste management in North London marks a great victory for the Pinkham Way Alliance, the local Liberal Democrats and local residents, who have campaigned hard against the NLWA’s plans.

“From day one, the whole process has been a farce and the strategy deeply flawed. The plan to use Pinkham Way for a waste plant, for instance, was simply inappropriate. They should have been looking at ways to reduce wastage – not thinking of building huge incinerators in unsuitable places.

“It’s all very well the NLWA saying they’re saving us money now by keeping waste management services ‘in house’ – but what about the public money wasted to date on their flawed plans?

“I am of course glad that the NLWA has finally seen sense – but it shouldn’t have taken this long to realise their existing Edmonton site would be suitable.

“We must remain vigilant, though. Although there are now no immediate plans to use the Pinkham Way site, it is still an asset of the NLWA, and different plans to use the site may surface in the future.

“The local Lib Dems and I will be sure to keep residents updated as and when we receive information.”

Lynne Featherstone MP vows to continue the fight against delayed Pinkham Way development

Lynne Featherstone and Haringey Liberal Democrats protesting at the proposed site of a waste processing plant on Pinkham WayJust weeks after campaigners launched a new petition against a 30 year waste contract that could open the way for a new development plan Pinkham Way, the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has announced the new timetable for the North London Waste Plan (NLWP)

The revised waste plan sets out how 7 north London boroughs plan to deal with waste in the future.

The original plan – which had been delayed significantly as a result of strong campaigning efforts from local residents, the Pinkham Way Alliance and the Haringey Lib Dems – was thrown out as it failed to comply with the law and the consultation was flawed.

The timetable for the new plan mean further delays, as the document will not be signed off by Haringey Council and the other north London boroughs until after the local elections in May 2014, rather than before the elections as originally planned.

Haringey Liberal Democrats and Lynne Featherstone responded to the initial consultation on the new waste plan raising their objections and concerns about Pinkham Way and the need to reduce the amount of waste boroughs generate.

In contrast, Haringey Labour and Labour councillors in Bounds Green failed to respond to the waste plan consultation despite the fact that a waste development or lorry depot on Pinkham Way would badly affect residents.

Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats have vowed to continue to fight against the waste plan as it stands and any proposals for a waste plant or lorry depot at Pinkham Way.

Cllr Jim Jenks, Lib Dem Environment Spokesperson, comments:

“It doesn’t matter how long the NLWA delays the new waste plan Haringey Liberal Democrats will continue to object to the flawed plan and will fight any proposals for a waste plant at Pinkham Way.

“The waste plan has many problems and does not focus on reducing waste; instead it leaves the door open for a waste plant at Pinkham Way, despite the concerns of local residents.”

“It really worries me the NLWA intends to award a 30 year contract when we have no idea what changes in waste use and technology are going to take place in this enormous timescale.”

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

“Last year, we celebrated as plans to build a massive waste plant on the Pinkham Way site were thrown out. This was down to a huge campaigning effort by local residents, the Pinkham Way Alliance, and the local Lib Dems.

“But the battle goes on, and we need a similar effort to protect Pinkham Way from a new waste contract and development plan. The Haringey Lib Dems and I will keep on fighting this every step of the way – representing residents and opposing the plans.

“It’s a shame the same can’t be said for the Haringey Labour – who waved the original, flawed plans through and couldn’t even be bothered to respond to the consultation this time around.”

Lynne Featherstone MP backs Pinkham Way Alliance petition

Lynne Featherstone and Haringey Liberal Democrats protesting at the proposed site of a waste processing plant on Pinkham WayLiberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone has encouraged local residents to sign the Pinkham Way Alliance’s current petition to halt the £3 billion waste contract for North London.

The North London Waste Authority is intending to award a 30 year waste contract worth £3 billion for the management of waste across all seven of its member boroughs – including Haringey.

The Alliance assert that the contract is deeply flawed, as it is based on waste predictions for 30 years ahead – absurdly far in advance and already shown to be inaccurate and based on guesstimates.

The new contract could also see renewed plans for a waste facility on Pinkham Way.

The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green and the PWA have teamed up before, and successfully stopped the building of a massive waste plant on the Pinkham Way site.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“Last year, we successfully prevented the building of a completely unsuitable waste plant – but the fight goes on.

“The Haringey Lib Dems and I are now supporting the PWA’s latest petition – and encouraging residents to do the same.”

Lynne Featherstone MP visits Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen

Lynne at Soup Kitchen

Lynne Featherstone MP visited the Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen School for Volunteers last Friday and spent time talking to those currently training at the school.

Run by local resident, Martin Stone, the soup kitchen was opened in 1994. Based at the Muswell Hill Baptist Church, volunteers run the centre five nights a week with the kitchen serving around 8,000 meals a year.

The training programme at the school enables volunteers to learn about working with people who have multiple needs. The school also trains guests of the Soup Kitchen who have started to volunteer themselves in the areas of housing, housing law and supporting people.

After the event, Lynne Featherstone MP commented: 

“It was a pleasure to see the work that is being done at the soup kitchen and to meet the volunteers training at the school. I would like to thank Martin for inviting me down to see the great job they are doing.

“It is a wonderful local initiative both in terms of the soup kitchen itself and the teaching that the school offers. I wish the volunteers every success with their studies.”

Lynne Featherstone MP launches constituency wide Annual Survey

a pile of the MP’s annual surveysLynne Featherstone MP has launched her 2013 Annual Survey. Liberal Democrat volunteers are currently delivering the surveys to people across the constituency of Hornsey and Wood Green.

The survey asks residents for their views on local and national issues, and whether they have any problems they would like the local MP’s assistance with.

In addition, the survey offers residents the chance to sign the Liberal Democrat petition to protect our local health services.

Last year, the survey drew several thousand responses. Hundreds of issues raised by residents were followed up on by the MP and her casework team.

Residents can also fill in this year’s survey online (see below)

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“The annual survey is a great way for residents to have their voices heard on matters ranging from national Lib Dem policy to our local Lib Dem campaigns.

“We all know that the Labour-run Council are not very good at keeping our roads and pavements safe, or keeping our area tidy. That’s why we ask residents whether they have any issues with litter, damaged pavements or potholes on their road.

“All completed surveys are looked at and we will attempt to resolve any issues raised. I hope as many residents as possible take the opportunity to fill it in!”

 

NB Surveys are broken down by wards. check which ward you live in here: http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/ and click on the relevant link here:

Wood Green (Noel Park & Woodside) Residents: http://bit.ly/WoodGreenAnnualSurvey

Hornsey Residents: http://bit.ly/HOannualsurvey

Stroud Green Residents: http://bit.ly/SGAnnualsurvey

Highgate Residents: http://bit.ly/HGannualsurvey

Fortis Green Residents: http://bit.ly/FGwardannualsurvey

Muswell Hill Residents: http://bit.ly/MHannualsurvey

Crouch End Residents: http://bit.ly/CEannualsurvey

Bounds Green Residents: http://bit.ly/BGannualsurvey

Alexandra Residents: http://bit.ly/LFannualsurvey

 

Save Muswell Hill Front Counter!

Here’s my most recent Ham and High Column on Policing in Haringey

Policing in Haringey is undergoing major changes. This all started last year, when the Conservative Mayor of London announced that changes would be made to policing in Haringey and across the city.

In the current economic climate, changes have to be made to make policing more efficient and cost effective. But from day one, the Lib Dems were clear that any changes should not have a negative impact on public access to the police.

Police front counters, for instance, are vital local services – allowing victims to go and report crimes face to face, in a safe and secure environment. We all hope that we will never have to visit one, but it is certainly reassuring to know they’re there.

So, when the Mayor mentioned that front counters might be closed and replaced with contact points, we started expressing our concern and asking questions.

Straight away, Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon asked the Mayor for a guarantee that there would be no time gap between a front counter closing and new contact point opening.

The Mayor gave this guarantee, and went on to say that no front counter would be lost without an ‘equivalent or indeed better’ replacement – open for the same number of hours.

During the consultation period, the Haringey Lib Dems and I called on the Mayor to keep to his word.

You can imagine our disappointment and anger when the Mayor announced his final plans, which include the closure of Muswell Hill volunteer counter. This would leave a huge chunk of the borough without proper access to front counter services.

Yes – changes had to be made, but not like this.

In response, I have launched a petition, calling on the Mayor to retain a local base for the Safer Neighbourhood Team on, or near, Muswell Hill Broadway with an accessible front counter for the public to report crimes.

Hundreds have signed already, and residents can add their names here: http://bit.ly/MuswellHillPolice

After launching the petition, I met with Haringey’s new Borough Commander – Victor Olisa. I was very pleased to hear that he had contacted the volunteers and is keen to keep a police presence in Muswell Hill. But Haringey Police need help finding a new location for the service – as the Met will be selling the building it currently operates from.

So, Haringey Police are willing to keep the volunteer counter service, but only if a suitable location can be found. Please contact me if you have any ideas for a suitable location for a front counter service in or around Muswell Hill.

We also saved this very front counter once before. With enough support from residents and Haringey Police, we can do the same again.

Lynne Featherstone MP takes step towards saving Muswell Hill’s police front counter

Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton at Muswell Hill Police front counterLynne Featherstone MP has taken a step forward in her campaign to save Muswell Hill’s volunteer police front counter, following a meeting with Haringey’s new Borough Commander, Dr Victor Olisa.

The front counter – which is run by volunteers – was earmarked for closure by the London Mayor as part of his ‘Crime Plan for Haringey.’

The Liberal Democrat MP launched a petition last week, calling on the Conservative Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police to maintain a front counter service and police base in Muswell Hill.

During the meeting, the Borough Commander said he had spoken to the 70 volunteers who staff the front counter. He affirmed his commitment to keeping the volunteers and a contact point, despite the Mayor’s decision to sell the building that the counter currently operates in.

The Borough Commander further confirmed that Haringey Police are looking for a suitable replacement premises in Muswell Hill. In the mean time, the volunteers will operate from the safer neighbourhood team base in East Finchley.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It was fantastic to see the Borough Commander’s enthusiasm for keeping a police contact point staffed by volunteers in Muswell Hill.

“This is a vital local service and it would be such a shame to lose it. Residents should always have access to a local and safe place, where they can report crimes face to face.

“All we need now is a suitable premises for the front counter. It must be fully accessible and have at least two rooms. If anyone has any suggestions, please do let me know so I can pass these on to the police.”

Lynne Featherstone MP launches petition to save Muswell Hill Police front counter

Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton at Muswell Hill Police front counterLynne Featherstone MP has today launched a petition to save Muswell Hill’s police front counter, following the Mayor of London’s decision to close it down.

The Mayor’s ‘crime plan’ for Haringey will see Muswell Hill’s volunteer front counter closed, and counters  at Wood Green and Hornsey stations downgraded from 24hrs to part time.

The Haringey Lib Dems responded to the initial consultation, and spoke out against the proposals. After the final announcement, Local Lib Dem councillors have written again to the Deputy Mayor for Policing expressing their disappointment.

In November, the Mayor of London promised “equivalent or superior access to the police.”

The petition calls on the Mayor to keep this promise, and maintain a front counter service and police base in Muswell Hill.

Cllr Richard Wilson, Lib Dem Leader of the opposition, added:

“The Mayor’s decision to close Muswell Hill police counter is extremely disappointing. We will continue the fight to keep a front counter and safer neighbourhood team base in Muswell Hill.

“I urge local residents to sign our petition and put pressure on the Mayor to change his mind.”

Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone said:

“The final crime plan announced by the Mayor was extremely disappointing. During the consultation period we conducted a survey, and it was clear that residents wanted their front counter services to stay.

“We were promised equal or better access to the police, but the Mayor has simply not delivered this. It is unacceptable and I will continue the fight to keep this counter open – as I did successfully in 2011.

“Residents can now sign our petition, which calls on the Mayor to retain a local base for the Safer Neighbourhood Team on, or near, Muswell Hill Broadway with an accessible front counter for the public to report crimes.”

Lib Dems formally criticise Mayor's decision on police stations

Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton at Muswell Hill Police front counterThe Lib Dem opposition in Haringey have slammed the decision by the Mayor to close the front counter in Muswell Hill and reduce opening hours at Hornsey and Wood Green police stations.

Lib Dem councillor and crime spokesperson, Martin Newton has written to the Deputy Mayor of London objecting to the decision and calling on him to change his mind.

The Lib Dems have argued that having a contact point in Muswell Hill Library instead of the police counter is unacceptable because it will only be open for a short time and will be based in Muswell Hill Library. The library does not have disabled access so will not be usable for disabled people who would be forced to travel across the borough to report a crime.

Haringey Lib Dems have been campaigning for a local base for the Safer Neighbourhood Team on, or near, Muswell Hill Broadway with an accessible front counter for the public to report crimes.

Local Lib Dem MP, Lynne Featherstone, is also fighting the decision and has stated her opposition to the closure of Muswell Hill volunteer counter and the reduction of opening hours at Hornsey and Wood Green stations.

Martin Newton, Lib Dem crime spokesperson and councillor for Fortis Green, Muswell Hill, comments:

“This decision by the Mayor is unacceptable. We need to keep a front counter and safer neighbourhood police base in the Muswell Hill area and to keep Hornsey and Wood Green open twenty-four hours a day.

“The contact point in Muswell Hill Library, open three hours a week is completely unsuitable and will not have disabled access.

“We will continue the fight to keep a police presence in Muswell Hill and keep Hornsey and Wood Green police stations open twenty-four hours.

“I have written to the Deputy Mayor calling on him to change his mind, protect our twenty-four police stations and keep a proper police base in Muswell Hill. I hope he sees sense and listens to us and the pleas of local residents.”

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“I am deeply disappointed with the Mayor’s crime plan for Haringey, which leaves the whole of the west of the borough without any nearby police station open twenty-four hours.

“In the past, I was promised that the Muswell Hill counter would never close without a suitable replacement service. The current alternative presented by the Mayor is certainly not suitable, and I will continue to campaign for an equal or better replacement in the Muswell Hill area. I will also continue to oppose the downgrading of front counters in Wood Green and Hornsey Police Stations.

“I encourage residents with views on the plans to also make themselves heard by contacting the Mayor directly.”

Read the full letter here.

Hundreds sign Lib Dem petition for free parking on Haringey’s high streets

Lynne Featherstone MP at a ticket machine on Muswell Hill Broadway.The Haringey Liberal Democrats and Lynne Featherstone MP last week launched a petition for 30 minutes of free parking on Haringey’s High Streets. The petition has already been signed by 399 people with another 105 people liking the campaign on Facebook.

The campaign has also attracted the support of traders in Muswell Hill who recently 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.

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.

Lynne Featherstone MP and Haringey Lib Dems are calling on local shoppers to add their support to the campaign and sign the petition here.

Jim Jenks, Muswell Hill councillor and Lib Dem spokesperson on parking comments:

“The council must do more to support local businesses. Independent traders are struggling and 30 minutes of free parking would encourage more people to shop on our high streets and boost local trade.”

“I encourage anyone who lives in Haringey or shops locally to sign our petition and put pressure on the council to introduce 30 minutes of free parking on high streets.”

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

“I’m delighted that our petition has already got the support of hundreds of people!

“Haringey Lib Dems and I will continue to campaign to get the Labour Council to make the change and introduce 30 minutes of free parking.

“It will benefit local residents and help to keep small independent shops on our local high streets.”

Peter Drummond, local resident and President of the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC), comments:

“I support the campaign to lower parking charges on high streets. In my view, it is absolutely critical that high streets are not put under even greater pressure, and that local councils do not simply see parking charges as a revenue earner. If they do, retailers will fail, rents and rates will reduce and in the long run the council will be worse off.”