Call for meeting with Borough Commander following shocking burglary figures

Lynne Featherstone MP discusses crime with local residents outside Hornsey Police stationLynne Featherstone MP has today requested a meeting with Haringey Borough Commander Victor Olisa, following recent news about burglary figures in N10 and N2.

The figures, based on the number of people who have made insurance claims for burglary, place N10 and N2 in the top twenty burglary hotspots by postcode in the UK.

The Liberal Democrat MP and the Haringey Lib Dems have also renewed their call for a replacement Safer Neighbourhood Team base and Police Front Counter in the N10 area. Muswell Hill police station and front counter was closed earlier this year, as part of the Conservative Mayor of London’s changes to policing in the capital.

The N10 and N2 postcodes encompass Muswell Hill, Fortis Green and Alexandra wards within the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone commented:

“It’s very worrying to see our local area so high in this list of burglary hotspots. I have requested an urgent meeting with the Borough Commander to see what he thinks of these figures, and ask whether his crime statistics match up.

“In the meantime, our call for a replacement police base and front counter in the Muswell Hill area continues.”

Fortis Green Councillor and Haringey Lib Dem crime spokesperson Martin Newton commented:

“We are still waiting for a proper Police Contact Point in the Muswell Hill area following the closure of Muswell Hill police station.  It’s vital that the public have easy access to our hard working and vigilant Safer Neighbourhood Team, if they need to report a crime or raise concerns.

“These figures, if representative of the crime statistics, are a shock to local residents. I am interested to hear the Borough Commander’s opinion on them, and to find out what action he will take now.”

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!

A year of local delivery!

Here’s my latest Ham and High column, following a great year of working with local residents to protect our services

2013 was a year of people power in Haringey – with thousands of local residents and Liberal Democrats joining forces to protect local services.

At the beginning of the year, the proposed sell off of land at the Whittington Hospital was successfully halted, following a campaign by over 4,500 local residents and the Haringey Liberal Democrats.

Later in the year thousands of Lib Dem petition signers also prevented Royal Mail’s planned closure of Hornsey Sorting Office, and also stopped the threatened loss of local rail services at Hornsey and Harringay stations.

Local High Street traders also made their voices heard, calling for lower High Street parking charges. The Haringey Lib Dems and I backed them, by running a campaign for thirty minutes free parking and holding the Independent Shops Competition to give our best local stores some much deserved publicity.

The North London Waste Authority also finally backtracked on their idea to build a waste plant on the Pinkham Way site, thanks to a great campaign effort by the Pinkham Way Alliance, local residents and the Lib Dems. The NLWA still own the land, though – so we remain vigilant.

Last year was also great for jobs and apprenticeships – with more and more Haringey residents finding work. Since 2010, unemployment is at its lowest level in my constituency (over 1000 less JSA claimants), and youth unemployment has fallen by a third.

The apprenticeship event I ran this year was very popular and successful. I was so impressed with the ambition and drive of the young people who attended – and so were the employers. One Haringey young person was snapped up by an employer just a day after the event!

Looking forward to next year, I hope for more hard work and successes for the Lib Dems and people power. And one date in particular springs to mind – May 22nd, the next round of local elections.

Last year, Haringey Council (which is currently run by Labour) failed to deliver on many key local services. Our roads are in a state, two thirds of residents are dissatisfied with their rubbish collections, and Childrens Services has been tarnished with more child protection scandals.

And at the same time, the Labour-run Council continues to waste money. £3.7 million in shockingly large bonuses were dished out to repairs staff – while essential repair work to local homes was cancelled. It’s no wonder Haringey Council is the fourth most complained about in the country.

That’s why I want to see a change in how our local services are run and how our Council Tax money is spent.

And after this great year of local delivery and working with residents, I hope it’s the Haringey Liberal Democrats that take control of Haringey Council, so they can work with residents to fix Haringey for good.

Now, that really would be a happy new year!

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.”