Support the Haringey Million Poppy Campaign

Two local community forums, Harringay Online and Bowes & Bounds Connected have teamed to up to create a living memorial to mark the 100 year anniversary of the First World War.

Inspired by the Royal British Legion’s new campaign, the team aims to collect enough money to buy one million Flanders poppy seeds. The seeds will then be packed and made available at shops around the Borough, ready for planting.

£1 in every 3 will go directly to the British Legion, and the rest will be used to co-ordinate planting events to get a million poppies growing in our area.

A hundred years on, it is as important as ever that we remember the sacrifices made and the consequences of such a terrible conflict.

By brightening the area with so many poppies, local people will be providing a dignified and poignant commemoration to the suffering of millions during the war.

If you would like to get involved you can donate through the campaign’s Paypal account here. You can also follow the two groups on Twitter using the handles @Harringayonline and @BowesandBounds.

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!

Lynne Featherstone MP joins apprentices at Hornsey Rail Depot!

Lynne Featherstone MP on the Hornsey Rail Depot site tourLynne Featherstone MP today went to Hornsey Rail Depot, to meet apprentices who are working on the site.

Volker Fitzpatrick is the company contracted to build two new train maintenance depots, as part of the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project. They currently have 5 apprentices (3 railway engineering and 2 business administration) and are looking for more.

The Liberal Democrat MP met two of the engineering apprentices, before putting on safety gear and taking a tour of the site – and seeing their work first hand.

The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green was shown the building site, including the train wash and the under-construction maintenance depot. The local MP then discussed the local resident reaction to the works with the development managers.

Since the Liberal Democrats entered Government in 2010, over 1.2 million apprenticeships have been created. Lynne Featherstone MP held an event in August, matching up Haringey’s young people looking for apprenticeships with potential employers.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“Apprenticeships are fantastic opportunities, giving young people a chance to learn a trade whilst earning money and gaining qualifications.

“That’s why I held the event in Wood Green for young people to find out more about apprenticeships, and why I was so keen to go to Hornsey Rail Depot to see apprentices in action.

“Volker Fitzpatrick is clearly working very hard to build the new depots and facilities, and it’s great that they’re taking on apprenticeships to help. I’d like to thank them for taking the time to show me around!

“If any local resident has any questions or thoughts about the work being done on this site, please let me know.”

Lynne Featherstone MP calls on rail bidders to protect local services

Lynne Featherstone MP with local Lib Dem campaigners at Hornsey Rail StationLynne Featherstone MP last week met with some of the rail companies who are currently bidding to run the new Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern Franchise – which covers rail stations in Haringey Borough.

Funded by Government investment, the new Franchise aims to improve services by installing longer, more regular, and more reliable trains in and out of London.

However, concern arose that smaller local stations, such as Hornsey and Harringay, could get fewer services as a result of the new Franchise – as the newer trains would be too long to stop at their platforms.

The Liberal Democrat MP last year began a campaign against any losses of service at the smaller stations. A survey showed that 98% of people agreed with this campaign – though a high percentage also wanted newer, longer trains.

During the meetings, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green – along with local Liberal Democrat Councillors David Schmitz and Richard Wilson – put forward the views of constituents, and argued strongly for no losses of service at any local station.

The local MP suggested platform extensions at the smaller stations as a means to ensure the newer, longer trains could stop just as regularly.

Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“The Thameslink services currently suffer from reliability problems, overcrowding, and dated trains, so I do very much welcome the huge investment in the Thameslink Franchise.

“However, it is vital that there are no service reductions at our smaller local station – particularly Hornsey and Harringay. Residents have shown that they agree by overwhelmingly supporting this campaign.

“Rest assured that the local Lib Dems and I are pushing both the bidders and the Department for Transport, to ensure that no services are lost at these stations as a result of the new Franchise.”

Last chance to support Lib Dem petition on parcel services that has already been signed by thousands of people

Lynne Featherstone MP at Archway Road Post OfficeMP Lynne Featherstone and Haringey Liberal Democrats are calling on even more residents to support a petition to keep parcel collection services local.

Currently, residents can collect undelivered parcels at local office and collection points in Hornsey, Highgate and at the Arena on Green Lanes. As part of their reorganisation, however, Royal Mail plans to close these offices and move the collection points to Holloway and Tufnell Park.

The move will force local residents to travel miles to collect their undelivered parcels if they don’t wish to leave parcels with a neighbour, or pay to have them redelivered.

Following a massive campaign effort by the local Liberal Democrats, the petitions to save the under threat services in Hornsey, Highgate and at the Arena in Tottenham have already been signed by nearly three thousand people.

In total, 25,293 addresses will be affected by the changes Royal Mail wants to make.

Cllr Richard Wilson, Liberal Democrat Opposition Leader, comments:

“Nobody should have to travel so far just to pick up an undelivered parcel. Going all the way to Tufnell Park or Holloway will be inconvenient for most people and will be particularly difficult for the elderly and people with mobility problems.

“The Royal Mail must listen to demands from residents for a local collection service for undelivered parcels. If you haven’t already signed the petition please show your support for our campaign and sign the petition.”

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

“I am delighted that so many local people have given their support to our campaign to keep local parcel services. I have arranged a further meeting with Royal Mail to present the petition to them. The more signatures we have, the more chance there is of changing their minds.

“Please sign the petition – and encourage your friends and family to do the same – so we can show Royal Mail the strength of feeling on this issue.”


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.”

Lib Dems call for 30 minutes free High Street parking in Haringey

Lynne Featherstone MP at a ticket machine on Muswell Hill Broadway.Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats have launched a campaign for 30 minutes of free parking on Haringey’s High Streets.

Last year, retailers on Muswell Hill Broadway reported months of poor trade after the parking charges were increased from £1.40 to £3 per hour.

The traders started a petition to lower the charges – which attracted over 5,200 signatures – and presented it to Haringey Council. Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone also wrote to the Labour-run Council and requested that the charges be lowered.  Despite this, the Council refused to reduce the charges.

Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats are now calling for 30 minutes of free parking on Haringey’s High Streets, to encourage people to stop and ‘drop in’ to the Borough’s independent shops, and boost their trade.

Jim Jenks, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Muswell Hill said:

“Haringey retailers need our support. But the Haringey Labour Council has, as usual, a ‘one size fits all’ approach with high parking charges throughout the Borough. We need local parking solutions that help get more people into our shops.

“We need as many people as possible to support our campaign, so we’re encouraging our supporters and residents to sign our petition and let their friends and families know about it, too.”

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

“In my constituency, the high streets in places like Muswell Hill and Crouch End are packed with independent retailers. It sets us apart from other places which are full of bland chain stores.

“I’m afraid this refusal to listen to trader’s concerns is typical of the Labour-run Council – more interested in making a quick buck on parking fees than preserving our community assets.

“I urge anyone who wants to support independent shops – and would like to enjoy 30 minutes free parking – to sign our petition.”

Sign the petition here.