Youth unemployment in Lynne Featherstone’s constituency halved

Lynne Featherstone MPLiberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone has welcome news that youth unemployment in her constituency has halved since 2010.

In May 2010, the youth unemployment rate in Hornsey and Wood Green was 7.1%. Four years on, the figure in June 2014 is just 3.1%.

Overall unemployment in Lynne Featherstone MP’s constituency is also down – from 5.2% in 2010 to 3.2% now.

Getting people into work is a Liberal Democrat priority in Government. Since May 2010, over 1 million new private sector jobs and 1.8 million apprenticeships have been created.

Local MP Lynne Featherstone holds an annual apprenticeship event in Hornsey and Wood Green, to try and boost the numbers of young people getting into work. The next event will take place on the 28th August.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“I am so pleased that youth unemployment in my constituency has halved since 2010. Getting young people into work is so important, that’s why it was and is a Liberal Democrat priority in Government.

“With one million new jobs and 1.8million apprenticeships created since 2010 – it’s easy to see why unemployment – particularly youth unemployment – is falling so drastically.”


London bounces back!

The most recent statistics are out, and they show yet another dramatic fall in unemployment. From February – April this year, 46,000 extra people were employed in the capital alone.

103,000 people have found work here in total since April last year.

London really is bouncing back!

Nationally, the numbers are just as good. Across the UK the increase in employment averages out at 1.6% (2.8% in England). That means, since the same time last year, 445,000 men and 315,000 women have found a job in the UK, the great majority of them full time.

The numbers are clear: there are now more people with a job than there ever have been.

In terms of percentages, as a nation we are now only 0.2% away from the record for lowest ever level of unemployment – set back in 1974.

When Gordon Brown and Labour left office in May 2010, unemployment was at its highest since 1994 (which is the last time the Tories were in Government on their own). Labour also managed to preside over the lowest levels of economic activity since records began in the same year.

With wages also going up too, the recovery is significantly more stable that it would be had we let either of the other parties go it alone. There still a lot of hard work to do, but we are getting there.

The last two crashes were caused by Conservative and Labour-only Governments and I am proud, as a Lib Dem, to be helping to get the country back on its feet.

Local people, local shops and local jobs matter!

In summer recess I always try to take up a special and extra mission– one that it is not possible to do timewise when Parliament is sitting.

One summer I visited on foot as many shops on our local high streets as I could. The single issue that shopkeepers raised with me – over and over and over again – were the problems that their customers had parking – particularly if it was literally to pop and shop for just a few items.

Not surprisingly with Labour run Haringey ramping up parking charges to £3.00 an hour in some high streets – their customers were going elsewhere. This was hitting our wonderful local high street shops extremely hard.

So my Liberal Democrat council colleagues in their manifesto for the council elections on Thursday came up with a pop and shop policy and have committed to the following:

To support our high streets, help shoppers and protect local jobs the Lib Dems will provide 30 minutes’ free parking on local high streets.’

We love our high streets and we want to support them fully. Of course – we also want people to walk, cycle and use their cars less. But what we don’t want is people who use their cars – to use them to drive further to places where they can park more cheaply or free – thus driving further and not bringing their custom to our local shops.

Our local communities are fantastic – and part of the reason people love living in them is because they have such wonderful local shops and traders. They are the heart of our local communities.

The Liberal Democrat group on the Council put a motion to Haringey Council last year to allow 30 minutes free parking. It is a scheme being adopted in other areas around the country and is working well. However Labour councillors voted it down.

These local elections on Thursday are an opportunity for people to vote Liberal Democrat and change Haringey for the better.

Tackling debt and boosting Credit Unions in London

Islington Lib Dem councillor Terry Stacey, Lynne Featherstone MP, Libdem London Assembly members Stephen Knight and Caroline Pidgeon, and Lib Dem local election candidate Tahmid Chowdhury at the report launch.  Photographer John Russell (gallery Featherstone MP last week helped to launch the ‘Payday London’ report, which seeks to tackle the problems created by payday lending and illegal lending in London.

The report, which was published by Lib Dem London Assembly Member Stephen Knight, sets out an eight point plan that the London Mayor could adopt to tackle debt problems.

The recommendations include the Mayor more actively supporting Credit Unions – which can supply quick loans to members without high rates, whilst also providing an ethical investment option for people who are looking to save money.

Suggestions in the report include opening a Credit Union savings account for every secondary school starter, and for further funding to be given to support the expansion of London’s Credit Unions.

The report is backed by the London Capital Credit Union, which hosted the report launch.

Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone commented:

“Credit Unions are a safe and ethical alternative to payday loan companies. I was more than happy to help Stephen Knight launch this report, which provides some excellent ideas about boosting Credit Unions in the capital.

The Coalition Government has invested £38m to support and expand credit unions, and the Financial Conduct Authority has also announced proposals to clamp down on payday lenders.

“It is vital that we tackle the problems caused by payday loan companies – I hope the Mayor listens to the ideas in Stephen Knight’s report, and takes steps to implement them.”


Support for our wonderful high streets

I have always loved living in Haringey – an area that has such an abundance of independent shops and small businesses. As the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green constituency, I am proud to represent such an entrepreneurial and vibrant area.

It’s the traders themselves and customers that make the high streets – but in these tough economic times, the Government should step in too, to help out small businesses and retailers.

So, I am very pleased that the Coalition Government has made significant changes, such as:

  • Reducing the rates bill of small businesses, shops, and pubs by £1000 for the next two years.
  • Continuing the doubled small business rates relief for another year.
  • Introducing a reoccupation relief, which will halve rates for 18 months when a business takes over a long-term empty shop.
  • Giving local authorities the power to provide additional rate relief for eligible businesses (but not pay day lenders, betting shops or pawnbrokers).

We are also encouraging innovation through the Future High Streets Forum, which will advise the Government on how to continue improving the high street environment.

It is so important that this help is provided – to encourage small businesses, to support retailers, and to keep our high streets diverse and vibrant.

Unfortunately, our local Labour-run Council don’t seem to share this sentiment – they have raised high street parking charges to £3 per hour. Traders say this is harming their businesses and forcing shoppers to go to superstores with cheap or free parking.

The Coalition Government has also launched a consultation about how to address this kind of unnecessary behaviour by local authorities. You can contribute here.

The economy is improving, and 600 new enterprises have opened in our area since 2011. The Lib Dems in Government will keep fighting to ensure that the UK is open for business, and that small businessmen and retailers see the benefits of the economic recovery.

Growing economy – Good news for Haringey!

Great news – the economy is growing at the fastest rate we’ve seen since 2007 – according to the Office of National Statistics.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also increased its growth forecast for the UK economy from 1.9% to 2.4%.

The UK has also seen a sharp drop in unemployment, and there are now more people in work than ever before. All good signs that the economy is recovering.

And we’re really leading the way in Hornsey and Wood Green. There are now over 1100 fewer people claiming Job Seekers Allowance than there were in 2010.

Youth unemployment here is now 3.8% – almost halved since 2010.

And finally, the number of registered enterprises in Hornsey and Wood Green is on the up, from 4,855 in 2011 to 5,450 now.

The plan is working – and so are we!

Liberal Democrats – helping businesses employ young people in Haringey

The drive to help young people get jobs in Haringey will be boosted by plans to abolish employers’ National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for under 21 year olds.

Local Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone has welcomed the announcement, which means businesses will no longer have to pay tax on their employees aged under 21 year old. For example, companies will save £1,000 each year for every young employee earning £16,000.

In Haringey, the plan to abolish NICs for young people from April 2015 means companies will not have to pay the contributions for 4,220 young people.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“The Liberal Democrats are focused on getting young people into work and this is exactly the kind of initiative needed to give businesses a break and encourage them to start recruiting.

“Since 2010 we have already helped create more than 1.5m new apprenticeships. Meanwhile, Nick Clegg’s £1bn Youth Contract is supporting work experience, wage incentives and apprenticeships.

“Our economy is growing because of the hard work of people and businesses, they deserve this help. The coalition’s economic plan is the rock on which our recovery is being built – and it is happening because of the Liberal Democrats.”


Still looking for an apprenticeship?

My Lib Dem colleagues and I have always fought for better opportunities for everyone, and this extends to the world of work. Apprenticeships are an excellent route to employment, and are hugely beneficial to both the apprentice and the company they work for.

Earlier this year I held an apprenticeships fair, where a number of young people signed up to programmes run by organisations such as Barclays and the Tottenham Hotspur foundation.

The employers who attended the event have taken on some of Haringey’s talented youngsters, and in turn the apprentices are getting paid to learn, and gaining useful experience and contacts in an industry.

Since the Lib Dems entered Government is 2010, the number of people starting apprenticeships in London has increased by over 130%, and youth unemployment in Hornsey and Wood Green has fallen by a third.

Apprenticeships are giving people the experience they need to get on in life, and they are a key part to building the stronger society and fairer economy that the UK’s citizens deserve.

Apprentices are available in a range of fields, and local examples include vacancies for apprentice tilers, apprentice Care Assistant at the North Mid, and an internet marketing consultant job.

These are all great opportunities, and I wish anyone applying the very best of luck – I hope you enjoy learning whilst you earn!

Here are some other links to help people looking for apprenticeships:

Lynne Featherstone MP re-launches local Wood Green business

Lynne Featherstone MP with Sales and Marketing Manager Ayse Guner outside On Time Cars at the openingLynne Featherstone MP recently helped to open a business – On Time Cars – on Lymington Avenue in Wood Green.

Formerly Top Cars, the business has now re-launched, and prides itself on providing the best minicab service – by being reliable, available, and safe.  Services are available 365 days a year.

Dozens of local people and employees were present to celebrate the launch – some of whom were working hard to process bookings at the same time!

The Liberal Democrat MP was given a tour of the office and shown the software used to process bookings, before cutting the ribbon and congratulating On Time Cars on their official opening.

The business owners raised a glass of champagne to toast the opening, and invited everyone to stay and enjoy some drinks and Turkish food.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“It was an honour to attend the official opening of On Time Cars, and to cut the ribbon! There was a great community feel about the event, with everyone joining in to celebrate the business’ achievements.

“In these tough economic times, it’s great to see a local business thriving, and I wish them all the best with this new endeavour.”

The proprietor, Mr. Sertap Balci, issued the following thank you note:

”Dear Lynne, Thank you for accepting and responding promptly to our invitation sent by our Sales and Marketing Manager Ayse Guner. It was a great pleasure meeting you on our opening evening of On Time Cars. We were honoured by your presence.

“On Time Cars is a developing company, we are actively seeking to recruit new members of staff to different parts of the Transport Sector as well as providing a one stop shop to meet our clienteles growing demands for all transport services.”


Unemployment in Hornsey and Wood Green falls again!

A million jobs infographicLynne Featherstone MP has today welcomed news that unemployment in her constituency has fallen again.

In Hornsey and Wood Green, unemployment is currently at a low of 4%, meaning there are now 869 less people claiming Job Seekers Allowance than when Labour left the Government in 2010.

Youth unemployment in the constituency has also plummeted – down from 7.8% in May 2010 to 4.7% now.

This comes alongside news that, nationally, the number of people in work reached a record high of 29.87 million in the quarter, up 155,000.

Creating jobs is a Liberal Democrat priority. Since 2010, the Liberal Democrats in Government have helped businesses create over 1 million private sector jobs, and have helped create 1.2 million apprenticeships. There are now more apprentices than ever before and 86% more than under Labour.

Locally, Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone has helped create new apprenticeships, by organising an event for local young people to meet companies offering apprenticeships.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“Work is so important to individuals and families. It pays the bills, gives us purpose and fulfilment, and provides security for our long term futures.

“This fall in the number of people claiming JSA is a welcome sign – particularly in Hornsey and Wood Green! This drop, combined with the rise in the total number of people in employment, shows that our economy is recovering and people are returning to work.

“In Government and locally the Lib Dems will keep working hard to reduce unemployment, which in turn will help build a stronger economy and create a fairer society – enabling everyone to get on in life.”