Ten summer schools open in Haringey

Ten schools will be opening their doors this summer to help some of the most disadvantaged pupils in Haringey with the big step up from primary to secondary school.

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg launched the government’s £50million summer school programme yesterday targeted at helping local children who are in care or receive free school meals

Local Liberal Democrats welcomed the scheme saying that this is exactly what is needed to ensure that children who are vulnerable to falling behind are not disadvantaged when moving to secondary education.

Cllr Katherine Reece, Liberal Democrat Children Spokesperson, comments:

“We welcome this government initiative to help some of Haringey’s most disadvantaged children. Summer Schools can be the key to a child’s success in later life. The step from primary to secondary school can be a really daunting one for many children. If your confidence is knocked back at this stage, it is difficult to recover as a child progresses through the school.

“Funding from the coalition government has been rightly targeted to help prevent Haringey’s young people from falling behind rather than trying to help pupils catch-up after the damage has been done.”

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“It’s great to see so many local schools throughout the borough opening their doors for two weeks in the summer holidays. This will let local pupils catch up on learning and get to grips with life in secondary school – in short, get in the starting blocks ready for the off in September.

“Those who struggle to make the transition are often among the poorest in society, but two weeks of activities can really help to bridge the gap.

“It’s good news for mums and dads too – no parent wants their child to be left out and fall behind.

“Summer schools will ensure pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds can start secondary school on an equal footing with their peers, setting them up to succeed.“

Lynne Featherstone MP meets local youth charity Catch22

Lynne Featherstone MP with service user Samina and Haringey Catch 22 manager Angela FrancisTo hear of their amazing work helping young people in Haringey who find themselves in difficulties to get back on their feet again, Lynne Featherstone MP recently met the dedicated team at local charity Catch22.

The charity works with 50 local young people aged 10-19, who have got into trouble, often with the police, and are showing challenging behaviour. A team of key workers and volunteers work intensively with the young people and their families, for as long as it takes, to help them get back into school or work and to integrate back into society.

Apart from hearing of the successful work from the local Catch22 team led by manager Angela Francis, the Liberal Democrat MP also got the opportunity to speak to two young people who have made fantastic progress since joining the programme.

Catch22 also helps young people in Haringey who have been arrested, and who don’t have an adult who can help and guide them through the police process.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“Catch22 really does fantastic work here in Haringey, helping those young people who find themselves in difficulties, and who haven’t got the help and support they need from local services.

“Angela and her dedicated Catch22 team is there for the young person, at any hour of the day, and for as long as it takes to help them get back on their feet.

“It’s clear, from speaking to the young people involved that the programme really works. Hats off to the local Catch22 team for very impressive work.”

Lynne Featherstone MP attends launch party of Crouch End schoolboy’s latest comic

Lynne Featherstone MP, Zoom Rockman and Rokesley Junior School headteacher Bola Sonoye-Thomas at the launch party in the Big Green Bookshop, Wood Green.

To check out the latest edition of ‘The Zoom’, a comic created by ten-year-old Zoom Rockman from Crouch End, Lynne Featherstone MP on Friday attended the launch party at the Big Green Bookshop.

The comic, now in its third edition, was founded in 2009 by the then 9-year- old Rokesly Junior student, Zoom, who writes, designs, draws and prints the publication himself.

Lynne Featherstone MP first met Zoom when he drew the winning design, for her 2010 Christmas card, of Santa flying over Wood Green Shopping City.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“I knew Zoom had something extra when I saw his entry for my Christmas Card Competition. Apart from being a really talented artist, he also has a real fun sense of humour that immediately grabbed my attention.

“But I didn’t realize quite how innovative and entrepreneurial he is – writing, designing, drawing and printing his own, very funny comic! I’m very impressed, and sure the future will hold great things, both for Zoom Rockman, and for ‘The Zoom’!”

Lynne on special tour of super-green low carbon house in the heart of Hornsey

Lynne at the Passivhaus in HornseyTo see the future of low carbon housing, Lynne Featherstone MP on Friday visited a super–green refurbished Victorian terrace in the heart of Hornsey.

The previously fire-damaged property on Hawthorn Road, owned by Metropolitan Housing Trust, has been done up according to the Passivhaus model. With high levels of insulation, air-tightness and triple-glazing, the house will drastically cut its carbon footprint by using 80% less energy than its neighbours.

The home will need almost no extra heating, using solar gain from windows, people themselves, and their electrical goods, to keep warm. The house also has a heat-recovery system for fresh air in the winter without opening windows, and solar panels to heat 60% of the hot water.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“This warm, comfortable house has been done up beautifully, and is a great example of what can be done to cut energy in Haringey’s many Victorian properties.

“Many local residents really want to be green and cut their carbon-footprint, but don’t know where to start. I’m delighted that the Hawthorn Road house will stand as a shining example of how it can be done.

“I’m sure that Angela, the new tenant, will be very happy here. Well done to Metropolitan Housing and Anne Thorne, the architect, for doing such an amazing job!”

Older people’s services “should not be the first target” says Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats have today demanded that the Council rethinks its proposed cuts to older people’s drop-in centres, luncheon clubs and day centres. The Labour Council announced in December 2010 that the Haven and Grange Day Centres, Abyssina Court, Willoughby Road, Woodside House and Irish Centre Drop-in centres and Jackson’s Lane Luncheon club would be cut to save £425,000.

Liberal Democrats have said that services for older people should not be the first target for the Council to cut and have highlighted that the Council should prioritise back-office savings before cuts to vital services. The cuts to drop-in centres, luncheon clubs and day centres represent just 0.2% of the £182 million in central government funding the Council will receive next year.

The £425,000 cut proposed to drop-in centres, day centres and luncheon clubs is less than the annual cost to residents for the write off of the residents money that the Labour Council lost in the Icelandic bank collapse.

Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green comments:

“Local government has to make savings, but it is up to the local authority where those savings rest. Haringey Labour are going for soft targets, but I believe this drastic cut to services for older people is a very poor decision. We should protect our most vulnerable not close services they cherish.

“Labour’s financial mismanagement nationally got the country into this mess and locally Labour has made it worse.”

Cllr David Winskill, Liberal Democrat Health and Adult Social Services spokesperson adds:

“It is often said that the mark of a civilised society is how we look after our older residents. The Labour Council is not prioritising its use of the £182 million of government funding towards the services that many older people rely on. These services should not be the first target of Labour’s cuts.

“The cuts at day centres, luncheon clubs and drop-in centres represent 0.2% of the Council’s central government funding yet the Council are suggesting that, in the remaining 99.8% of the funding, there is nothing else they could cut instead of these services.”

Haringey Council wastes further taxpayers’ money after delivery error

Local Liberal Democrats have demanded that Haringey Council comes clean on extra costs, after it emerged that the most recent edition of ‘Haringey People’ may have been incorrectly delivered to thousands of homes. Reports suggest that many residents, living in Alexandra ward,received the St. Ann’s and Seven Sisters editions, rather than the normal Muswell Hill edition. Similar delivery errors were found throughout Haringey.

This new revelation puts into further doubt Haringey Council’s use of resources for communication.  Last year, the council used £3million of local taxpayers’ money on communication with local residents.

Liberal Democrats have asked the council how many copies of ‘Haringey People’ have been delivered to incorrect areas and how much the error has cost Haringey Council.

Cllr Gail Engert (Muswell Hill) Area Assembly Chair, comments:

“Local residents contacted me, to say that they had not received the correct editions – it is just another example of Haringey Labour failing to get even simple things right.”

Cllr Ed Butcher, Liberal Democrat Finance Spokesperson, adds:

“This is another nail in the coffin of ‘Haringey People’.  For years, local Liberal Democrats have said that this publication is not worth the paper it is written on and that Haringey Council should think of more innovative and up-to-date ways of contacting local residents.

“Now, after this latest mess, Haringey Council has to come clean on how much this will cost local taxpayers.”

Lynne Featherstone,  Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey & Wood Green, adds:

“Haringey residents will be appalled that their money continues to be wasted in this way.”

Lynne Featherstone and Robert Gorrie join cookery class for Salt Awareness Week

Robert Gorrie and Lynne Featherstone cooking as part of Salt Awareness WeekTo help mark Salt Awareness Week (1-7 February), Lynne Featherstone MP and Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Gorrie joined local residents at a special cookery class at the Kurdish Community Centre in Hornsey last Friday.

The Cook and Eat cookery class is part of a 6 week programme, run by the local health service, to spread information about healthy eating. This week there was a special focus on the risks to residents’ health from eating too much salt. Reducing the amount of salt in the diet can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Lynne Featherstone and Robert Gorrie both helped Kurdish and Somali residents cooking traditional dishes and chatted with nutritionists, dieticians and local residents about the dangers of too much salt in a diet.

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

“This is such a great environment for learning about healthy eating. We cooked some yummy Somali and Kurdish food, but also learnt the serious message that too much salt in your diet can be harmful.

“A lot of people might not know that high levels of salt can be dangerous in the long run. Helping to spread information in a friendly environment like this can do wonders for people’s long term well being. It’s really just about being salt aware. And the food can still taste amazing.”

Councillor Robert Gorrie, Leader of Haringey Liberal Democrats, adds:

“These cookery classes are really great. It’s a fantastic place to share recipes and learn to cook healthy and exotic dishes on a limited budget, not to mention eating fantastic food and meeting new people. It’s really been great.”