Bus accessibility for the W7 in jeopardy

Concerns have been raised with the Council after it was revealed that a bus stop in Muswell Hill used by residents to get to local health facilities may not be moved, jeopardising efforts to make it more accessible for elderly and disabled users.

Local Liberal Democrats, who have been campaigning for the W7 and 144 bus stops to both be moved from Muswell Hill to Muswell Hill roundabout for many years, have said that the Council’s reluctance to trial a move for both routes is bad news for local residents.

The Council and Tranport for London (TfL) gave the green light to moving the stop on a trial basis last year.

Cllr Martin Newton (Fortis Green) comments:

“The Council recognises that the current stop on the steep slope of Muswell Hill is unacceptable and inaccessible for older residents and disabled bus users wanting to get to Hornsey Central Health centre.

“It looks like the Council will now only look at moving one route after the Olympics and this is likely to be the 144. There would be a solution to the problem of moving both buses if there was the will to do it.

“Unfortunately for older residents and disabled users wanting to go the health centre the Council seems reluctant to act.

“Liberal Democrats will keep fighting to have both these stops moved.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“Last year the Council and TfL agreed that this bus stop should be moved – I am furious that they have now gone back on their word.

“The slope on Muswell Hill hasn’t got less dangerous for older and disabled residents to walk up. The W7 stop must be moved and I will continue to fight for it to happen.”

Local Liberal Democrats launch campaign to keep police front counters open

Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton meeting volunteers who man Muswell Hill Police station front counterTo make the case for keeping police front counters open in Haringey, Lynne Featherstone MP is this week writing to thousands of local residents, urging them to respond to a survey about their use.

The request follows the launch of a Metropolitan police consultation that could potentially leave Haringey with only one front counter open 24/7. The Hornsey and Wood Green MP, who ran a long campaign to keep Muswell Hill police station open, and fought for better opening hours at Fishmongers Arms in Wood Green, is asking local residents to support her campaign for existing front counters to remain open.

To help make the case, Liberal Democrat Crime Spokesperson Cllr Martin Newton is also meeting the Haringey Borough Commander this week.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“Front counters matter. Although some residents feel happy reporting crime over the phone or via email, for many people, being able to speak to someone about being a victim of crime, and getting the reassurance of a friendly face is crucial.

“Having fought long and hard for Muswell Hill police station to stay open, and for better opening hours at the front counter in Wood Green, I know that people need and want a physical place to go and report crime to. Please take a few minutes to respond to our survey, and help us make the case for keeping them open.”

Liberal Democrat Crime Spokesperson Cllr Martin Newton adds:

“Closing front counters is bad for crime reporting, and bad for crime fighting. If Haringey only had one front counter, most people would have to travel far, maybe for as long as an hour, to report crime face-to-face. I fear that would put people off.

“With the consultation running until the 27th May, we only have a short time to make the case for why our front counters need to stay open. Please call Lynne’s office on 020 8340 5459 to respond to our survey.”

The ongoing Metropolitan Police consultation (running until the 27th May) can be responded to by going to this site: http://www.keysurvey.co.uk/survey/360083/41a8/
Residents who want to participate in the Liberal Democrat survey should contact Lynne Featherstone MP’s office either on 020 8340 5459, via email on lynne@lynnefeatherstone.org or write to her at Lynne Featherstone MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

Where’s your Watch?

Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton with members of the Southwood Lawn Road and Highgate Avenue Neighbourhood watchTo launch the ‘Where’s your Watch?’ Campaign, to encourage local streets to start Neighbourhood Watch groups, Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton recently went to speak to a newly started Neighbourhood Watch in Highgate.
 
Residents on Southwood Lawn Road and Highgate Avenue started their ‘Watch’ after a recent spate of burglaries. With the help of Highgate Safer Neighbourhoods Team, the neighbours decided to do their bit to help keep homes on their street safe.
 
To encourage other streets to follow suit, Local Liberal Democrats are now writing to streets in Hornsey and Wood Green that do not already have a ‘Watch’.
 
Liberal Democrats on Haringey Council are also fighting to get the post of Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, recently axed by Haringey Police, reinstated by the Council.
 
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
 
“Neighbourhood Watch groups are great. They can help cut crime, reduce the fear of crime, and they can be a fantastic way for neighbours to get to know each other better.
 
“And that certainly seems to be the case with the Southwood Lawn and Highgate Avenue Watch. There was an impressive turnout for the meeting and a fantastic sense of community.
 
“I hope our ‘Where’s your Watch’ campaign will result in other local streets reaping the same benefits.”
 
Liberal Democrat Crime Spokesperson Cllr Martin Newton adds:
 
“Being a victim of crime is awful, and the recent burglaries on Southwood Lawn Road have really shocked the residents. But they are certainly doing what they can to stop this happening again.
 
“With better contact with the local police, I really got a sense of the neighbours feeling empowered and more in control. When people look out for each other we get better, warmer, friendlier communities – not a bad return for starting a Neighbourhood Watch!
 
“Liberal Democrats on the Council recognise the importance of Neighbourhood Watch groups and recently proposed to fund the axed Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator in Haringey. It was a shame however that Labour decided that this is not a priority and voted against our proposal.”

Inaccessible W7 Bus Stop set to finally move after long-running Liberal Democrat Campaign

Lynne Featherstone MP, Cllrs Martin Newton and Gail Engert, and local resident Henry Denby-Wood, all excited about the future move to outside Boots on the BroadwayThe W7 bus stop on the steep Muswell Hill looks set to soon be moved to outside Boots on Muswell Hill Broadway, after a three year campaign by local Liberal Democrats.

The encouraging news was sent to Lynne Featherstone MP earlier this week following enquiries to the Council and TfL.

Following a campaign of letter writing, numerous site visits and petitioning led by Cllr Martin Newton and the Hornsey and Wood Green MP, TfL and the Council have now agreed to move the bus stop to outside Boots on Muswell Hill Broadway. The move will rely on a successful safety audit and will be on a trial basis.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“I’m really thrilled! Thanks to the support of hundreds of local residents, and years of campaigning, the Council and TfL have finally agreed to work together to make the bus stop accessible.

“This is great step forward for elderly and less mobile residents in the Muswell Hill area, who will hopefully soon be able to get safely on the W7 bus to Hornsey Central.”

Cllr Martin Newton adds:

“A bus stop down a steep hill, for the only bus to Hornsey Central, was always a poor solution. But due to strong backing by local residents, and a relentless Lib Dem campaign, we are now really close to getting the move local people need.

“It feels like common sense has finally prevailed. Fingers crossed for a quick move up to the Broadway. But rest assured, until that bus stop is permanently accessible for local people, we will not stop fighting!”

Lynne Featherstone MP meets top police boss over worries of cuts to Safer Neighbourhood Teams

Lynne Featherstone and Cllr Martin Newton with acting Borough Commander Chris BarclayPolice bosses in Haringey have given assurances that local residents’ safety concerns will be paramount to any decision on the future of Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) following a meeting, last week, with Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton. The Acting Borough Commander, Chris Barclay, also assured Liberal Democrats that Muswell Hill Police Station will not close unless an equal or better alternative with front counter provision is in place.
 
Commander Barclay was presented with a collection of residents’ views on policing priorities, after local Liberal Democrats surveyed local people on their views about SNT provision. The Liberal Democrats issued their own survey on SNTs, as the Metropolitan police launched a review of the ward based teams.

In the survey, local people highlighted issues around perceptions of safety, and the knock-on effect on local crime rates if SNT numbers were cut.

A particular preference was expressed for more police presence late at night in areas like Muswell Hill Broadway. The Acting Borough Commander assured the Liberal Democrats that residents’ views will be considered before any changes are made to Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“The Safer Neighbourhood Teams have done wonders for our local community. With well-known faces out on the beat, and a high police visibility, residents clearly feel safer, and crime goes down.

“Residents echoed the same sentiment in many of the survey responses: ­ they value and cherish their local police team, and don’t want to see their numbers cut.

“I’m delighted with the assurances that local people’s views will be given full consideration before any changes to SNTs take place, and I’m equally delighted with his assurances on Muswell Hill Police station!”

Haringey Liberal Democrat Crime Spokesperson Cllr Martin Newton adds:

“These are uncertain times, and the police have had a cut to their budget. We understand that tough decisions have to be made, but at the same time we feel that it’s critical that top bosses understand just how much the local community value their Safer Neighbourhood Teams to keep crime down in their local area.

“I believe we have given the police a strong message today: local policing matters, and local people don’t want to see any drastic changes to their local Safer Neighbourhood Teams.”

Lynne Featherstone MP makes a difference on volunteering day

Lynne Featherstone and Cllr Martin Newton with Special ConstablesTo celebrate the enormous contribution of local volunteers, Lynne Featherstone MP last week met with Special Constables and helpers at Muswell Hill Police Station to mark Community Service Volunteers (CSV) ‘Make a Difference’ Day.
 
The Hornsey and Wood Green MP and local crime spokesperson, Cllr Martin Newton, spent the morning on Friday (29th Oct 2010) helping out on the front helpdesk at the police station and walked the streets with Special Police constables talking about their roles as volunteers and urging more residents to volunteer in their local community.
 
Lynne Featherstone MP, comments:
 
“Volunteers at Muswell Hill Police Station do an invaluable job to make sure our local services are open to the public.
 
“I have been fighting to keep Muswell Hill Police Station front counter open for over a decade – this would not have been able to happen without the service of our army of volunteers.
 
“Volunteering is so rewarding and I would urge more people to take part, help out and volunteer.”
 
Cllr Martin Newton, Liberal Democrat Crime Spokesperson, adds:
 
“Volunteering is not only great for the community but also can give volunteers wider work experience that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.
 
“I admire any person who would give up their spare time to provide a service to others.”

Local Liberal Democrats ask residents for help to win battle for accessible bus stop

Lynne Featherstone and Cllr Martin Newton campaigning for accessible bus stopIn the latest stage in the long-running battle to get an inaccessible Muswell Hill bus stop on the only bus route to Hornsey Central Health Centre moved from a steep hill, Liberal Democrats have today written to local residents, urging them to respond to a consultation.

This most recent bid to get the W7 bus stop, located on the steep Muswell Hill, moved to Muswell Hill roundabout is the latest stage in a long-running campaign by Lynne Featherstone MP and local Liberal Democrats. Despite numerous site visits, and agreement from both Transport for London and Haringey Council that something should be done about the bus stop, neither authority has agreed to move it.

With the Council consulting on transport priorities for the next few years, the Liberal Democrat MP and Fortis Green Councillor Martin Newton are taking the battle to the people, by asking them to help push for the bus stop to finally be moved.

Residents who want to respond to the consultation into Haringey’s Transport Strategy 2011-14 and in particular improving public transport and bus stop accessibility should email frontline.consultation@haringey.gov.uk by 8th November. Please put LIP in the subject line of your email message.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“The bus stop with the only route to Hornsey Central from Muswell Hill is inaccessible, and residents keep writing to me about the need for the bus stop to be moved.

“Despite site visits, and agreement from TfL that moving the bus stop to the roundabout would be a good solution, the authorities keep passing the buck ­ and that’s got to stop.”

Martin Newton, Liberal Democrat Fortis Green Councillor adds:

“With the Council setting their transport priorities for the next three years, and specifically looking at accessible bus stops, this is a rare opportunity to really press for the bus stop to be moved.

“But to make this happen, local residents need to help us make the case. So please write in to Haringey with your response to the consultation.  Together we can finally make this happen.”