Another failure by Labour Haringey

Homes for Haringey (Haringey Council’s arms length management organisation for council houses) have just admitted to my Lib Dem colleague, Cllr Monica Whyte, that residents of Stokely Court (sheltered accommodation for the elderly and disabled) will have to wait yet another year before their homes will be redecorated – four years after the Council promised that they would be renovated and ten years since they were last redecorated.

Monica Whyte has written urgently to the Chief Executive of Homes for Haringey to explain why Stokely Court has been neglected and how many other sheltered accommodation homes have been missed due to the “slippage” of the Internal Decoration Programme for Elderly and Disabled Tenants.

Monica is on the rampage – quite rightly!

If anyone knows of any more instances where Haringey Council has failed to meet its promised obligations on redecoration, repair or renewal – please let me know.

Vince Cable is coming to town

And a special treat for Haringey Liberal Democrats – but not exclusive as we are happy to share our very own superstar soothsayer – Vince Cable – with anyone interested in coming – and stomping up the price of a ticket:

Haringey Liberal Democrats present ‘An Evening with Vince Cable’
Date: 26th November
Time: 8pm – 10pm
Venue: Christ Church C of E Church Hall, Waldeck Road, N15 3EP
Cost: £10 members / £20 non-members

Numbers are limited so will need to purchase a ticket. These can be obtained from Monica Whyte: 233b Alexandra Park Road, N22 7BJ, 07976 665 110.

Meeting Bob the Builder

Lynne Featherstone with the 101 Play Group101 Play Group are celebrating with Bob the Builder – having got £5,000 squid as one of twelve winners of the ‘Project: Renovate’ competition this playgroup is the Greater London finalist.

Their prize was to win an Eco-Makeover for the building. They have used the money on splendid new doors onto the outside play area, insulation and other eco-improvements.

The children originally had to do a whole series of activities about eco-friendly improvements – so they learned loads. Then photos of the children doing the projects and a 200 word submission were sent off. Travis Perkins were one of the companies sponsoring the competition.

So congrats to everyone. It’s not easy finding funding to get repairs or improvements done – and this prize money was much needed.

As you can see in the picture – although my Liberal Democrat councillor colleagues Monica Whyte (on my right) and Errol Reid on the far left (the only man in the picture) and myself were all there to support the Celebration Day – it was Bob the Builder who was definitely the main attraction – no contest!

The London results

I woke up this morning hoping that Boris winning was just a bad dream – but sadly – it really happened. His acceptance speech though was very gracious – I would advise keeping that speechwriter standing just behind him at all times! Much as I have enjoyed Boris on TV shows I didn’t want him as Mayor of London. Didn’t want Ken either. However, the people have spoken and now the opportunity belongs to Boris and I hope desperately that he doesn’t bugger up all the good things that have happened in London since the GLA was created and that he does seek to re-unite this city.

Anyway – my poor Brian got hideously squeezed – and the knock on for my Assembly colleagues was a loss of two seats on the Assembly. As for the revolting result of a BNP member being elected despite a good turn out – that turns my stomach. Don’t know how colleagues will manage to deal with that every day!

We should get the ward results and therefore constituency results in due course – and I expect that in Hornsey & Wood Green the Lib Dem vote held up very well as overall Monica Whyte, our Enfield and Haringey candidate, polled more votes than last time and on percentage vote share changes had the best relative Liberal Democrat performance in London too (I think).

It was a huge surprise (seemingly to her as well) that Joanne McCartney held the Enfield and Haringey London Assembly seat for Labour. The Tories thought it was in the bag – but it wasn’t. Shades of the 2004 election where again Labour pulled off a surprise victory in the seat despite very high Conservative confidence that they would take it.

And together with the gain of the Tory seat of Brent and Harrow – the Labour Assembly members did not do as badly as expected on a night when Labour nationally had disastrous results in the local elections and when Ken lost. A bit of a silver lining for them there.

So – off we go – finding our way around a changed political map of London with a Mayor who may garner affection – but can he run London? We will see.

Ken Livingstone recycles his Alexandra Palace promises

Well, well – Ken Livingstone has been at it again – recycling old, broken promises just as election day nears. In this case – he’s making the same comments about Alexandra Palace that he made four years ago – and then didn’t act on in the four years since.

As the news release from my colleague Monica Whyte (candidate for the Enfield & Haringey London Assembly seat) says:

Local Liberal Democrats have exposed Ken Livingstone’s cynical bid for votes over Ally Pally, admidst Haringey Labour’s catastrophic mismanagement of the cherished building.

The Lib Dems are reminding local residents that his promises this week comes four years after Labour’s Mayor made a similar bid for votes at the last Mayoral election – since which he has done absolutely nothing to help as local Labour bosses have wasted further millions in a disastrous attempt to dispose of the site.

When the last Mayoral election was days away, Ken Livingstone told local newspaper the Hornsey Journal that the Ally Pally was a “regional resource” and a “huge financial burden” for the people of Haringey – and suggested that extra funding could be made available to it from the Mayor’s budget (Hornsey Journal, 3rd June 2004).

In the past four years however, he has done nothing to help, while the local Labour Council has orchestrated a disastrous attempt to flog the building to a developer through a failed lease that has been thrown out by the High Court – leaving local taxpayers with another multi-million pound bill on top of the £50 million already squandered.

Local GLA candidate and Haringey Lib Dem councillor Monica Whyte commented: “Ken Livingstone’s empty promises to save the Ally Pally from the clutches of Haringey Labour would be great if they were true – but this just shows that he will say anything for a few votes in this area.”

“He said he’d help save the Ally Pally last time and what did he do? Absolutely nothing. Instead, Lib Dems have had to battle another fiasco of mismanagement over the Firoka deal, which has cost local residents further millions.

“Local residents will not be fooled by Ken a second time round!”

Olympics protest

Lynne Featherstone with Tibet protestorsJoined the protests earlier today – with Hornsey councillor Monica Whyte – over China’s record on Tibet and human rights as the Olympic Torch passed through London.

Free speech – and speaking out against that which we oppose – is a key part of our society, and it was great to see so many people exercising that right to speak out today – a right, of course, that China doesn’t extend to people in Tibet or China.

The Chinese Government has been repeatedly politicising the Olympics for its own ends – and yet Gordon Brown seems too timid to show any real displeasure at China’s repeated abuse of basic human rights.

Numerous other government heads have spoken and acted – but not our own. What is the point of having the privilege of holding a post such as Prime Minister if you’re not willing to use it to speak out when needed?

Brian Paddick on the campaign trail in Haringey

Lynne Featherstone, Brian Paddick and Monica Whyte promote a green alternative to plastic bagsBrian Paddick came to Hornsey & Wood Green and we visited a number of hotspots. The area is becoming a bit of a regular haunt of his – he was here during the Highgate by-election too. This time I showed him Wood Green cross – which is the area that local residents in the Wood Green area are most worried about crime wise. There stands a disused and vacant and deteriorating police box. Originally conceived and procured to ease peoples’ fears by having police on the spot – it never really opened for enough hours for anyone to have the slightest confidence that there would be a police person in the box. So it failed. Such a stupid waste for what was a good idea.

We went to Alexandra Park station (Oyster needed / on the way); Ally Pally – to show Brian the historic building which Labour Haringey first built up a debt (for which we locals had to pay) and then tried to sell on in a highly controversial deal – stopped at the moment by a local group taking Labour Haringey to court; then off to the 603 bus route in Muswell Hill where Brian pledged to extend the operating hours of this much loved route.

In Crouch End he promoted the Crouch End Traders ‘Bag for Life’ and posed in front of the Clock Tower whilst he did various interviews with the local press. He tried to squeeze in Weston Park Post Office – but in the end Monica Whyte (GLA candidate and local councillor) and David Winskill (local councillor) went there to meet a disabled lady whose life will be ruined if Labour’s proposed Post Office closures go ahead.

And I went to visit Bonnie – living with husband, two children and sister in two rooms in terrible state – but more of this story in a while. I am on the warpath for this one.