Secretary of State addresses packed public meeting in Muswell Hill

Ed Davey and Lynne Featherstone address the packed public meeting on green issues.Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, answered questions at a packed public meeting on Wednesday night, at the Birchwood Centre in Muswell Hill.

The meeting, organised by local Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone, gave local residents the chance to discuss environmental issues and green policy.

Residents raised concerns and questions about fracking, renewable energy, consumerism, progress on international climate agreements, and more.

The Secretary of State responded to the questions, and spoke about the Lib Dem record of delivery on green issues during this Government, including: the creation of 200,000 new green jobs by investing in renewable energy; doubling the amount of electricity generated from offshore wind; and planting 1 million new trees in England.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto for the 2015 election will include plans for five new green laws to protect the environment – including legal targets for clean air and water, an end to dirty coal power stations and an ambitious decarbonisation target for the electricity sector.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It was great to see so many local residents at the meeting and interested in green issues. I’d also like to thank the Secretary of State, Ed Davey, for updating us on all the work he’s doing to push the green agenda in Government

“As can be seen from our record of delivery, and the five ‘green laws’ in our next manifesto, the Liberal Democrats are the only major party that is putting climate change at the top of the agenda. Indeed – we were the first party to talk about climate change in Parliament – back in the 1980s when the environment was an unpopular issue.

“I hope to hold further public meetings with ministers, and will keep local residents updated when dates are set.”

One local resident tweeted:

“Excited! Climate change is taken seriously by @lfeatherstone @EdwardDaveyMP at the public meeting in Muswell Hill!”

Strikes at our local schools

I’ve sent the following email about the NUT strikes in Haringey to local residents. Any residents who want to let me know their opinions on the strike can do so here

Strikes at our local schools are the last thing we want. Our local children miss out on learning opportunities, and parents have to arrange urgent childcare or take time off work.
This is exactly what is happening in Haringey at the moment.
The strikes follow the suspension of Julie Davies – Haringey’s National Union of Teachers (NUT) representative. Ms Davies was suspended months ago by the local authority, Labour-run Haringey Council, and a dispute has followed.
For a long time, local head teachers expressed concerns about Ms Davies. A week after tensions reached boiling point, Haringey Council suspended her – on grounds of gross misconduct.
Haringey Council should have stepped in much earlier and handled this better. 
Haringey’s own report (published nearly 2 years ago) said that a large proportion of primary head teachers and all secondary head teachers were deeply concerned about the “unconstructive role played by the main teaching union” and recommended an “urgent need to reconfigure union facilities time to ensure it supports the best interests of children.”
This should have been dealt with long before.
Instead, the situation has escalated following Julie Davies’ suspension. The NUT has called local strikes, which have already disrupted over 3000 local pupils. This also seems vastly disproportionate, and head teachers are livid.
That’s why I have contacted Haringey Council’s Chief Executive to ask for his direct intervention in finding a resolution – in what seems to now be a dispute between the Labour-run council and the Union.
Ultimately – I’m sure we all agree – it’s vital that the situation is resolved, and that no more teaching time is lost.
If you would like to let me know what you think – please do fill in this survey. I’m keen to hear as many opinions as possible.



Energy Secretary Ed Davey to attend local public meeting

Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats have organised a local public meeting with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey MP.

The meeting will taking place on Wednesday 19th November, from 7pm onwards at the Birchwood Centre, 171 Fortis Green Road, London N10 3BG.

At the meeting, residents will have the chance to question the Lib Dem Secretary of State and put forward ideas about future policy on green issues.

In Government, the Liberal Democrats have already secured:

  • A commitment to halving UK greenhouse gases by 2025.
  • 200,000 new green jobs by investing in renewable energy. We have already doubled the amount of electricity generated from offshore wind.
  • 1 million new trees in England, as part of the first government tree planting programme since the 1970s.
  • A 5p plastic bag charge to help clean up our environment and protect Britain’s natural habitat.

Lynne Featherstone commented:

“Protecting our environment for future generations is essential. It’s also important to raise awareness of green issues, and discuss the ways we can best tackle threats like climate change.

“That’s why I am holding a public meeting in our local area, with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey MP.

“The Lib Dems have made huge progress on green issues in Government, but there is plenty of work still to be done. If you want to ask the Secretary of State any questions, or put forward ideas about how to strengthen Government policy on the environment – please do join us.”

Haringey Council ‘reviewing’ case for Muswell Hill business rate refunds

Lynne Featherstone MP has met with traders to discuss their concerns, so she can pass them on to Haringey Council’s Chief Executive.Lynne Featherstone MP and local traders have secured a review of the case for business rate refunds for Muswell Hill traders. This was confirmed during a meeting between the local MP and the Chief Executive of Haringey Council.

The traders, backed by the Lib Dem MP, made this request to the Council following a drastic loss in trade over the previous months – caused by poorly managed council roadworks affecting Muswell Hill Broadway and Colney Hatch Lane.

The roadworks began at very short notice, and caused numerous bus diversions, traffic and congestion. The works coincided with the roadworks in Wood Green, the closure of the Odeon car park, and the run up to the Christmas period.

During the meeting, the Chief Executive agreed to meet with Lynne Featherstone MP and the traders again, so they could present him evidence of their loss of trade.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“During the meeting, the Chief Executive outlined the reasons why the roadworks had taken place during this time, and the problems that had been encountered during the works.

“But regardless of the reasoning – our local traders have really suffered during this period, and I am so glad that the Chief Executive has agreed to review the case for business rate refunds.

“Our local independent shops and retailers are so important to our community. I look forward to meeting with them and the Chief Executive again in the near future, so the traders can further present their case.

“In the meantime, I am also backing the local Lib Dems in their call for free parking on High Streets in the run up to Christmas, to help boost trade for our local shops.”

Lynne Featherstone MP takes part in Muswell Hill Geisterfest

Lynne Featherstone gives out rosettes for the best carved pumpkinsLynne Featherstone MP on Friday took part in the Geisterfest on Muswell Hill Broadway and Fortis Green Road.

The local MP presented rosettes to the best carved pumpkins, and announced the overall winner to the crowd inside O’Neills on Muswell Hill Broadway.

The event was organised by the local community, and also included costume, scarecrow and baking competitions, live music and local trick or treating.

The festival also helped to promote local businesses and retailers, who have suffered in recent months due to traffic works in and around the broadway.

Lynne Featherstone MP said: “I was so happy to take part in this wonderful, community-led festival. The standard of the pumpkins was very high – it was clear a lot of effort had been put in!

“It was also great to see so many people on the local high streets, boosting the trade of our much-loved independent shops.”

Lynne Featherstone MP supports Muswell Hill traders

 Lynne Featherstone MP meets with over 20 local traders to discuss the issues they face due to Haringey Council’s poorly planned road works.Lynne Featherstone MP last week met with over 20 local retailers, who have suffered a loss in trade of up to 60% due to Labour-run Haringey Council’s poorly planned road works.

The traders had little notice of the works, and are very dissatisfied with the way the works have been managed.

They asked the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green to help them with their demand for two months’ business rate refund from Haringey Council.

When the works began, the Lib Dem MP contacted Transport for London (TfL) bosses. TfL stated: ‘the Borough is the local Highway Authority and is therefore responsible for either promoting or coordinating this work,’ and suggested that the local MP contacted Haringey Council for an explanation.

The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green has arranged a meeting with the Haringey Council Chief Executive this Friday, where she will raise the traders’ concerns and business rates refund request.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“These road works have caused misery for residents, commuters, bus users and traders. Haringey Council gave minimal notice, they did not consult, and they chose the worst time of year to undergo these works.

“As a result, our local shops are seeing up to 60% losses in trade – and it just isn’t fair.

“Local Lib Dem action has already secured extra bus services from TfL. We’re also calling for free High Street parking between now and Christmas to help boost trade. On Friday, I’ll be meeting with the Chief Executive of Haringey Council, to pass on the traders request for a business rate refund.”

Lynne Featherstone MP calls for urgent meeting on local travel chaos

Lynne Featherstone MP has called for an urgent meeting with Transport for London (TfL) chiefs, as major roadworks continue to cause traffic chaos across parts of the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency.

Major works are currently occurring on Wood Green High Road and Muswell Hill Broadway. Both are causing buses to be diverted and cancelled, heavy traffic jams, and inconvenience for motorists and commuters.

Residents have expressed their concerns about the lack of notice given by TfL and Haringey Council before the works started. Traders are also not happy about the disruptions happening in the run up to Christmas.

A number of residents have contacted the Lib Dem MP to complain about the works and suggest alternatives. The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green will represent the complaints and ideas to TfL chiefs at the meeting.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“The lack of notice from TfL and Haringey Council is appalling. As soon as I found out, I sent an email to residents to give them advance warning. It was the first many of them had heard about the roadworks.

“The works are now causing such a disruption, that I have called an urgent meeting with TfL chiefs. I will do all I can to get them to minimise the disruption over the coming weeks and months. I have a number of ideas from residents, which I am more than happy to pass on to them.

“I will also be raising the timing of the works at Muswell Hill Broadway with them. Surely, it should have been done over summer to minimise the impact on commuters and traders.”

Lynne Featherstone MP gives talk on development to Muswell Hill volunteers

Lynne Featherstone addresses the soup kitchen volunteersLynne Featherstone MP on Saturday joined the Muswell Hill Baptist Church soup kitchen volunteers for a reflective practice session.

Around 25 volunteers attended the session to discuss ‘what is poverty?’ The Liberal Democrat MP, who is also a minister in the Department for International Development, gave a talk on her experiences visiting Africa and witnessing extreme poverty there.

The talk was followed by a questions session, chaired by the Soup Kitchen founder Martin Stone. During the session, the local MP agreed with the volunteers that there was a need to tackle poverty in the UK, and highlighted measures taken by the Liberal Democrats to help alleviate poverty here.

These include raising the personal tax allowance, which takes thousands of low paid and part-time workers out of paying tax altogether, and the introduction of free school meals for all infant school pupils.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It was a pleasure to meet with the dedicated soup kitchen volunteers, to discuss the important issue of tackling and alleviating poverty – at home and abroad.

“In my ministerial role, I have witnessed acute and devastating poverty in Africa. Through the Department for International Development, aid, support and education are provided to those most in need.

“Though, poverty is of course relative to the society in which you live, and there are also people in this country who struggle to buy enough food or keep a roof over their head. Both of these issues must be tackled.

“That’s why, in the UK, the Lib Dems have taken measures like raising the personal allowance, giving mid – low paid workers an £800 tax cut. Hundreds of thousands of part-time and low-paid workers have been taken out of paying tax altogether.

“I’m always happy to discuss these issues with local residents. The work Martin Stone does at the soup kitchen is just fantastic, and I’d like to thank him for giving me the opportunity to speak to the volunteers.”

Lynne Featherstone MP gives prizes at local Horticultural Show

Lynne Featherstone MP with some prize winning flowersLynne Featherstone MP on Saturday went to the Muswell Hill & District Horticultural Society Autumn show.

The event was well attended by gardeners and local residents interested in the display. The society volunteers provided tea and homemade cake.

The Lib Dem MP was given a tour of the flowers, fruit and vegetables on display, before giving out the prizes to the winning gardeners.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It was a pleasure to attend the Autumn show and give out the well-deserved prizes. I am always so amazed by what the members of the society are able to produce.

“I’d really like to credit the work put in by the volunteers to host the show. It always runs smoothly, and is an occasion enjoyed by all. I look forward to presenting more prizes in the future.”

Barclays and Tottenham Hotspur among companies confirmed for MP’s Apprenticeship Event

Lynne Featherstone MP  with Gordon Birtwistle MP, talking to an organisation representative at the Haringey Apprenticeship eventEighteen companies, with hundreds of vacancies between them, have signed up to attend Lynne Featherstone MP’s annual apprenticeship event.

The event – which takes place at 2pm, on Thursday 28th August, at Haringey Civic Centre – gives young people the chance to meet with companies who are offering apprenticeships, and get advice about making applications.

Barclays and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation are confirmed, alongside the National Apprenticeship Service and companies like Hawk training.

The event, which is backed by Wood Green Jobcentre Plus, is open to all young people – not just Haringey residents. Last year, one young person was taken on the day after the event.

The event follows news that youth unemployment in the Lib Dem MP’s constituency has halved since 2010.

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

“I am very much looking forward to this year’s event. We have a diverse range of companies attending, and I know Haringey is full of bright, ambitious young people, who will come along to meet the companies and find out more.

“Apprenticeships are a great way to kick start a career. You get paid to learn a trade, and you get a qualification at the end. You also get to make contacts within an industry, which could help secure full time work.

“Youth unemployment here has halved since 2010 – I want to work with businesses and local young people to make even more progress.”