Labour caught red handed misusing public resources for election campaign

Haringey’s Labour Party has been caught red handed this weekend, using a public library to run its campaigns. Local Liberal Democrats caught Labour putting up posters and holding an election meeting in Wood Green Library on Saturday, breaking the strict rules against misusing public resources for campaign purposes.

After the intervention of Liberal Democrat Noel Park councillor Fiyaz Mughal, the Labour activists, who were holding a campaign meeting, were forced by the librarian to remove them. The group included controversial Labour councillor Sheila Peacock who brazenly admitted putting up the Labour posters.

Liberal Democrat Highgate councillor Neil Williams comments:

“This shows the disgraceful way the Labour party misuses public resources. After 40 years in power, running the worst council in London, Labour thinks it owns Haringey, and can do what is pleases with facilities paid for by local taxpayers.

“I will be asking the Labour leader to sack these Labour candidates, to demonstrate that she takes seriously these sorts of abuses.”

Lynne Featherstone adds:

“This just goes to show that Labour will never change. They think that they have the right to govern in Haringey and will do anything, including breaking strict rules, to cling onto power.”

Full investigation needed on ‘crackpot’ roundabout development plans, say Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats in Highgate have slammed Haringey Council for refusing to act over the future development of a key site at the gateway to Highgate. Liberal Democrats say Haringey Council’s ‘crackpot’ approach could see the busy gyratory system, at the top of the Archway Road, used for building flats. The fact that Haringey owns the land just adds insult to injury, say local Liberal Democrats.

Previous plans, although now on hold, for development at 505 Archway Road, propose to build one commercial property on the ground floor, six two-bed and one one-bed residential flats above. Highgate Liberal Democrat councillor Neil Williams has asked for a full planning brief for this sensitive site – but this has been turned down by Labour-run Haringey Council.

Cllr Williams says the refusal to act is also the height of hypocrisy – Haringey Council is rightly investing with Transport for London (TfL) in removing the gyratory system in Tottenham Hale, but is willing to contemplate building housing in the middle of a gyratory in Highgate.

Cllr Neil Williams (Highgate), comments:

“It’s clear Haringey aren’t bothered about putting a block of flats in the middle of this traffic roundabout – but it is a totally crackpot idea. You would wonder how on earth such a bizarre idea ever got this far. It adds insult to injury, that Haringey is the owner of this land.

“We need a full planning brief, for local residents to have a full say on the plans for this important entrance to Highgate.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“Haringey Council needs to fully consult on this key Highgate site, or it will show they are ignoring local residents.”

More car club bays for Highgate after Liberal Democrat success

Residents in Highgate will have more access to car club vehicles, after Haringey Council agreed to adopt Liberal Democrat councillors’ proposals to provide more car club bays for local people.

Haringey Council has taken up Liberal Democrat Councillor Neil WiIliams’ calls for improvements to the initial scheme, set up last year, which failed to include the densely populated Miltons area of Highgate, east of Archway Road, and the north of Highgate, near the Kenwood Estate.

Haringey Council is now proposing that four more car club bays will be installed – two near the Kenwood Estate and two in the Miltons area. The new bays in Highgate are part of an expansion of the car club scheme, which will provide an additional 39 spaces.

Cllr Neil Williams (Highgate ward) comments:

“I am glad that Haringey Council has recognised our calls to make it easier for local Highgate residents to use the car club scheme.

“It hasn’t been long since my colleague Cllr Rachel Allison led the campaign, successfully, for the introduction of a car club scheme in Highgate. Now we have a scheme that is thriving and expanding.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“Car clubs are vital in the continuing fight to reduce our carbon footprints. Well done to Highgate councillors, for helping to get better access for local residents.”

Locations of the new Car Club bays:

  1. Sheldon Avenue N6 4NJ: two car club parking bays near Kenwood Estate.
  2. Tudor Close N6 5PR: two car club parking bays in Homes for Haringey car park.

Other elected Liberal Democrats online in Haringey

A quick reminder / round-up of my Lib Dem colleagues on Haringey Council who are online themselves:

Matt Davies (Fortis Green ward councillor) blogs at
Karen Alexander (Harringay ward councillor) is on Twitter as @karenjalexander
Neil Williams (Highgate ward councillor) blogs at
Fiyaz Mughal (Noel Park councillor) has a website at
Richard Wilson (Stroud Green councillor) blogs at

Petition to improve safety on North Hill, Highgate

Lynne Featherstone crossing North Hill with Highgate councillors Bob Hare and Rachel Allison plus local pensionersHighgate’s three councilors (Rachel Allison, Bob Hare and Neil Williams) are campaigning to improve safety for pedestrians wanting to cross North Hill near Church Road.

Pensioners from the Mary Fielding Guild joined them and myself for a photo op to highlight the problems and launch the campaign a few days back and we’ve now got an online petition too – I hope you’ll sign it to help the campaign.

As Rachel put it, “At present there is little time for pedestrians to cross safely. This is a route to school and directly opposite a popular doctor’s surgery. It’s clear we need a proper pedestrian crossing.”

Your pressure has made the difference – good news for Jacksons Lane

Hurrah! Good news for Jacksons Lane Arts Centre.

It has been under threat of closure since last year when Cllr Neil Williams and I went personally to beg the Arts Council to carry on with its grant – and got a one year reprieve. The year is up – and on Wednesday the Arts Council will decide its future. Haringey Council has been the absolute sticking point – unwilling to commit any extra money at all – which is the price the Arts Council has been demanding as they want to see council commitment if they are going to put in their money too.

We (myself and the Highgate councillors) sent out an email asking people to email Matt Cooke (Labour Exec Member in charge of this) to give more money and save the centre. Cllr Cooke by the looks of it is not happy to have had pressure applied and is trying to say Haringey was always going to find some money. And pigs might have flown. People power has really made the difference. Thanks to all those who responded.

Here’s Neil’s email update on the issue:

In a letter sent from Haringey to the Arts Council on Friday – after your huge response – Haringey has now relented, and finally upped its offer of funding! This is very encouraging, and the ball is now back in the court of the Arts Council.

Claims from Haringey Council that it was always prepared to meet the Arts Council’s demands are totally untrue.

The Arts Council has long since insisted that Haringey take more responsibility for the funding of the centre – something that Haringey Council has persistently refused to do. Over the past year, Haringey has refused to up the centre’s core grant of £55,000, as the Arts Council has urged. In their own report to their decision-making body due next week, the Arts Council states:

Haringey has consistently stated that it is not in a position to offer additional capital and revenue funding to Jacksons Lane.

When we asked again for the the extra £50,000 on 22 December, the lead councillor didn’t even reply. As recently as last week, Haringey Council was refusing to help, offering only to provide half a day in officer time – nowhere near enough to help Jacksons Lane.

It really is your pressure that has made the difference – so many may thanks! We will keep you updated on progress.