Campaigning for you in 2015

Here’s an email I sent to my constituents yesterday. If you live in Hornsey and Wood Green – please do fill in the survey!

It’s almost twenty years since I first got involved in local politics here in Haringey. I joined a residents’ group and we protested against an unpopular parking scheme being imposed on us by the Council.
We were successful – and it showed how a small group of determined people could make changes, benefitting a huge number of residents. After this, I became a local councillor and then MP for our area.
I believe in a fairer society – it’s what I work for day in, day out – in Haringey and in Parliament.
That’s why, along with local residents, I launch campaigns to protect and improve our local services: like hospitals, libraries, stations, parcel collection points, bus stops, police front counters and more.
It’s also why my local team and I worked so hard to secure fairer education funding for Haringey – and now we’re pushing for fairer funding for our health services too.
Creating a strong economy is also important, to support our public services. That’s why my party took the difficult decision to enter into coalition in 2010 – to be part of a stable Government, capable of rebuilding the economy.
Now, both the deficit and unemployment are down. Youth unemployment here has halved – giving so many more young people a better opportunity to get on in life. But there is still work to be done.
I am standing again to be the MP for our local area at the General Election in May this year. Do I have your support? You can let me know who you’re supporting by replying to this email, or filling in this survey.

In the survey, you can also let me know of any issues or problems you’d like to raise with me. I’ll get back to you asap.
Thank you, and Happy New Year,
  [Lynne Featherstone's signature] 
Lynne Featherstone
Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green

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.”


Lynne Featherstone MP demands answers on council housing changes

Lynne Featherstone MP demands answers on council housing changesLocal MP Lynne Featherstone has contacted Haringey Council’s Chief Executive, to request information on the future of council housing in her constituency.

Residents in Noel Park and Bounds Green approached the Lib Dem MP, following news that the Labour-run council plans to sell off some of its council housing stock to private landlords, and demolish other homes

The affected areas in the MP’s constituency include homes on Park Grove, Durnsford Road, Tunnel Gardens and Blake Road in N11, homes on the Noel Park estate in N22, and land near Hillcrest in N6.

In her letter, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green demanded clarification from the Chief Executive, and put forward her view that no council housing stock should be sold off, without suitable replacements being built to house vulnerable local people.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“The waiting list for council housing is incredibly long and oversubscribed in Haringey. There are many vulnerable people that need decent homes to live in. We need more council housing – not less.

“But Labour-run Haringey Council haven’t built a single new council home in over 25 years, and now plan to sell off and demolish some of their existing housing stock.

“It is vital that residents are kept updated, and that no social housing stock is sold off without adequate replacement. I will continue to push the council for answers and campaign for improved or replacement council housing, rather than demolition and sell off.”

Backing Sky City residents in the fight for repairs

Lynne Featherstone MP and local campaigner Roberto Robles on the site visit, with just one of the problems faced by residents.Lynne Featherstone MP last week attended a meeting between fifty Sky City residents and Metropolitan housing association, who manage the housing complex.

The Liberal Democrat MP spoke up for residents, who have become increasingly angry about the lack of repairs and upkeep at Sky City. The local MP visited the complex last month to see the piles of rubbish and disrepair for herself.

At the meeting, Metropolitan agreed to take action, including a steam clean of the bin room, a short term repair for the lift, and investigation into issues with the boiler.

The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green has promised to keep in touch with residents, and keep on at Metropolitan until the necessary repairs are made.

Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“Sky City is such a unique area, and it could be so wonderful if the housing association did their job and kept it in good repair. It is shameful that they have let it get to this state.

“I am fully behind the local residents and will keep contacting Metropolitan until we see results. I am glad to see that some initial repairs have been made – hopefully it is a sign of more to come.”

Urgent repairs and improvements needed at Sky City

Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone and local Wood Green campaigner Roberto Robles discuss the issues with residents – and see some of the problems for themselves.Lynne Featherstone MP last week visited Sky City– a housing complex above the Mall in Wood Green – to help the residents secure vital improvements to their living conditions.

Residents of Sky City contacted the Hornsey and Wood Green MP recently, to express their frustration and anger at Metropolitan Housing, the company that manages Sky City.

On the site visit, the MP saw piles of uncollected rubbish, broken lighting and problems with drainage in communal areas.

Residents also reported problems with vermin, with disability access because of broken lifts, and with antisocial behaviour and crime.

Residents have sent a petition to Metropolitan, demanding a meeting and detailed plan for repairs and improvements. The meeting has been agreed to, but no date has been set. The Liberal Democrat MP has now also contacted Metropolitan on behalf of the residents, to pile on the pressure for action.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“Metropolitan need to take action, and fast. What I saw on my visit to Sky City was just appalling – there was uncollected rubbish strewn everywhere. The broken lighting is not helping the situation with crime and antisocial behaviour – and there should always be easy access for disabled and elderly residents.

“Residents should not have to live like this. I am fully behind them and will support them every step of the way to secure the vital repairs they need. I have already contacted Metropolitan, and will continue to do so until we see results.”

Lynne Featherstone MP demands rat-run action from Haringey Council

ynne Featherstone MP and local Wood Green campaigners discuss the issues facing residents on Ringslade Road. Lynne Featherstone MP has written to Haringey Council to demand action on the ongoing problems associated with the Ringslade Road rat-run in Wood Green.

Along with local Wood Green Lib Dem campaigners, the MP visited the site last Friday to listen to residents’ concerns.

In the letter, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green outlines her support for an immediate, enforced ban on HGVs using the rat-run, and for a longer term temporary road closure plan.

A public meeting on the issue will be held tonight – giving local residents a further chance to have their say to Council officers. The Liberal Democrat MP suggested that the Council come to the meeting with a plan to tell the residents.

Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“I can completely understand why residents are so frustrated. There are over 2000 vehicles a day coming down their small road – it is noisy, annoying, and unsafe.

“Promises by Labour-run Haringey Council to find a solution have not been fulfilled. This has gone on far too long now, and a solution must be found urgently.

“I am fully behind the local residents’ suggestion of a trial road closure, as a first step towards eradicating the problem in this area.”

Wood Green Lib Dem campaigner Roxy Squire commented:

“We are working with residents on Ringslade Road and the surrounding area to try and find the best solution for all. The situation on Ringslade is unsustainable and urgent action is needed.

“It is important we don’t shift the problem on to other roads, though. That’s why we are supporting an initial ban on HGVs for safety reasons, followed by trial measures, which we can monitor and use to find the best solution.”

£800 tax cut for 45,090 people in Hornsey and Wood Green

An £800 income tax cut for people in Hornsey and Wood Green is the real budget boost, Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone said today.

The budget revealed plans to increase the personal allowance from April 2015 and put an extra £100 back in taxpayers’ pockets.

Lib Dems have already delivered on a £700 tax cut for low to middle earners, but today’s news goes even further for hardworking people.

The number of people who could benefit from a cut to the personal allowance in Hornsey and Wood Green is expected to be around 45,090

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

“This tax cut is the real budget boost for working people and would not have happened without Lib Dems in Government creating a stronger economy and a fairer society. This was on the front page of our manifesto!

“The Tories are desperate to claim credit, but in reality their focus is on changes such as an inheritance tax cut for millionaires which we blocked, while Labour simply cannot be trusted with the economy.

“We are also helping people with a freeze on fuel duty and new tax-free childcare to help parents.”

Demanding answers from Homes for Haringey on Noel Park repairs

the audience at Lynne Featherstone MP's public meeting on the Noel Park estateLynne Featherstone has contacted Homes for Haringey to demand an update on urgent repairs to the Noel Park estate.

The Liberal Democrat MP held a public meeting in Noel Park three weeks ago, to give residents the chance to have their say and raise issues with housing chiefs from Homes for Haringey and Haringey Council.

Dozens of residents spoke of their need for urgent repairs, which Homes for Haringey agreed to fix as a priority.

The Wood Green MP has also contacted residents to ask them about the progress made.

The public meeting was called because of the lack of Decent Homes and urgent repair work being made to the houses on the Noel Park estate – a real let down to residents, particularly in light of the recent Homes for Haringey bonus scandal.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“Increasingly, residents from the Noel Park estate are coming to me for help with their housing, because Labour-run Haringey Council and Homes for Haringey just won’t listen to them or take action.

“Enough is enough. It is so unfair for residents to live in such bad conditions, while Homes for Haringey repair staff receive £3.7 million in bonuses.

“I will keep chasing Homes for Haringey to make these repairs. I am asking residents to keep me informed, too, to make sure I get the full picture.”


Join our call for urgent repairs to the Noel Park estate

Here’s my weekly Ham and High column – this time on the urgent need for repairs to the Noel Park estate – which the local Council are ignoring. 

Last week I held a public meeting in a part of my constituency which has been neglected by Haringey Council for decades.

Council properties on the Noel Park estate have not had any substantial repairs or ‘decent homes’ work for over 30 years now. Week in, week out, residents contact me in despair about the state of their homes – and express their frustration at the lack of repairs.

I’ve heard horror stories about individuals and families living with extreme mould and damp, broken windows, and faulty appliances. Yet Labour-run Haringey Council and their housing contractor Homes for Haringey seem unable to complete basic repairs in an efficient and timely manner – let alone organise ‘decent homes’ work, which would see bathrooms and kitchens replaced.

It’s particularly bad for residents on the Noel Park estate, who have seen the council spend the government’s ‘decent homes’ fund on other local estates and blocks – sometimes twice over – while they are ignored.

And to make matters even worse – it was revealed last year that the Labour-run Council allowed £3.7 million to be spent on bonuses for Homes for Haringey repairs staff. That’s £3.7million that could have been spent in Noel Park.

One local resident said: “Residents on the Noel Park estate need urgent repairs, but the council and Homes for Haringey have not taken action.

“It’s not fair for the council to spend so much money on other places, and waste money on botched repairs, when the Noel Park estate is in such desperate need.”

The local Noel Park Liberal Democrat team and I decided enough was enough. Over the last year, we’ve run a petition calling on the council to make vital repairs to the estate, and to spend money on buildings, not bonuses. We’ve done hundreds of pieces of casework on behalf of residents, to try and get them vital repairs.

More recently, we met with housing chiefs from both Homes for Haringey and Haringey Council. At the meeting, they committed to make urgent repairs to Noel Park properties and consult residents about more substantive repairs – but we have heard this before.

That’s why I called the public meeting – to finally give residents the chance to have their voices heard.

The meeting was absolutely packed full of local residents, who were very angry about the status quo. They shared stories about the troubles they face on a day to day basis.

This time, the council and Homes for Haringey made the promises about repairs directly to the residents.

I will keep a close eye on this – and ask the residents whether repairs have been made. If they have not – I will have no qualms about publicising the further failure on my website.

These residents have been ignored for too long. I hope, as a result of the Lib Dem campaign and the public meeting, the residents will finally get the repairs and living conditions they deserve.

You can sign the petition, calling on the Council to spend money on homes, rather than bonuses, here.

The fight for Noel Park repairs continues after packed public meeting

the audience at Lynne Featherstone MP's public meeting on the Noel Park estateLiberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone last night hosted a packed public meeting in Noel Park, to give residents a chance to have their say on housing repairs.

Over 50 residents made their views heard to representatives from both Haringey Council and Homes for Haringey. The concerns raised included a lack of urgent repairs, failure to provide decent homes work and poor customer service.

Having seen the anger and upset among the residents, Homes for Haringey promised to take action and complete the urgent repairs.

Along with local campaigners Roberto Robles, Colin Heinink and Vik Seeborun – Lynne Featherstone MP has long been campaigning for a better deal for residents on the Noel Park estate. They have called on the Labour-run Council to include the Noel Park estate in the Decent Homes programme – and for Homes for Haringey to spend money on repairs, rather than bonuses.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“I am glad that, finally, residents have had the chance to raise their concerns directly with the Council and Homes for Haringey.

“Listening to the residents and hearing about the awful conditions they live in, it is obvious that the Labour-run Council have let them and the whole estate down badly. This is a scandal, no-one should have to live like this.

“Homes for Haringey promised at the meeting to make the urgent repairs. I will be keeping a close eye on them, and publishing whether they keep their word or not.”

Noel Park campaigner Roberto Robles said:

“It was shocking and deeply saddening to hear what some of the local residents have to live with on a day to day basis.

“And their local Labour councillor, who is responsible for housing in the borough, didn’t even bother to show up to the meeting.

“Noel Park deserves better. Colin Heinink, Vik Seeborun and I will carry on fighting for residents, to secure the urgent repairs that are so desperately needed.”

Noel Park estate resident Carol Cabey said:

“Residents on the Noel Park estate need urgent repairs, but the Council and Homes for Haringey have not taken action.

“It’s not fair for the Council to spend so much money on other places, and waste money on botched repairs, when the Noel Park estate is in such desperate need.

“I’m glad Lynne called the meeting and gave us a chance to have our voices heard. I just hope the Council and Homes for Haringey were listening.”