Zoom's Wood Green Santa 5th winner of Lynne Featherstone's Christmas Card competition

Lynne Featherstone and competition winner Zoom RockmanWith his festive, innovative and eye-catching design of Santa flying over Wood Green Shopping city, ten year old Zoom Rockman today became the fifth winner of Lynne Featherstone MPs annual Christmas card competition.
 
The Hornsey and Wood Green MP congratulated the Rokesly Junior student with a certificate and book vouchers, and his winning design will appear on the thousands of Christmas cards being sent out across the borough in December.
 
Lynne Featherstone was sent hundreds of entries from primary school students across the constituency and, in addition to the winning entry, two runners-up were selected, whose pictures will appear on the back of the card. These are: Georgia Aberdeen from Highgate Primary and Katy O’Neill from Campsbourne Primary.
 
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
 
“Zoom’s Wood Green Santa was truly eye catching – it feels really contemporary and fun and I’m really looking forward to seeing it on the cover of my Christmas card.
 
“The students at Hornsey and Wood Green’s Primary Schools never fail to impress me with their innovation and fun creations. Thanks also to the runners-up Georgia Aberdeen and Katy O’Neill for their colourful and clever designs.”

Rokesly School and traffic safety

Don’t understand why Haringey Council is not taking urgent action to improve safety around Rokesley School. The history of incidents, accidents and near misses etc is pretty poor.

There is no zebra crossing for children – only a brave lollypop lady; poor or no signing in most directions; no traffic calming or flashing slow down signs; and poor road markings.

Rokesley – for those who don’t know it – is the widest of three roads that come off Middle Lane. Traffic therefore uses it as a rat run – as you get stuck quite badly in the other two. Buses also zoom down Rokesely. On Saturday – when I met lots of the parents outside the school – one careered past at what must have been about 40mph. We all saw it!

There is a dreadful bend in the Rokesley Avenue and it is dangerous to cross – particularly for children.

Over the years several cars have been hit by other cars, buses and fire engines. One resident’s car was written off and destroyed a resident’s wall – only moments after children went inside the house.

There have been several accidents with children knocked down – one only last year where a young Rokesley schoolboy had to be taken to hospital. And many, many near misses – which of course – Haringey don’t count! Only two weeks ago there was a serious accidents and a woman driver had to be cut from her car.

So – I am asking for a meeting with senior officers about the situation – as Haringey Council has said it will do nothing other than yellow lines on corners and replaced paving. Not adequate.

I began by saying I am surprised as safety round schools is a stated priority nationally, regionally and locally! So – why won’t Haringey Council take action?

Lap dancing in Crouch End

Met on Saturday with the local campaigners from Crouch End who are motivated to take up arms against the application for a ‘gentlemen’s club’ (i.e. lap dancing) at the Music Palace – and after listening to them I don’t blame them.

As a liberal I don’t knee-jerk against the varying tastes and occupations of folk – unless they do harm to others. On this one I have to agree that the potential for harm, nuisance, noise and detrimental impact is high. Plonking such an establishment in a local buzzing busy high street means that it is not ‘out of the way’, it can’t be avoided and women, young girls and children will have to pass it – no choice. Whether or not is is true that men will emerge in a roused state – who knows – but if they do then that could have potential for danger and even if they don’t – women feel vulnerable in the near vicinity.

As to specific worries – well in the immediate area we have Hornsey School for Girls, Action for Kids (charity for vulnerable young people with learning disabilities), Rokesly Junior and Infants School and the YMCA. But even without these particularly vulnerable groups – there are issues for anyone made uncomfortable or concerned or even frightened to walk past. People shouldn’t have to feel intimidated or worried on their own high street.

There is a Bill (am finding out the details) on the licensing of lap-dancing clubs about to go through Parliament where it is widely rumoured that instead of only requiring a normal license – same as clubs and pubs – lap dancing clubs will become for the first time ‘sex encounter establishments’ which would require a different sort of license – same as the sex industry places. I expect that is why there is a shifty on to get licensed before the change in the law – so as the local MP I will be seeking to make any changes in the Bill retrospective too.

The campaigners want me to try and ensure there is a grandfather clause – so that it is not only new lap dancing clubs in the future that have to be licensed for sexual encounter – but that those already in existence (as this one will be if it gets its license) will have to apply for the new type of license which is much stricter on a number of fronts.

So – anyone interested in joining the campaign should contact me, stating you give me permission for me to pass on your name and email address to Alison Lillystone, who is leading the campaign group.

Fair funding for Harnigey's schools

Collect Lynne Featherstone campaigning against the £736 per pupil under-funding of Haringey schoolsmore signatures for my Fairer Funding for Haringey Schools – outside Rokesly School today. The basic issue is straightforward – Haringey schools don’t receive as much money per pupil as schools in neighbouring boroughs – hence my petition (click here to sign it online).

From the reply from Ed Balls so far – he acknowledges there is a problem and that a simpler formula is needed, is carrying out a review and hopefully in 2011 (!) will introduce an improved funding formula.

So – pressure to be applied, because our children and teachers shouldn’t have to wait until possible changes four years hence – though the good news from his response is that it suggests pressure may yet succeed as there’s a chink of light there already.