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

Lynne Featherstone MP takes part in Finsbury Park Community Games

Lynne Featherstone MP with volunteer organisers and children who participated in the Finsbury Park community gamesLynne Featherstone on Sunday attended the Finsbury Park Community Games – a sports day organised by Westminster Justice and Peace church group, in partnership with local churches, mosques and councils.

‘Community Games’ take place across the country, with the aim of bringing a community together to take part in sporting and cultural activities, inspired by London 2012.

The Liberal Democrat MP made a speech to the attendees, highlighting the importance of faith groups and community groups working together, and of keeping sport alive in the community after the successful London Olympics.

After giving a speech, the Hornsey and Wood Green MP met with the organisers of the games, and the people who attended and took part.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It was great to see the local community pulling together and organising the Finsbury Park Community Games.

“In 2012, we saw the most fantastic spirit from our athletes and our country. In Haringey we’re leading the way in keeping this up – thanks to the hard word of the community volunteers who organised these games and other events.

“Next year, I have promised to help the organisers of the Community Games promote the event more widely – so as many residents as possible get to take part.”

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.”

 

£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.”

Growing economy – Good news for Haringey!

Great news – the economy is growing at the fastest rate we’ve seen since 2007 – according to the Office of National Statistics.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also increased its growth forecast for the UK economy from 1.9% to 2.4%.

The UK has also seen a sharp drop in unemployment, and there are now more people in work than ever before. All good signs that the economy is recovering.

And we’re really leading the way in Hornsey and Wood Green. There are now over 1100 fewer people claiming Job Seekers Allowance than there were in 2010.

Youth unemployment here is now 3.8% – almost halved since 2010.

And finally, the number of registered enterprises in Hornsey and Wood Green is on the up, from 4,855 in 2011 to 5,450 now.

The plan is working – and so are we!

What changes would you like to see in Haringey?

Here’s my latest Muswell Flyer article – on the changes I want to see in our borough this year. Also available here

The Christmas festivities are over and I hope everyone had a great time welcoming in the New Year. Alongside my usual resolutions, there is something specific I want to see in 2014.

This year, I want to see a change in how our local services are run and how our council tax money is spent. And with a local election taking place in May – change is a real possibility!

Our borough has so much potential – it is a truly vibrant and diverse area. But, like many Haringey residents who contact me, I am fed up of paying one of the highest rates of Council Tax in London and receiving a poor service in return.

Last year, Haringey Council (which is currently run by Labour) failed to deliver on many key local services.

On housing, the Council allowed £3.7 million to be spent on bonuses for housing staff while cancelling vital and long-overdue repair works for local homes. I receive so many complaints from local residents in social housing about the lack of repairs – and I just cannot believe that millions have been spent on bonuses for failure.

Our local streets are also not up to scratch. A survey I ran last year on rubbish collections turned up over 400 complaints about missed collections, bins in the wrong place, and piles of rotting rubbish.

Another survey revealed hundreds of complaints about potholes and lighting, too – despite the Council promising a ‘pothole blitz’ earlier in the year.

And also – the Labour-run Council is still refusing Lib Dem calls for an independent review into Children’s Services, despite further shocking failures to protect some of the borough’s most vulnerable children.

This is a small summary of the problems we have in Haringey. Labour has had 40 years in charge of Haringey Council, and I think it’s about time that changed.

In contrast to Labour, the local Lib Dems are constantly campaigning for improved local services. They’ve been instrumental in saving our parcel collection points and local train services, alongside pushing the Council into action on numerous issues – forcing them to consult on 20mph roads and to build new homes to ease the housing crisis, for instance.

The local Lib Dems are also committed to continuing the fight against development on Pinkham Way, and to improving the state of our streets. We’ve fought hard for independent shops by campaigning for thirty minutes free parking, and free parking over the entire Christmas period. And, the Lib Dems are committed to supporting our local Credit Union as an alternative to payday loan shops.

For me, the choice is easy. What we need is a Council that listens to residents and works for them. I will be campaigning hard to help the Lib Dems take control of the Council so that we can see real, positive changes to Haringey in 2014. Now, that really would be a happy new year!

A year of local delivery!

Here’s my latest Ham and High column, following a great year of working with local residents to protect our services

2013 was a year of people power in Haringey – with thousands of local residents and Liberal Democrats joining forces to protect local services.

At the beginning of the year, the proposed sell off of land at the Whittington Hospital was successfully halted, following a campaign by over 4,500 local residents and the Haringey Liberal Democrats.

Later in the year thousands of Lib Dem petition signers also prevented Royal Mail’s planned closure of Hornsey Sorting Office, and also stopped the threatened loss of local rail services at Hornsey and Harringay stations.

Local High Street traders also made their voices heard, calling for lower High Street parking charges. The Haringey Lib Dems and I backed them, by running a campaign for thirty minutes free parking and holding the Independent Shops Competition to give our best local stores some much deserved publicity.

The North London Waste Authority also finally backtracked on their idea to build a waste plant on the Pinkham Way site, thanks to a great campaign effort by the Pinkham Way Alliance, local residents and the Lib Dems. The NLWA still own the land, though – so we remain vigilant.

Last year was also great for jobs and apprenticeships – with more and more Haringey residents finding work. Since 2010, unemployment is at its lowest level in my constituency (over 1000 less JSA claimants), and youth unemployment has fallen by a third.

The apprenticeship event I ran this year was very popular and successful. I was so impressed with the ambition and drive of the young people who attended – and so were the employers. One Haringey young person was snapped up by an employer just a day after the event!

Looking forward to next year, I hope for more hard work and successes for the Lib Dems and people power. And one date in particular springs to mind – May 22nd, the next round of local elections.

Last year, Haringey Council (which is currently run by Labour) failed to deliver on many key local services. Our roads are in a state, two thirds of residents are dissatisfied with their rubbish collections, and Childrens Services has been tarnished with more child protection scandals.

And at the same time, the Labour-run Council continues to waste money. £3.7 million in shockingly large bonuses were dished out to repairs staff – while essential repair work to local homes was cancelled. It’s no wonder Haringey Council is the fourth most complained about in the country.

That’s why I want to see a change in how our local services are run and how our Council Tax money is spent.

And after this great year of local delivery and working with residents, I hope it’s the Haringey Liberal Democrats that take control of Haringey Council, so they can work with residents to fix Haringey for good.

Now, that really would be a happy new year!