Traffic calming consultation gets green light

Haringey Liberal Democrats are urging residents to take part in a statutory consultation on plans to provide new traffic calming measures and 20mph limits in the Palace Gates area of Alexandra ward.

All households in the consultation area received documents from Haringey Council on 4 March 2010 to take part before the deadline for responses on 25 March 2010.

The consultation marks the last step of a six year campaign by Liberal Democrats and local residents, to improve road safety in the area. The ban on heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), which was part of the successful campaign, was finalised at the beginning of the year.

Cllr Susan Oatway (Alexandra) comments:

“This is one of the final steps in our six year campaign, backed by local residents, to improve road safety in the Palace Gates area. I urge all residents to take part, as your views and comments matter.”

Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, adds:

“After the successful agreement of the HGV ban, this new consultation will give local residents the opportunity to make our roads safer.”

HGV ban and traffic calming consultations to start at last

Good news as, to quote the press release from a few days ago:

After a six-year campaign local Liberal Democrats in Alexandra ward have welcomed the announcement last week of the start of consultations on the introduction of a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) ban and traffic calming measures.

From 14th April until 12th May local residents in the Palace Gates triangle area will be asked their opinion on traffic calming, including a 20mph limit and an HGV ban in the local area. Also in April local residents in the rest of the affected area will be consulted on the plan to ban HGVs.

For many years residents have been plagued by noise and vibration caused by HGV drivers taking shortcuts down small residential streets. The HGV exclusion area proposed stretches from Muswell Hill Broadway in the west, to Dukes Avenue in the south, to Alexandra Park Road/Albert Road in the north and Crescent Road in the east. The ban does not include Muswell Hill Broadway, Alexandra Park Road or Durnsford Road.

Cllr Susan Oatway, Alexandra ward, who brought together local residents, Haringey Council and private haulage companies, comments:

“The fact that this has taken six years to get to the consultation stage is testament to the shear perseverance of local residents, including the hard work of the Palace Gates and Dukes Avenue Residents’ Association, to rid our local streets of the menace of HGVs. We have all worked together to make Haringey Council and private companies sit up and listen.

“For too long local people have had to endure large lorries clogging the streets and thundering down roads.

“When you get the document through your door, please respond, and come to the exhibition if you have any questions.”

Lynne Featherstone MP, adds:

“This is a victory for the local community. Thanks should also go to Susan Oatway who has tirelessly supported local residents in their cause. Well done and everybody – now take part in the consultation.”

Extending Oyster Pay As You Go

Started the day campaigning at Alexandra Park Station to bring in Oyster Pay As You Go as soon as possible.

As well as Nigel Scott (our candidate for the by-election in Alexandra ward) and Alexandra Councillors Susan Oatway, Dave Beacham – we also had Caroline Pidgeon who is our Transport Spokesperson on the London Assembly and Denys Robinson Chair of London Region – so it was a big do!

Loads of people took our little petition postcard – so we will be able to keep up pressure on Transport for London (and the Train Operator) who have been a bit tardy with stations north of Finsbury Park in terms of Oyster PAYG. And other Liberal Democrat councillors were out at other stations like Harringay, Hornsey, Bowes Park etc. Onward and upward.

Then visited a delightful supported housing scheme in Wood Green – Raj Kunj – for residents of Asian community. They were so nice and raised lots and lots of issues – chief amongst which is the very short time the lights at the crossing outside their building allows them to get across the main road. Traffic comes whizzing down the main road – very dangerous I think.

Happy birthday Susan

I don’t often post anything personal – but last night I went to the 40th birthday party of Cllr Susie Oatway (Lib Dem, Alexandra ward). And I just wanted to pay a little public tribute to the work that Susie has put into Haringey over the last decade and still does.

I was handing out leaflets at Bounds Green Station during the ’97 election when I first ran for Parliament. A young women took a leaflet and went on into the station – reappearing a moment or two later to say that she had been active in the Lib Dems at college and was thinking about contacting her local Lib Dems. So I took her number – and the rest, as they say, is history.

I am not sure whether people (outside politics) generally realise the amount of sheer hard work that goes on in terms of year in year out campaigning, socials, fund-raising etc – and so I just wanted to sing Susie’s praises for working so tirelessly year in year out – and playing a large part in the fact that I am the MP today and that we have gone from 0 Lib Dem councillors in Haringey in 1997 to 27 today. It is the team – not the individual. A very happy birthday Susie!

Meeting with Haringey Council's Chief Exec

Met with Haringey Council’s Chief Exec and raised a number of issues:

– the fact that the Noel Park Recreation Ground children’s play area was still unfinished and the contractors according to a local parent had not even been on site for three weeks. I can’t think of an excuse and if they were my contractors I would want to take action.

– the need for Haringey to gain two stars in their star rating assessment for housing. Residents were encouraged to vote to outsource housing from the Council to an ALMO (Arms’ Length Management Organisation) because then they would get lots of money for housing improvements – but only if the service also got a two star rating. So I asked for the action plan and was told I can get it from the new Chief Exec of the ALMO who used to be Director of Housing at the Council – which I will do. We need Haringey and ALMO to deliver that action plan (and I don’t care to distinguish between that revolving door) so that tenants don’t face the double whammy of outsourcing responsibility for housing in order to get repairs done only to find that they then don’t qualify for the dosh.

I have offered to help in any way I can to lobby the Government on this (or indeed if anyone ever was interested to tell them what I know from all those who come to me about housing issues).

– the long time it is taking to get a lorry ban in Dukes Avenue. I know there is a meeting to take place (not the first) soon between my colleague Cllr Susan Oatway (Lib Dem, Alexandra ward) and the appropriate officer – but I want to raise the slowness of the process (years) and indicate that waiting for the North Circular to be resolved is like waiting for Godot.

– the poor result in Ofsted on Youth Services – for which the response was an assurance was that the Labour Exec Member in charge of this area was a good and absolutely committed councillor. All well and good – but I had hoped for a somewhat more robust assurance about what the Council might be doing in terms of action and resource in this area – when we know that so much of the anti-social behaviour that is complained about stems from young people having nothing to do and nowhere to go etc.

– and a number of other issues, including provision of business recycling services (a must in my view), lobbying on the costs of asylum and the need to investigate what is and has been built behind the shop fronts on Myddleton Road.

Ita (the Chief Exec) will get back to me on all of these in due course.

Haringey Council results

Well – it was very close! Massive Lib Dem gains, but not quite enough to take control of Haringey Council – Labour majority cut to just three (30-27 – no other parties have any councillors) with Lib Dems making 11 gains.

We also topped the vote across the borough – adding up the top votes in each ward – and actually now have councillors in a majority of the wards in Haringey. So – very close! Best every Lib Dem result, including our first councillors in Tottenham, many in Wood Green etc.

Lib Dem highlights:

Alexandra – 3 Lib Dem holds – Dave Beacham, Wayne Hoban and Susan Oatway re-elected

Bounds Green – 2 Lib Dem gains – Ali Demirci and John Oakes

Crouch End – 3 Lib Dem holds – Ron Aitken and David Winskill re-elected, joined by Lyn Weber

Fortis Green – 3 Lib Dem holds – Matt Davies and Martin Newton re-elected, joined by Sara Beynon

Harringay – 2 Lib Dem gains – Karen Alexander and Carolyn Baker

Highgate – 3 Lib Dem holds – Bob Hare and Neil Williams re-elected, joined by Justin Portess

Hornsey – 3 Lib Dem gains – Robert Gorrie, Errol Reid and Monica Whyte elected

Muswell Hill – 3 Lib Dem holds – Jonathan Bloch and Gail Engert re-elected, joined by Sheila Rainger (who has taken over my old council seat)

Noel Park – 2 Lib Dem gains – Catherine Harris and Fiyaz Mughal elected

Stroud Green – 1 Lib Dem hold and 2 Lib Dem gains – Laura Edge re-elected and Ed Butcher and Richard Wilson elected

Congratulations and commiseration to all candidates and helpers – both those who made it and those who didn’t, in all parties.

UPDATE: There are now further election result details on Haringey Council’s website.