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.”


Ringslade rat-run issue brought to City Hall

ynne Featherstone MP and local Wood Green campaigners discuss the issues facing residents on Ringslade Road. Lynne Featherstone MP last week met with Transport for London at City Hall, to discuss the ongoing issues with the Ringslade Road rat-run. The local MP was joined by the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly, Caroline Pidgeon, to argue the local residents’ case together.

Residents on the small Ringslade Road currently have to put up with over 3,000 vehicles using their road everyday – making it noisy and unsafe. They would like to see the road closed.

During the meeting, representatives from TfL did not reject the possibility of closing the road, but were cautious of how this would affect traffic on surrounding roads. TfL said they would speak to Haringey Council and look at the impact of traffic on surrounding roads. Traffic modelling will be carried out in the next 4 to 5 weeks.

Haringey Council representatives were invited to attend the meeting, but declined the invitation to do so. The final decision on what to do with the road is down to Haringey Council.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“Residents in Ringslade Road have been living with the problems caused by this rat run for too long. Yet Haringey Council has refused to listen, and has always tried to shift the blame onto TfL for the lack of action.

“Now we have met with TfL – we know that they are open to change, and will carry out traffic modelling to find a way forward.

“The final decision on what action to take rests with Haringey Council. I very much hope they finally listen to residents, and work with TfL to find a suitable solution.”

Lib Dem survey on Lordship Lane betting shop launched

the Woodside Liberal Democrat team, Kirsty Allan, Roxy Squire, Lynne Featherstone and Craig BrownLynne Featherstone and the Wood Green Liberal Democrats last week launched a survey, to find out local residents’ views on the opening of yet another betting shop on Lordship Lane.

A number of residents have contacted the Liberal Democrats expressing concern about the number of betting shops on the road, and the impact on local crime and antisocial behaviour.

The local Liberal Democrats are now trying to persuade the Labour-run council that another betting shop is wrong for this community.  The application could be rejected if it can be proven that local betting shops are a cause of crime.

The Wood Green Liberal Democrat team will be writing to Haringey Council in response to the planning application shortly, to fully represent the views of over 100 residents who have filled in their survey.

Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“Over the years, many residents have contacted me with concerns about anti social behaviour in the Wood Green area. The Haringey Lib Dems and I are committed to helping fight crime in our local area.

“I am fully behind the Wood Green Lib Dems. Together we will make sure the Labour-run Council is aware of residents’ views on this matter.”

Wood Green campaigner Roxy Squire commented:

“As a local Wood Green resident, I am aware that anti-social behaviour is a problem in the area. My colleagues and I are concerned that some of that behaviour is a consequence of the large number of betting shops.

“Local residents don’t want or need yet another betting shop on Lordship Lane. We want to persuade the Labour-run council that another betting shop is wrong for this community – but we need residents’ support.

“That’s why we’ve launched our survey, and I hope as many residents as possible respond.”

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!

Lib Dems formally criticise Mayor's decision on police stations

Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr Martin Newton at Muswell Hill Police front counterThe Lib Dem opposition in Haringey have slammed the decision by the Mayor to close the front counter in Muswell Hill and reduce opening hours at Hornsey and Wood Green police stations.

Lib Dem councillor and crime spokesperson, Martin Newton has written to the Deputy Mayor of London objecting to the decision and calling on him to change his mind.

The Lib Dems have argued that having a contact point in Muswell Hill Library instead of the police counter is unacceptable because it will only be open for a short time and will be based in Muswell Hill Library. The library does not have disabled access so will not be usable for disabled people who would be forced to travel across the borough to report a crime.

Haringey Lib Dems have been campaigning for a local base for the Safer Neighbourhood Team on, or near, Muswell Hill Broadway with an accessible front counter for the public to report crimes.

Local Lib Dem MP, Lynne Featherstone, is also fighting the decision and has stated her opposition to the closure of Muswell Hill volunteer counter and the reduction of opening hours at Hornsey and Wood Green stations.

Martin Newton, Lib Dem crime spokesperson and councillor for Fortis Green, Muswell Hill, comments:

“This decision by the Mayor is unacceptable. We need to keep a front counter and safer neighbourhood police base in the Muswell Hill area and to keep Hornsey and Wood Green open twenty-four hours a day.

“The contact point in Muswell Hill Library, open three hours a week is completely unsuitable and will not have disabled access.

“We will continue the fight to keep a police presence in Muswell Hill and keep Hornsey and Wood Green police stations open twenty-four hours.

“I have written to the Deputy Mayor calling on him to change his mind, protect our twenty-four police stations and keep a proper police base in Muswell Hill. I hope he sees sense and listens to us and the pleas of local residents.”

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“I am deeply disappointed with the Mayor’s crime plan for Haringey, which leaves the whole of the west of the borough without any nearby police station open twenty-four hours.

“In the past, I was promised that the Muswell Hill counter would never close without a suitable replacement service. The current alternative presented by the Mayor is certainly not suitable, and I will continue to campaign for an equal or better replacement in the Muswell Hill area. I will also continue to oppose the downgrading of front counters in Wood Green and Hornsey Police Stations.

“I encourage residents with views on the plans to also make themselves heard by contacting the Mayor directly.”

Read the full letter here.

Lynne Featherstone MP takes part in Wood Green Hunger Banquet

Lynne Featherstone MP with school children and hunger banquet attendees with the ‘enough food for everyone’ campaign briefcase. Lynne Featherstone MP last week took part in the Wood Green Hunger Banquet, organised by Oxfam volunteer Katrina Gajevska.

The event is part of the ‘Enough Food for All – If’ campaign – which aims to visualise the unfair distribution of food around the world.

The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green opened the banquet by speaking about the role of UK aid in combating hunger.

The Liberal Democrat MP – who is also a minister in the Department of International Development – spoke further about her recent visits to Ethiopia and South Sudan, where she witnessed the effects of uneven distribution of food and hunger.

The attendees then ate different meals, depending on whether they had drawn a rich, middle or poor ticket. The rich received the best meal, the poor ate only a modest portion of rice, and the middle-class got a slightly better menu.

Food for the banquet was donated by the following local businesses: Jai Shri Krishna from Turnpike Lane; Qui from Crouch End; Zer from Crouch End; Dolly’s Delightfuls; Bakes Cakes and Treats from Turnpike Lane; BG Foodtwist from The Harringay Market.

After the event, Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“I’d like to thank Katrina for organising this fantastic local event, which was a great way of illustrating some of the issues faced by the world’s poorest. It was a pleasure to take part and speak at the event.

“I was very happy yesterday when the Chancellor reaffirmed our commitment to spend 0.7% of GDP on overseas aid – so we can continue to help the world’s poorest and contribute to ending hunger in the developing world.”



Lynne Featherstone MP meets Banksy building owners

The Banksy piece on Turnpike Lane, before its removalLynne Featherstone MP last Friday met the owners of Wood Green Investments Ltd. The company owns the property on which street artist Banksy painted his ‘bunting boy’ piece last year.

During the meeting, the representatives of Wood Green Investments said that the piece was taken without their knowledge, yet they would not be reporting the incident as a crime.

The representatives also said that they would allow their wall to be used for street art, provided that the Council protected the wall from now on.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green contacted the property owners in February after the Banksy piece disappeared from the wall, and ended up at an auction house in Miami.

The auction, however, was pulled at the last minute, and the exact whereabouts and current ‘owner’ of the piece remains unknown.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“It is deeply disappointing that the property owners have chosen not to report this as a crime. If they really did not know anything until after the piece disappeared – then the person who currently has the Banksy piece is getting away with theft.

“Allowing the wall to be used for future street art is a nice gesture from Wood Green Investments – but what we really want is our Banksy back.

“I will continue to try and find out who has our Banksy, and hope that the property owners change their mind about reporting this as a crime.”