Lynne Featherstone MP steps up investigation into missing Banksy

The Banksy piece on Turnpike Lane, before its removalHornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone is continuing her efforts to get to the bottom of the mysterious disappearance of Turnpike Lane’s famous Banksy piece.

On Saturday, the artwork was unexpectedly removed from the wall of the Poundland shop on Wood Green High Road. The authentic Banksy piece has subsequently appeared for auction in the United States with an estimated value of £320,000-£452,000.

The Liberal Democrat MP has already taken the following actions:

  • Contacted Poundland to ascertain whether they had any part in or knowledge of the removal. The retailer has insisted that they are not responsible, but they are expected to shed some light on the course of events.
  • Used the land registry office to track down the building owners, Wood Green Investments. The MP then asked the company for an explanation, and to identify the collector to whom the artwork was sold.
  • Contacted the auctioneers, Fine Art Auctions Miami, to ask that the artwork be withdrawn from auction pending further investigation.

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

“I share my constituents’ great strength of feeling on this issue. It is clear that the Banksy piece was much loved by locals and visitors alike, and a community asset that was an important part of the fabric of the Turnpike Lane area.

“So far, Poundland have denied all knowledge and responsibility. The auction house has confirmed that a well known collector brought the piece to them, and said they see nothing untoward about how the piece ended up with them. I am now focussing my attention on the building owners, and the identity of the collector.

“It is totally unethical that something so valued should be torn without warning from its community context.

“I will continue doing all I can to investigate, with the hope that our Banksy piece might be returned to its rightful home.”


Lynne Featherstone MP demands answers as Banksy piece disappears from Turnpike Lane

The Banksy piece on Turnpike Lane, before its removalLynne Featherstone MP is making investigations into the disappearance of a Banksy piece from the side of a building in Turnpike Lane.

The piece, which was confirmed as genuine, appeared on the side of a Poundland store just before the Jubilee last year, and depicted a young boy using a sewing machine to make Jubilee bunting.

The piece is now up for auction in the United States, with an estimated value between £320,000 – £452,000.

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

“The Banksy piece added something different to Turnpike Lane and attracted many people to the area. It’s certainly a shame to have the piece ripped from the building and bizarrely put up for auction in the States – for hundreds of thousands of pounds. This just isn’t right.

“Poundland have said that they are not responsible, but I want to find out who is.  I will be making enquiries today to Poundland and the building owners and will keep residents updated. I will also make sure that the company auctioning the piece are aware of the situation.”

Lynne Featherstone MP visits Asian Centre in Wood Green

Lynne Featherstone MP being shown the activities offered by the Asian centre by Dipak Jashapara, Project Coordinator.Lynne Featherstone MP last week visited the Asian Centre in Wood Green to see the services it offers to the local community.

The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green was given a tour of the Centre and told more about the Centre’s activities, which range from yoga classes to computer skills lessons. There is also a focus on health, with numerous talks taking place on diabetes, cancer and general well-being. The classes and talks are either free or heavily subsidised.

After meeting elderly visitors in the day centre and visiting the lunch cafe, the Liberal Democrat MP went to the function room, and answered questions about a mix of national and local political issues.

Following the visit, Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“The Centre is an invaluable asset to Wood Green, providing a huge variety of services to the local community.  I was delighted to visit and see this excellent work first hand.

“It is vital that these community centres, run by voluntary organisations, are given the support they need to carry on. I have now written to my colleagues in Government to ask what further funding the Centre could benefit from.”

Lynne Featherstone MP visits local Oxfam shop

Lynne Featherstone at Oxfam (Wood Green) with four children from St Michael’s Primary SchoolLynne Featherstone MP last week met with Oxfam volunteers, local school children and community organisations at the Oxfam shop in Wood Green.

The Liberal Democrat MP was invited by local Oxfam campaigner Katrina Gajevska to discuss some of the issues affecting her constituency, Hornsey and Wood Green, and to comment on Oxfam’s GROW campaign.

The MP made a speech about youth unemployment and job creation in areas like Wood Green, coupled with the importance of volunteering as a means to combat poverty and disadvantage in a community.

And the end of the visit, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green was presented with a poster, made by the local school children.

After the visit, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“It was a great event, and I’d like to thank Katrina very much for organising it. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the participants – particularly the school children, who we’re very polite and interested in the issues discussed.

“Wood Green is a busy, diverse and great part of London – but there are also many residents from disadvantaged backgrounds. Community organisations and volunteers play a vital role in tackling poverty.

“The Lib Dems in Government are also working hard to address the problems faced by young people from these backgrounds. Since 2010, 2,550 new apprenticeships have been created in Haringey thanks to a Government funding boost. This year, Haringey schools will receive an extra £13million to help disadvantaged pupils, as part of the Lib Dem’s pupil premium plan.”

Liberal Democrats meet Woodside luncheon club users in continued fight to save services for older people

Lynne Featherstone MP with concerned service users and providers at Woodside HouseAs part of the Liberal Democrat campaign to save Haringey’s older people’s day centres, drop-in centres and luncheon clubs, Liberal Democrats yesterday met with elderly residents at Woodside House.

Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr David Winskill met with users of Woodside luncheon club at a consultation meeting organised by the Council who are planning to close the services to save £171,000 next year. 

The Liberal Democrat representatives urged all users to respond to the ongoing consultation, explaining in their own words how the closure will affect their lives. Many of the elderly people present expressed worries about becoming socially isolated, not getting a hot meal each day, and the loss of the treasured footcare service, should the club close.

Local residents who want to support the Liberal Democrat campaign against the closure can still sign the online petition on and visit to make their feelings felt.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“The Haringey luncheon clubs will cost £171,000 next year to run – that is a tiny fraction of the council’s £286million budget. It’s frankly outrageous that so many elderly residents will suffer to save such a small amount that can be found elsewhere.

“I know that difficult decisions have to be made – but my colleagues on the council have found significant back-office spending that can be cut without the most vulnerable in society suffering. I really hope that as many local residents as possible respond to the consultation, and show that closing this service is a poor way to save money. The Labour Council must rethink.”

Cllr David Winskill, Liberal Democrat Adult Social Services spokesperson, adds:

“The benefits of keeping the day centres and luncheon clubs open far exceed the paltry amount it will save the council each year.

“These clubs save the council, the NHS and other agencies large sums of money by helping to keep residents well-fed and healthy and out of the doctor’s surgery and hospital. But more so, they help create a sense of community and belonging for elderly residents, and these benefits cannot be counted in pounds.

“These services are cheap, and their benefits to society are returned a thousand fold. I will certainly make that clear in the Liberal Democrat consultation response – and I hope the users here today will do the same in their responses.”

End to dangerous drivers using Wood Green park as cut through following successful Liberal Democrat campaign

Local Lib Dems and residents at the Newnham Green site visit Motorists will soon no longer be able to use a Wood Green park as a cut through between two busy roads, to the delight of local residents, thanks to a successful campaign by Liberal Democrats.

Newnham Green, located by White Hart Lane, has for years been used by motorists as a cut through to get to Wood Green High Road. After repeated attempts to get the issue resolved with the help of their Labour Councillors, residents recently turned to the Liberal Democrat Woodside Team, John Thompson, Angela Kawa and Ian Simpson for help.

On Friday, following a site visit, Lynne Featherstone MP and the Woodside Team were given assurances that the Council will take action before May, to stop cars cutting through.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“I’m delighted that the Council has finally agreed to stop motorist from using this quiet green as a motorway.

“Newnham Green residents have suffered years of noise and have seen their nice green destroyed by cars and motorcycles, yet it has taken this long to get the Council to agree to what is a very simple solution.”

Woodside Liberal Democrat activist John Thompson adds:

“A lot of elderly residents and children use Newnham Green, and they have for years been put at risk from these dangerous drivers, with the Labour council sitting by, twiddling their thumbs.

“But following today’s site visit, I am glad to say that common sense has finally prevailed!”

Wood Green police station: latest plans

Wood Green police station film screenshotHere’s my latest column for the Ham & High:

The police are planning to expand their presence in Wood Green – keeping the existing police station in use but also moving the front counter to the Fishmongers Arms (right next to the Civic Centre, closer to the centre of Wood Green, closer to where people congregate and closer to the crime hotspots).

I was impressed with the new front counter – not yet in use – when I went with Cllr Robert Gorrie (Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Haringey Council) to see it and meet the local Commander, Dave Grant.

Having staffed and open police stations in the heart of our community is central to the fight against crime and the fear of crime. It gives us a police service that knows its community and whose community knows it. That’s why I fought for so longer to get the Muswell Hill front counter reopened.

The new front counter in Wood Green is much better equipped and located than the current one. It’s all ready to go – brand, spanking new – and has the advantage that local people would be able to use the front counter to report their problems in a much more peaceful and calm atmosphere – no longer needing to mix with the less salubrious side of station life with those who have to report to the police station, and so on.

If the existing building is also kept in use for police services, such as cells and a base for patrol cars etc, then this means overall a bigger and better police presence in Wood Green. Hurrah!


We need to be sure that moving the front counter doesn’t become an excuse to cut back, sell off property – and leave us with fewer services. That has to be the concern in these times of economic uncertainty.

And then there’s still the question of exactly what policing will be done from the existing police station building. The police have promised a public consultation on that – including the possibility of moving the front counter back from the Fishmongers Arms, if it isn’t a success in its new location and local people want it moved back.

We also need to make sure that any building work on the old police station preserves its historic front, which is a real architectural gem that adds to our community. Last time the police made proposals for the station the local community was rightly up in arms at the insensitive architectural designs. That planning application was withdrawn and we await a new one, due to be submitted in the autumn.

So we should be due two chances to have our say – the public consultation on police services in the area and also the planning application for the Victorian police station building.

But ahead of that the police want to try out starting to use the new facilities at the Fishmongers Arms – moving their front counter service from the existing police station to the new location.

I know some people have been skeptical about this, worried that it’s a way for the police to preempt those two chances for us to have our say later in the year.

But if it is a genuine trial, making use of new expanded premises and with a commitment written in blood that the final decisions will only come after we’ve been consulted – then it means we get to try out the new services sooner and it makes for a better decision in the end if there’s some practical experience to draw on.

So this is a debate which will run for some time – and do let me know your own views.

You can also watch my latest film about Wood Green police station:

Lib Dems demand action on road sign error

Local Liberal Democrats have this week asked how much Haringey Council has spent correcting road signs after it emerged that a sign in Woodside ward was incorrect, with the road name spelt wrongly.

The error was spotted in a week when many local councils have been criticised for using hundreds of pounds of taxpayers’ money correcting misspelled signs. The sign in Pellatt Grove, Woodside Ward, has been reported to Haringey Council and a request has been made for the cost of all changes in signs for the last five years.

In June 2007 Liberal Democrats in Harringay ward revealed that Haringey Council failed to spell Harringay Passage correctly. Haringey Council even spelled ‘councillor’ incorrectly on car parking spaces outside the Civic Centre in Wood Green in 2008.

Ian Simpson, Liberal Democrat Focus Editor in Woodside Ward, comments:

“It may seem like a small thing but the misspelling of the Pellatt Grove sign is a reflection of the poor service local residents currently receive from Haringey Council.”

Angela Kawa, Liberal Democrat Focus Editor in Woodside Ward, adds: “What is more surprising is that a Labour councillor hold his advice surgery only yards away from the sign yet has failed to notice it.”

Liberal Democrats launch campaign for local Wood Green park

Liberal Democrats in Woodside ward have this week launched a campaign to bring a local park back to life. Local residents are being asked what improvements the Council should make to White Hart Lane Recreation Ground, also known as ‘Pond Park’.

Local Liberal Democrats are concerned that the park, which has declined in recent years, has little to attract visitors and needs a face-lift to become a better place for local young people and families to enjoy.

The boating pond which the park is named after has been out of use for over five years.

Local residents can take part by signing an online petition to Haringey Council to receive funding to give a face-lift to the park. The petition is at

John Thompson, Woodside Focus Editor, comments:

“I remember playing in the park as a child in the 70’s it was a place where local kids met after school and played football. At the weekend model boating clubs would meet to use the pond. It’s sad to see it derelict.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“I hope that local residents will take part in the online petition. For too long the Labour Council has neglected this vital green space. We now need to see some investment to bring it back to life for local people to enjoy.”

Liberal Democrats welcome news of 24 hour Wood Green police station

Following a successful campaign by Liberal Democrats to improve police services in Wood Green, the local police have agreed to re-open Wood Green police station 24 hours a day. The news was revealed in a question to Liberal Democrat crime spokesperson, Councillor Ron Aitken, in this week’s Full Council, after Lib Dems expressed concern about the High Road police station front counter only being open until 9 pm.

Lynne Featherstone MP and the Liberal Democrat team have been campaigning for better police services for Wood Green residents and launched a survey in the Autumn to understand residents’ priorities on policing in the area.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“This is fantastic news for Wood Green residents. A lot of crime happens at night, but for some time now, local people have been poorly served by a barely operational police station.

“It’s so important just to know that the police will be there for you at any time, day or night, if something should happen. I think this will make a huge difference.”

Cllr Ron Aitken, Liberal Democrat crime spokesperson, adds:

“Being out on the streets, talking to local people, it’s clear having a 24 hour police station is high up on the wish list, so I really welcome this terrific news!”