Thank you – it has been a pleasure and a privilege

May 24th, 2014

Ed, Katherine and me before the last election in 2010The results of the local elections were announced yesterday and sadly Ben, Katherine and I were not elected this time.

I’d like to thank everyone who has voted for us over the years and put their trust and faith in us.  It has been a huge pleasure and privilege to represent Stroud Green over the last 8 years.  I’ve met some wonderful people and I am extremely proud of what we have achieved for residents in the area.

We only lost by a few hundred votes so I’m sure that in four years time we will be back fighting to return Stroud Green to the Lib Dem fold.

PS – I thought I’d use an old photo for this post – Ed, Katherine and me in 2010.

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Are you ready for the Arctic Monkeys?

May 20th, 2014

Katherine and me in Finsbury ParkThe Arctic Monkeys concerts are in Finsbury Park this Friday and Saturday between the hours of 4pm and 10.30pm and I want to make sure Stroud Green residents are aware of how they could be impacted.

Katherine Reece, Ben Myring and I have been pushing Haringey Council and the police to improve the way the concert is managed, to avoid some of the problems that occurred at the Stone Roses events last year. As a result we have been promised that more toilets will be provided for concert-goers and there will be more police patrols in local streets. We’ve particularly asked for these around local pubs and off-licenses.

We have also pressed the Council to communicate better with local residents about the concert plans, and to work with Stroud Green Primary School to make sure there are no problems again at school leaving time on Friday and that the school grounds are better protected.

Key points to remember for the concerts:

The hours of operation of the whole Finsbury Park Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) will be extended to 8.30am until 8.30pm on the 23rd and 24th May.  The days and hours of operation of the Stroud Green CPZ will remain the same (weekdays only: 12pm-2pm).
Finsbury Park station will be extremely busy, particularly after 10pm and there will be restrictions on entrance and exit – so best to avoid if possible.
The gate into the park from the bottom of the Parkland Walk at Oxford Road will be locked from 4pm on both the 23rd and 24th May.  The event organisers will start taking over the southern half of the park from this Thursday 15th May.
Seven Sisters Road will be closed between Green Lanes and Hornsey Road from approximately 10.15 pm to 11.00pm.
There is further information on the Council’s website here and there will be a phone helpline open for residents from 12noon on the 23rd on  020 8489 8232.
I really hope that things go as smoothly as possible on the bank holiday weekend, but please let me know if there are any problems, so we can press the council and police to improve arrangements for the next concerts in July.
  • The hours of operation of the whole Finsbury Park Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) will be extended to 8.30am until 8.30pm on the 23rd and 24th May.  The days and hours of operation of the Stroud Green CPZ will remain the same (weekdays only: 12pm-2pm).
  • Finsbury Park station will be extremely busy, particularly after 10pm and there will be restrictions on entrance and exit – so best to avoid if possible.
  • The gate into the park from the bottom of the Parkland Walk at Oxford Road will be locked from 4pm on both the 23rd and 24th May. The event organisers have already started taking over the southern half of the park from last Thursday.
  • Seven Sisters Road will be closed between Green Lanes and Hornsey Road from approximately 10.15 pm to 11.00pm.
  • There is further information on the Council’s website here and there will be a phone helpline open for residents from 12noon on the 23rd on  020 8489 8232.

I really hope that things go as smoothly as possible on the bank holiday weekend, but please let me know if there are any problems, so we can press the council and police to improve arrangements for the next concerts in July.  The Labour-run Council want to have five weekends of big concerts a year in Finsbury Park – we think this is way too much and risks damaging the park.  You can read my previous posts on this here.

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Just one week to decide who you want to represent Stroud Green

May 15th, 2014

Me, Katherine, Lynne and BenThe local elections for Haringey Council are on Thursday 22nd May.  I’ve been your councillor here for 8 years and am standing again to fight for local residents and to keep improving our neighbourhood.  My hard-working colleague Katherine Reece is also re-standing.

The newest member on the team is Ben Myring who lives on Mount View Road and is standing for the first time.  He’s been out knocking on doors with me and Katherine for over a year now, and is very passionate about planning issues, protecting the Stroud Green Conservation Area and improving local train services which he uses daily to commute to central London.

Its great to have such a worthy successor to Ed Butcher who is standing down after 8 years diligent work as our local councillor.

We have knocked on every door in the ward several times in the last 2 years – but if you haven’t met us yet then please come along to the election event being held by local community groups on Monday night (19th May).  The hustings is being held in the Station House (the MIND centre) on Stapleton Hall Road from 7-9pm and Ben, Katherine and I will be there to answer questions along with candidates from the other parties.

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Haringey Council fails again with unique wrong-way roundabout

April 9th, 2014

Katherine and Ben give the thumbs down to Haringey's Magic RoundaboutA week too late for April Fools Day, Haringey Council have decided to rewrite the Highway Code and create a wrong-way roundabout.  The bungling Labour-run Council have created this ‘Magic Roundabout’ on the junction of Stapleton Hall Road and Oakfield Road.  The road markings encourage confused road users to navigate in an anti-clockwise direction rather than the usual clockwise.

Thankfully, the council has realised its error and removed the dangerously-wrong road markings. However, this is just one example of recent mistakes, which makes you wonder if Haringey Council has any grip on what its highways contractor is up to.  For instance, last week they had to apologise to residents on Inderwick Road after causing complete chaos by making everyone move their cars with no notice – only to realise they were fixing the wrong pavement.  A similar blunder recently happened in Uplands Road where the wrong section of road was mistakenly resurfaced – leaving the worst section with all the potholes untouched.

But then again perhaps this roundabout is just a clever metaphor for Haringey Council under Labour for the last 40 years – going round and round the wrong way.

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Councillors and MP back plan to re-open Weston Park Post Office

April 8th, 2014

Lynne and Katherine with local newsagent Mr ShahThe new owner of the newsagent on Weston Park is keen to re-open the Post Office counter that used to be based in the shop, until it was closed six years ago by the last Labour Government.  Mr Shah has enlisted the help of local councillor Katherine Reece and Lynne Featherstone MP who has contacted the Post Office in support of his bid.

Re-opening the Post Office would be a huge boost to the little parade of shops on Weston Park and would be extremely handy for local residents.  The last Government closed both the Post Offices on Ferme Park Road and Weston Park forcing many Stroud Green residents to join the queues at the main branch in Crouch End.

After years of decline the Post Office have started reinvesting in local branches – such as the one on Hornsey High Street, which I sometimes use.  However, getting them to re-open closed ones will be a challenge and I am pleased Lynne and Katherine are on the case.

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Narrow road junction gets long-needed safety improvements

March 24th, 2014

Improvements at junction of Lancaster and Stapleton Hall RoadsOver the last few years we received many complaints about speeding on Lancaster Road with too many cars and vans using the road as a cut through. In particular, many families walking to St Aidan’s primary don’t like the junction with Stapleton Hall Road where the pavements are very narrow. Therefore, I (and the other Lib Dem councillors Katherine and Ed) have been pressing Haringey Council to make the road safer for local families.

Over the last few years we have been successful in persuading the Council to find funding to improve both the junctions at either end of Lancaster Road.  But whilst the improvements to the junction with Upper Tollington Park went ahead two years ago – the changes to the junction with Stapleton Hall Road have been repeatedly delayed.
We have continued to press the Council and have now been promised the improvement works will start in the next few weeks. The changes should slow down traffic turning into Lancaster Road and make it safer for pedestrians to cross.
The council should be confirming details soon but do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

In the last couple of years we have been successful in persuading the Council to find funding to improve both the junctions at either end of Lancaster Road.  But whilst the improvements to the junction at the other end of the road with Upper Tollington Park went ahead two years ago – the changes to the junction with Stapleton Hall Road have been repeatedly delayed.

I’ve kept chasing the Council and am delighted that – at last- works have now started to improve the road by narrowing and raising the road junction and widening some of the pavement. The changes should hopefully slow down traffic turning into and out of Lancaster Road and make it safer for pedestrians to cross.

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Victory in 4 year campaign to remove ugly old railings

February 7th, 2014

Albany railings in 2009Haringey is littered with ugly old rusting railings that serve no purpose and often seem to make crossing the road less safe. However the Council always seem strangely resistant to removing them.

One of the worst examples is at the junction of Albany Road and Stapleton Hall Road next to St Aidan’s School. Residents complain to me that the railings make it hard to cross sensibly and force people to walk out into Stapleton Hall road to go around them. Even the school agrees that the railings don’t help with safety and should go.

I first asked Haringey Council to remove the railings in 2009 but was told time and time again it wasn’t possible. The good new is that after 4 years of nagging they have conceded. I’ve now been told that work to remove the railings, and to lower the kerb to help people cross, will start on 17 February. Great news for local residents – its just a shame its taken over 4 years for the Labour-run Council to listen.

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