Access for the Marian Centre is through the big metal gates shown on the photograph, behind the bus stop on Park Road for W7 buses towards Muswell Hill.
The entrance is by the steps on the right of the building, but a step free access can be found through the second wooden gates around the building. Look out for our notices to guide you. Bus routes nearby: W7, 144, W3. Cross safely using the zebra crossing or the crossing with traffic lights.
News of members
The meeting on November 20th began with a minute’s silence. In sadness we honoured both Hetty Bower and Vilma Grant.
We had hoped that Hetty would recover from her stroke, but unfortunately she suffered a second one and died on November 12th. There will be a private family funeral on December 7th, but a gathering to celebrate her life will be held in 2014 and we shall let you know details when this is arranged. It is hoped this will be in February.
We remember Hetty Bower as a founding member of our group, but her renown is national. Born 1905 as Hetty Rimmel, she devoted her life to campaigning for peace and social justice. Only last September she received a standing ovation for a speech at a Labour Party fringe meeting.
Hetty with her family marching to stop closures in the Whittington Hospital recently
She regularly attended the annual August 6th Hiroshima Commemoration Day.
Reg and Hetty Bower set up our Pensioners Action Group; we shall miss her – we have lost a loved and respected campaigner.
A complete obituary will be available at the next meeting.
Meeting November 20th ‘Scrimp & Save’
This was a lively session; our members exchanged ideas working at three tables. Members are apparently expert in saving money and also had ideas for saving water and fuel. We learned new tricks from each other; don’t despair if you missed it. The tips will be collated in a pamphlet to be handed out later.
Gordon Deuchars had come to tell us more about Age UK. Gordon added his comments after our teamwork. He concurred with many of our ideas, but urged us to observe safety considerations when saving electric light and heating. He added more suggestions on shopping wisdom. He mentioned ‘Love Food/Hate Waste’ that run events www.lovefoodhatewaste.com and Silver Travel Advisor, [c/o Age UK, 4th Floor, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, LondonWC1H 9NA].
Gordon urged us to claim the benefits that we are entitled to. Age UK can advise. 0800 169 6565.
HPAG attended the National Pensioners Convention Lobby of Parliament Wednesday 27th November, for the photo and at the Rally/Lobby. (Photos later.)
There was a very long wait to get into the House of Commons so The meeting started late. We had speakers from Unison, 38Degrees, Northern Ireland speaker for ‘The Hands Off Campaign’, Brian Sturtivant (NPC expert on pensions), Kelvin Hopkins MP and Rodney Bickerstaffe. NPC General Secretary Dot Gibson gave a rousing introduction on the many NPC campaigns on behalf of pensioners now and in the future. Keeping public services is crucial for us and the younger generations – we want no scape-goating of older people. Most important is to oppose the ‘Transparency & Integrity in Lobbying’ Bill being rushed through parliament. It is misnamed -the Bill hardly affects Corporate lobbying but would restrict the democratic rights of ordinary citizens belonging to charities, unions and NPC. Such organisations are not rich and have few paid staff yet the bill will impose heavy reporting, and unreasonable limits on spending long-term, not just during the election period. Do all you can to ensure that MPs and those in the House of Lords oppose it.
The next HPAG meeting is on January 22nd 2014
The speaker Joanne Barrett from ‘Living under one sun’ on Haringey Big Community Switch.
This is our Annual General Meeting at which you can put forward your suggestions for how the group is run. You can also propose motions on local or national issues that you care about. Please let us know well before the AGM.
The AGM for London Region National Pensioners Convention (LR NPC) is on March 27th2014. The following motions have been suggested.
This meeting notes that in the run up to local and parliamentary elections that it essential that candidates are fully informed of the concerns of older people and the National Pensioners Convention policies.
This meeting urges members to lobby existing councillors and MPs and candidates to make sure they are all properly informed and to gain their assurances for support.
This meeting observes that for the safety of travellers, particularly those with mobility problems or in need of assistance, stations in London should be staffed at all times when trains are running.
This meeting resolves to liaise with transport unions and campaign for all stations to be fully staffed.
The meeting also resolves to continue campaigning for stations to be step free.
This meeting recognises that the local authority provision of home care has been largely delivered through commissioning of services to agencies, and that many of these are employing care workers on zero hours contracts. We consider that this must be detrimental to the care delivered to older people, while we note that the care workers themselves struggle to give good care.
This meeting urges members to campaign for better home-care services by:
- Endorsing and publicising the NPC Fair Care Campaign.
- Lobbying local authority commissioners to strengthen contracts to ensure that care workers get training and good working conditions.
- Gathering evidence from local people in receipt of home care.
- Making contact with care workers to encourage them to join unions and demand fair conditions of work.
Reverse marketisation of NHS: to be drafted in line with our article in Ham & High
Nurse Staffing levels: this motion would back the call from the Royal College of Nursing for limits to be set in law for safe nurse to patient ratios.
HPAG will put these motions at the GLR NPC AGM. The full text of the motions can be collected on December 11th.