Category: dec 16 party

July 2014 newsletter

June 18th Trip to Kenwood

It was a lovely day at Kenwood and we were very lucky to have our member John Boshier use his former guiding expertise to give us an informative and amusing tour of the house.001 (6) 004 (5)

An American tourist and a group from Hampstead Garden Suburb (unfortunately living too far away to encourage them to join our Hornsey group) informally joined our party. We had an enjoyable walk along the terrace heading for tea and some of us managed to catch a buggy ride back to the front of the house.

Our Haringey Community Bus (this time with a lift included) was allowed to drive directly to and from the house front door which was helpful.

The interest in the film Belle (now showing at Muswell Hill Odeon) was supported by a life size copy of the original painting of Dido Belle with her cousin at Kenwood. The original has been sent to Scone in Scotland. In the Orangery costumes from the film were also on display.

Saturday June 21st The People’s Assembly

015Ann and others were able to attend the Anti- Austerity march of estimated 50 000 last Saturday 21st June. Janet helped carry the National Pensioners Convention banner with Dot Gibson, the General Secretary, and pensioners who had 001travelled from Liverpool. The march followed a route from Langham Place outside the BBC to Westminster through Regents Street, Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square made for a lively audience of shoppers, tourists and theatregoers. 005Unfortunately there was little coverage on TV.





National Pensioners’ Parliament at Blackpool June 17th – 19th

Look out for a report of Pensioners’ Parliament by our delegate Barbara Ryan. Barbara took this photo of Janet and Rosie Macgregor carrying the Women’s Working Party banner on the march to the Winter Gardens.Blackpool march 2014


Parliament endorsed the NPC Pensioners Manifesto 2015; we had sent in our ideas for this.At the General Election in 2015 we will call on candidates to support our 5 point manifesto.

  • A basic state pension above poverty level,
  • indexed to highest of RPI, CPI, earning or 2.5%.
  • Universal pensioner benefits.
  • A National Health and Care Service free at point of use and funded through taxation.
  • A legally binding Dignity Code to improve the quality and standards of care for older people.

Inside the Winter GardensNPC Convention 2014





Blackpool  2014


Blackpool beach in the early morning.



Forthcoming events in London:

NPC Transport Conference 18th September St Pancras Church Hall. Tickets £5 each, will be available from the NPC office. Book early!

UN International Day of Older Persons 1st October.

Affiliated NPC groups will celebrate Oct 1st in their locality. Let us know your ideas for an event in Haringey to attract the public. We shall highlight the value of older people – the importance of maintaining universal benefits that enable us to continue to give back to society. There will be NPC leaflets.

Britain Needs a Pay Rise: TUC march and rally in central London, 18th October. More details nearer the time; leaflets will be available shortly.

Local events:

On June 26th there was a meeting at the Birchwood Centre Hall, Fortis Green Road on the State of the NHS. This was organised by the local Labour Party with speakers Dr Ron Singer, Catherine West (parliamentary candidate) and Haringey cabinet member for Health & Well-being, Peter Morton.

Ward Forums are held in each ward:

Muswell Hill, Alexandra,Fortis Green and Highgate area Forum and Committee Thursday 17th July 2014 6.30pm. proposed venue: the British Legion Meeting Room, The Royal British legion, Muswell Hill Road London N10 3 NG. Contact : Clifford Hart 0208489 2920

Crouch End, Hornsey and Stroud Green Area Forum and Committee. Thursday, 17th July, 2014 7.00 pm Venue: St Mary’s CE Junior School, Rectory Gardens, London, N8 7QN Contact: Felicity Foley Telephone : 020 8489 X2919

Library Review: this is now published. Zoe Robertson has arranged for Friends of local libraries to meet with the Chief Executive and his Strategic Leadership Team on Thursday 3 July at 11am.

NOTE ALL HARINGEY LIBRARIES WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY 23RD JUNE to enable essential staff training to take place. Books and other items will be loaned for one day longer and items may still be renewed on-line ( or by telephoning 0845 071 433. Ask HPAG committee for details of events at local libraries.

Survey of Patient Transport

Good or bad, Transport for All would like your reports of patient transport in London, who will use this evidence to help convince London’s NHS Trusts that patient transport contracts must put patients’ needs first.

Please contact Transport for All before July 31st on 020 7737 2339 with your experiences. They can post some surveys for your group if needed.

Jackson’s Lane – not lunch but afternoon tea

at Highgate School 3.45 – 5.45 on July 8th. Contact Stuart Cox Participation Manager, 269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA, Tel 020 8347 2411

One performance only!

Friday 18th July 7.30pm “The story of Walter Tull” The first black footballer to play for Spurs. The first black officer in the British Army in WWI.

At Bernie Grant Arts Centre, 020 8365 5450

May Newsletter 2014

April 16thWhat do local council candidates promise us?’

As it was school holiday we were able to book the hall for this meeting. There was a large attendance and the Marian Centre would have been too small.

Ann Anderson chaired – briefly explaining that there are many candidates standing for the Haringey Council election that takes place on May 22nd. There are 19 wards each of which will elect 3 councillors, 57 candidates in all. [Note that on the same day we shall elect MEPs for the European Parliament, 8 across London.]

Ann introduced the five candidates for Haringey Council who had come to speak, one representing each party. In alphabetical order by party they were:

Peter Forrest – Conservative

Gordon Peters – Green

Lyn Weber – Independent

Mark Blake – Labour

Cora Jenkinson – Liberal Democrat

The candidates gave very contrasting statements within their allocated five minutes. Questions were then taken from the audience with HPAG members given precedence.


The issues raised were:

  • Questioning the wisdom of budget allocation that resulted in the closure of drop-in centres and lunch clubs.
  • Failure to Protect parks policy whereby we have a loss of footprint at Finsbury Park with permission for high rise building and the nuisance to residents from the number of noisy concerts allowed.
  • Climate change Many older people are campaigners for policies to combat climate change – what would candidates do – and what was their experience of gaining support from central government?
  • What future is there for libraries?
  • How far is the council responsive on local planning issues? This referred to a specific local issue where residents may take the council to court.
  • Will licenses for ‘Fracking’ be granted in Haringey?
  • How do candidates view the decline in mental health support
  • How do candidates view the scandal that 1 million people depend upon foodbanks.

The speakers were thanked warmly. The usual raffle was conducted, with a large range of prizes, then tea and cake was served. Many other candidates were present and able to meet with people over refreshments after the meeting.

Gideon Bull, a current councillor and cabinet member, although not one of the invited speakers, had offered to settle some queries that arose during the question session. This was found helpful.

Note that applications for a postal vote can be made until May 7th or for a Proxy (someone you trust to go for you) until May 14th.


Activities past and future

May 12th, 1pm, Join Fuel Poverty Action for a creative protest against poverty profiteers British Gas at their Annual General Meeting! This is at Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3EE Fuel Poverty ActionPhone: 07508202098

NPC (National Pensioners Convention) Pensioners’ Parliament at Blackpool June 17th -19th Barbara Ryan is one delegate, but we can send another member. Let us know if you want to take up this great opportunity!

NPC wants to know your priorities for a Pensioners’ Manifesto for 7th May 2015. Some people have selected their 5 priorities. If you have not done this fill in the form on May 21st.

Muswell Hill Library – The Friends announce that the Music Circle is presenting an event at the Library –

Music circle. Saturday 10th May from 3 to 4 pm.

The second in a series of workshops where we listen to and talk about the music we love (and sometimes hate!) using examples from the music of different periods and different parts of the world.

No expertise needed. Intrigued? Just come along.

Libraries for Life for Londoners (LLL) held a seminar on 26th April at which many Friends Groups reported their campaigns. Speakers were Diana Edmonds, now Greenwich Leisure Ltd. but some will remember her earlier as Head of Libraries Division in Haringey and Eric Bohl from Activist Group, Haringey Council. Janet attended and picked up a list of questions for local council candidates that would have been useful at our hustings. Different ways of organising libraries in the future were discussed and the mysteries of funding.

Note: Haringey Friends Groups will be invited to a seminar in the first week of July to discuss the Haringey Libraries Review.

Named GP for patients over 75. If you are aged 75 or over expect a letter informing you of your named doctor.

Focus group on 14th May 10.30 – 12.30 for those aged 65 or over with one or more long term conditions. This invitation is forwarded by Janine Aldridge from Age UK There is £40 on offer to those taking part. If you would like to get involved please contact Jenny King on 01865 208130 or email Please note that the £40 is being donated by Picker Europe and not Age UK London. The discussions will be on coordinated care.

HPAG Ham & High column. The next one is due on May 15th to be written by Barbara Ryan.



Meeting of April 16th 2014

What do local council candidates promise us? Hear and question candidates for Haringey Council.

Be Ready for the Council Elections on May 22nd 

2pm Wednesday 16th April 2014

Arrive any time after 1.30pm

for prompt start at 2pm

at the Hornsey Parish main Church Hall,

Cranley Gardens, N10 3AH

Entrance from the car park on Cranley Gardens – (Note not Marian Centre this month)

Buses W3 ,144 ,W5 stop nearby 

Next meetings:May 21st “Declutter your house and your mind?”,

June 18th Trip to Kenwood House, while delegates attend the NPC Pensioners Parliament in Blackpool.

Contacts:  Ann Anderson 020 8340 8335, Pamela Jefferys 020 8444 0732 & Janet Shapiro 020 8883 9571

April newsletter 2014

March 19th  ‘What future for the NHS?’

There were three speakers: Janet Shapiro summarised the ‘long view of the NHS since 1948’, Rod Wells told us about the campaign ‘Haringey Needs St Ann’s Hospital’ (HANSAH) and Val Chagger introduced the work of Haringey Healthwatch. (Janet was standing in for Jan Pollock who was unwell that day.)

The ‘long view’ is a sad story. The NHS began in 1948 as a comprehensive service free at the point of delivery; it was centrally planned and managed. In 1948 it was – and still is – funded through national taxation, but now central control and responsibility is abandoned.

Aneurin Bevan nationalised hospitals, with consultants still in charge, but local authorities took over residential care. Primary care was delivered by GPs as private contractors. Free provision has been gradually eroded – some payments are needed for opticians, dentists etc. and we have prescription charges. For older people we regret the loss of Geriatric consultants that monitored care after discharge from hospital. But there have been clinical advances that allow fast recovery from major and minor operations.

The Secretary of State held control through regional boards; funding was allocated according to population needs. Unlike health systems prevalent in Europe that were insurance based, the UK delivered high performance care that was cost effective. (Workers in Germany make heavy payments for their healthcare.)

The % of GDP allocated to the NHS became scandalously low over the years, much lower than in Europe and USA, leading to long waits for treatment. John Major introduced Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) for new build that proved to be very expensive leaving hospitals in debt.

This affected us locally when the collapse of funding delayed the development with shared clinical and social services of HornseyCentralHospital. A clinic without the promised beds & sheltered housing was delivered in 2009 using costly private investment – part of Ara Darzi’s Polyclinic scheme. The dementia day care centre opened the next year part funded by the Lewis and Mary Haynes Trust that had waited patiently for years.

The internal market, whereby different parts of the NHS bought and sold services from each other increased overheads. Local management was carried out by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) with NHS staff who organised and monitored local services.

In 1997 Labour raised the NHS budget and reduced waiting lists, but introduced ways of working that fragmented the NHS. PFIs continued and private public partnerships like the Independent Sector Treatment Centres were encouraged.

The Commissioning Provider Split was forced on PCTs in 2009, putting potential service providers in competition. Central control and planning was lost, costs increased and staff security threatened. Hospitals were encouraged to become independent businesses – Foundation Trusts.

In 2012 the Coalition Government passed the Health & Social Care Act, a total revamp of the NHS. PCTs were abolished, their staff made redundant. Clinical Commissioning Groups of local GPs now commission health services; we have a complex structure of quangos, less public say and opportunities for private providers, many being global companies. On top of this upheaval huge budget cuts of £20bn.are imposed. In order to keep within budget many trusts lay off staff, make bed reductions and sell off property.

Rod Wells ‘Haringey Needs St Ann’s Hospital’   St   Ann’s is the only hospital in Haringey. The Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust owns the land and provides mental health services on the site. Trusts providing other health services pay rent to the BEHMHT. After local campaigners objected to mental health in-patient services being run down and transferred to Chase Farm, ward closures were stopped. BEHMHT plans to upgrade wards but claims that this must be funded by the sale of 2/3 of the site to a private developer. Knowing that Haringey suffers serious health inequalities and deprivation, HANSAH wants a ‘needs assessment’ to confirm that the land to be sold is indeed surplus to requirements and demanded that Haringey Public Health conduct this assessment. As this was refused the group are attempting their own assessment. The lack of GP’s is undeniable, made worse by Haringey’s population growing by 10% in ten years. HANSAH is in contact with the Health & Well Being Board but is frustrated that no NHS organisation appears to take responsibility.

Rod brought HANSAH leaflets and asked us to sign the petition backing their campaign.

009 (3)Val Of HealthWatch speaking with chair Clive Evers and Rod Wells of HANSAH to her left.





Val Chagger Haringey Healthwatch

Healthwatch Haringey (HWH) is the independent consumer watchdog set up to collect information and represent the views of the public on health and social care. It exists to give patients, service users and local people an opportunity to influence and challenge decision making about local health and social care services. Mike Wilson the Director spoke at the Dignity Action Day and the NPC Dignity Code is printed in their January/February newsletter.

Val is the Administrative Officer employed by Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB). She outlined that in response to local comments HWH was attempting to improve: – access to GPs and hospital out-patients, provision for mental health and patient transport. Five new board members had been appointed and HWH is recruiting volunteers to visit surgeries, hospitals etc. Val was asked what powers HWH had and explained that HWH must get a response to any representation.

Questions and discussion centred round the interaction between hospital and social services, poor communications, people going to A&E instead of GP, deterioration of premises and staff morale that led to running down of NHS. But the conclusion was that we must be vigilant and guard our services.

Rod helped with the raffle and speakers continued to answer questions over refreshments.

Important notice

To book a place on the minibus for the trip to Kenwood on Wednesday June 18th please make it definite by telephoning Audrey Evers at 020 8347 7989. John Boshier has offered to be our tour guide.


Sylvia Roberts and Janet Shapiro attended the Greater London Region NPC AGM on March 27th. A Hackney solicitor, Wendy Pettifer, told us about the increasing distress to ordinary people because of cuts to legal aid. The AGM passed motions on important campaigns. Ask if you want details.

Age UK Neighbourhoods Connect sessions: Contact 8801 5775.

Social Media Drop-Ins –for help with using mobile phones, computers etc. Hornsey Library Fridays 10 am to 12noon, Wood Green Central Library Thursdays 9 to 11am.

Meet a Connector Hornsey Health Centre Tuesdays and Thursdays 9.30am-12noon,  Thursdays 12.30-2.30pm – Wood Green Central Library– Thursdays 9.30- 12.00noon – Hornsey Library – Fridays 12.30-2.30]

Caring Connections Groups where you can meet people, chat and reduce loneliness. – Monday from 2.00-4.00 in the Garden Room at North Bank, Muswell Hill Methodist Church, Pages Lane N10 and Monday 11 – 1pm at Trees Extra Care Housing, 2 Broadlands Road, N6 4AN.

For details contact: Kathy Wiltshire 020 8885 8353 or email her at

Music at Muswell Hill Library

Saturday 12th April, from 3-4 pm. Listening to music and creative musical composition: the first of a series of fun workshops, run by Julian Silverman.

Saturday 26th April, from 3-4 pm. Piano performance by Alex Hall.

Social Lunches – 50+ Community Lunch Club’. Hornsey Vale Community Association, Mayfield Rd, N8. Home made lunch & activities £3 on 1st weds of month. Volunteers welcomed. Also at Jacksons Lane on last Thursday of each month from 11.45am-2.30pm at Jacksons Lane.  There is often entertainment.  Contact or call 020 8347 2411.

News Local Barnet councillors and local people continue to challenge the proposed franchise by Post Office Ltd. of the East Finchley Crown Post Office to UOE (UK) Ltd. that plan to put the Post Office counter at a raised level without any consultation with local disability forums.

Planning permission is being sought for the new piazza public space in front of the Muswell Hill Odeon and the shopping parade beside it. Find details at planning reference HGY/2014/0818. Comments to the Planning Department by April 15th.



March newsletter

Meeting of February 19th

Before our main speaker, Pamela Moffatt told us about the Haringey Forum for Older People (HFOP) for which she is chair.  Several HPAG members are active in HFOP but Pamela sought more members.

Clare and Eeva spoke to us from Fuel Poverty Action Group. We have a copy of her presentation. Ask if you want the notes.

This group campaigns for a sustainable and affordable system for providing fuel. See their website

Of the 2012 10,000 excess winter deaths one third are attributed to fuel poverty, most being over 65. The winter in 2012 was cold but there were fewer excess deaths in colder countries.

Prepayment Meters are 9% more expensive than normal billing; the Citizens Advice Bureau did a survey of prepayment meter users. Responses indicated that:

  • They were often fitted without consent when a customer had defaulted on a bill,
  • 77% of households reliant on benefit income spent more than 10% of their income on gas & electricity in colder times.
  • The exacerbation of Arthritis & rheumatism is linked to cold housing. These conditions were prevalent in those surveyed.
  • Of Prepayment meter users 75% said they found it difficult to pay for gas/electricity & 64% said they found it difficult to pay for food

The Big Six energy companies made £3.7 billion retail profit in 2012 yet average fuel bills have gone up from £800 to £1,281 per year. High energy costs arise from: the rising price of gas, ‘green levies’ (this money funds insulation, renewables etc.), retail profits of around £50-£100 per household, and payouts to shareholders.

What can we do? Insulation of our homes could save £400 per year, yet this is not a priority for new building contracts. The use of ‘Fracking’ will not bring down bills, but there are some local schemes where people cooperate, such as the Solar Project on an estate in Newport & the Wales & the Brixton Energy Coop. In both projects new technology such as photo-voltaic panels have produced savings – both carbon emissions and energy costs. There have been initiatives abroad, such as the city of Hamburg recently buying back the grid from a private company after a referendum; in the USA an Electrical Workers Union refuses to cut off customers.

Advice sheets were handed out; ask for copies or refer to their website. Those on pension credit, or at risk of fuel poverty, may be able to get the Warm Homes Discount which is currently £135 a year for each fuel (going up to £140 in April 2014.)  Pensioners qualifying are given this automatically, but you may need to need to apply for it.  Be sure to tell them any information that makes you vulnerable. Find more information on entitlements on the Turn2Us benefit calculator: or call 0808 802 2000. Age UK may offer free & simple insulation- call up your local centre

Another way we can help is by joining Fuel Poverty Action demonstrations that aim to publicise the problems and influence decisions makers. Older people can act out graphically the plight of the ‘fuel poor’.

Over the social tea-time, more questions were asked.

Notices included feed-back on a busy month, Dignity Action Day and the Care.Data for GP patient health records.


Our membership secretary reminds you that 2014 subscriptions are due. (£5 or £7.50 couple) Cheques should be made out to Hornsey Pensioners’ Action Group. Please post to Mrs Pamela Jefferys,  Flat 38, Bishops View Court, 24a Church   Crescent, N10 3NQ, or pay at the next meeting.

Activities reports

Post Office franchise: East Finchley Crown Post Office is to be franchised to Universal Office Equipment (U.K.) Ltd. Because of objections about disabled access, the Public Consultation  has been re-launched from Tuesday, 11th February until Tuesday, 11th March. There is just time to oppose the franchise.

Emergency welfare: Clive has had a reply informing us of the Haringey provision for house-bound people in any emergency such as prolonged power-cuts.

W7 and 144 bus stops: Sylvia has had a reply from Joanne McCartney (GLA member). Transport for London reject having the 144 share the W7 bus stop at Muswell Hill roundabout. Do we accept this?

The next Area Forum and Area Committee meeting for Alexandra, Fortis Green, Highgate and Muswell Hill is on Wednesday 12 March at The Londesborough Room, Alexandra Palace (Palm Court entrance), Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY starting at 6.30pm.

[Specific items for discussion are: – Traffic/Pedestrian Crossing Issues: Colney   Hatch Lane junctions with Alexandra Park Road and Pages Lane and Alexandra Palace: Update on activities and regeneration proposals for the Palace.]

The Report a Problem’ surgery from 6.00pm to 6.30pm will be attended by officers from the Council’s Frontline services and the Police Safer Neighbourhood Team will be in attendance.

Library Review: several members have taken part in focus groups organised by the consultant ‘Activist’. There is still time to have your say on how you think library services should develop in Haringey.

Contact Zoe Robertson, Haringey Council, River Park House, 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ Tel. 020 8489 2223

Assisted travel as in the February notice

Pamela Moffatt advises us that she would be sorry to lose Capital Call as it enables her to travel outside the North London region which Dial-a-Ride does not. But the £200 per year worth of trips allowed does not go far and could be said to be a limiting factor in its usefulness. Capital Call was always seen as being in the gift of the Mayor, hence this consultation. Pamela will write to oppose closing it. Write before April 11th. See

Ann attended Hornsey Connect on Feb 26th, organised as part of the Neighbourhoods Connect, a pilot project funded by Haringey Council and Haringey CCG to address issues of loneliness and social isolation.

Lauritz investigated the availability of non-medical footcare (toe-nail cutting) free at 5 day centres and for £10 at the Laurels, St Ann’s Road.

Social Lunches – 50+ Community Lunch Club’. Hornsey Vale Community Association, Mayfield Rd, N8. Home made lunch & activities £3 on 1st weds of month. Volunteers welcomed. Also at Jacksons   Lane on last Thursday of each month from 11.45am-2.30pm at Jacksons   Lane.  There is often entertainment.  Contact or call 020 8347 2411.

Hornsey & Crouch End 21st century homes: A weekend event – conference and exhibition Saturday 15 March, 1.30pm – 5pm at HornseyMoravianChurch, priory Road N8 7HR. Muswell Hill Sustainability Group. Sunday house tours (book online)