February newsletter 2014

Annual General Meeting on January 22nd 2014 (full copy on request)There was an excellent attendance. Some changes to the Constitution were agreed to add extra officers. There are now two honorary presidents – Hetty Bechler joins Bob Cottingham, appointed to express our gratitude to all the group’s founder members. It was also agreed that subscriptions should be paid by June.

Officers gave reports: on the website and publicity, the review of meetings and campaigns, social events, membership and current funds. The meeting thanked the officers and committee and agreed that the following should continue in post.

Convenor/Secretary: Janet Shapiro, Membership Secretary: Pamela Jefferys,  Treasurer: Clive Evers.  Social Secretary: Celia Bower, Panel of Chairs: Ann Anderson, Lauritz Hansen-Bay, Yvonne Bonnamy. For the additional posts it was agreed that Ann & Pamela are Distribution coordinators and that Ann is Publicity officer. Delegates to GLR NPC were confirmed to be Janet Shapiro and Sylvia Roberts. Unfortunately we still need a delegate to the GLPA.

Five motions, notified earlier, were proposed. These stimulated discussion and were supported unanimously.

‘Haringey Big Community Energy Switch’ followed the AGM

Joanne Barratt from ‘Living Under One Sun’ helps people with their energy bills. Joanne began by explaining payment types & tariffs, and how unit and standing charges affect what we are charged. The ‘Big Community Energy Switch’ works like an auction. To take part in this mass customer negotiation for an affordable deal with energy companies – or just to get advice – you would need to bring your bill to Joanne at a Library Drop-in. It could also be done online at www.haringey.gov.uk/switch.

Although Joanne does not guarantee your making savings, she has helped many people reduce their bills. Those receiving pension credit or other benefits are entitled to the ‘Warm Homes Discount’ worth £135 per year, but it is mainly the bigger companies operating a ‘Care Plan’ that deliver this efficiently. Joanne narrated various problems that people experience with direct debit schemes; such as being in credit by a large amount or having difficulty cancelling a direct debit.

She had many tips for saving electricity, such vacuuming behind a refrigerator – dust diminishes its efficiency, heating only enough water in a kettle, using slow cookers, wearing warm clothes, making sure one ate hot food, and the usual tips about insulation, many of which are in our booklet ‘Scrimp & Save’ that has been handed out to HPAG members.

We have her Power point presentation that can be referenced.

The Haringey Big Community Switch Library Drop Ins are:

  • Marcus Garvey Wednesday                   9am-12pm
  • Coombes Croft Wednesday                   2pm-4pm
  • Wood Green Thursday                            9am-12pm
  • Hornsey  Friday                                        9am-11am* Joanne’s session

Joanne stayed to answer questions and help with the raffle.


The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has negotiated with many organisations – hospitals, local authorities etc. to sign up to the Dignity Code. We have copies of the Dignity Code or see www.npcuk.org  It is important that older people are treated with respect in all situations, particularly when being cared for.

During the last week of January Hornsey Pensioners Action Group members joined with Islington Forum for Older People manning a stall at Whittington Hospital where many passers by signed up in support.

On February 1stDignity Action Day, we organised a meeting at Hornsey Library.  A big thank-you to the speakers who gave up their time. These were Councillor Bernice Vanier – Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Services, Haringey Council, Mike Wilson – Director Healthwatch Haringey, and Judy Downey – The Relatives and Residents Association. Saskia Schreuder of Haringey Forum for Older People (HFOP) also attended but Pam Moffatt was unfortunately not well. While we should have wanted a bigger attendance, there was a very useful discussion on problems with implementing the code.

This was a good practice run for October 1st, United Nations Day of Older People, when our concerns could be publicised locally. Let us know of any ideas for activities.


Our membership secretary reminds you that 2014 subscriptions are due. 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.


Look out for the article written by Pamela due to be published in the Ham & High on 20th February.  Members please buy your copy!

Social Lunches at Jacksons   Lane are held on last Thursday of each month from 11.45am-2.30pm at Jacksons Lane.  There is often entertainment.

Note: Wheelchair spaces must be booked in advance and discussed with Stuart over the phone. Due to space they can only accommodate 3 wheelchair spaces. For information about the next lunch Email Stuart at [email protected] or call 020 8347 2411.

Assisted travel

If you’ve got mobility impairments and have trouble using public transport, you might be able to use subsidised taxi and minicab travel in London. The two schemes are called Taxicard and Capital Call, the latter for longer journeys up to 11miles. Tfl consults on whether the latter should be closed from April 2015.   See https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/assisted-transport/capital-call  Closing date for comments is Friday 11 April 2014.