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 [email protected]. 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.