Tag: National Pensioners Convention

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 (libraries.haringey.gov.uk) 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, www.berniegrantcentre.co.uk. 020 8365 5450

June 2014 newsletter

Wednesday June 18th Kenwood house

Trip to Kenwood House

We are not having a meeting in June but are organising a trip to Kenwood House, Hampstead.

Meet at Kenwood House main entrance at 2.15pm

on Wednesday June 18th.

Note the arrangements below.
Either get there independently: The 210 bus takes you to the entrance of the park (via Finsbury Park, Stroud Green, Archway, Highgate)

Or book a place on the minibus we have hired with Audrey ( places still available).

NB  Places still available.. Total cost will be £10.

If after booking you are unable to attend please tell Audrey so that some one else can have your place.

Please tell Audrey which of the 2 pick-up points you require:

  1. Hornsey Parish Church Car park at 1.45pm or
  2. Entrance to Odeon Car Park next to Planet Organic at 2.00pm.

Telephone Audrey on 020 8347 7989 and on the day Ann on mobile 07757634405

Note: There is a lift facility at the house we can use and a toilet on the ground floor.

Also Kenwood House provides a buggy service to collect visitors from the car park to its main door.

 Next meetings: July 16th Solicitor . No August meeting

Contacts: Ann Anderson 020 8340 8335,

Pamela Jefferys 020 8444 0732 & Janet Shapiro 020 8883 9571 [email protected]

May 21st Juliet Landau-Pope

‘Clear the clutter in your home and in your head!’

Juliet belongs to a professional association of declutterers and organisers but is also a lecturer in the Open University in social sciences with a special interest in motivation.

She first took this up when helping her own parents reduce what they had in their home. Juliet does not talk of ‘junk’; she does not urge us to chuck everything away in skips. Her approach is encouraging not ruthless.

It is for us to ask – ‘Does it get in my way?’ if the answer is ‘Yes’, that’s clutter. We have things for a reason but things may outlive their purpose. We are parting from things not just throwing away junk. People have different levels of tolerance but that can change with time. People who have not moved much have more clutter.

People may embark on decluttering when dealing with a change, such as marital breakdown or bereavement. On bereavement it is better to defer decisions; they are less painful later. Juliet described how she helped one woman tackle her late husband’s wardrobe, and later the woman herself decided that a single item – a pair of his shoes –was all she needed to keep. The same woman went on to coach in decluttering herself.

People feel a duty to their belongings and don’t want them to go to waste. But there is a home for everything through recycling, charity shops and Haringey Freecycle. Vinyl records were mentioned; a local Oxfam shop Books and Music takes these and will collect.

Older people facing mortality often start to declutter in consideration for their children. Juliet advised to pace oneself, perhaps doing it for half an hour on a routine basis as the process can be exhausting and painful. Perhaps start in the bathroom.

Bills and bank documents pile up, but it is best to keep them for 7 years, with specific papers being kept longer. Juliet can recommend a reliable person who charges £6/hr to shred confidential papers.

Hoarding is a specific condition needing psychological help. Hoarding is identified when a room cannot be used because of the amount of clutter.

Good advice from Juliet – if you have something you do not use you have to ask yourself whether you might ever use it, if not why are you keeping it?

Juliet conducts coaching workshops. www.jlpcoach.com tel 078178 33319



Please complete the questionnaire sent with the May notice. The responses will be compiled to help future planning and may help us bid for financial help.

 Activities past and future

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!

Saturday June 21st 1pm- 6pm National demonstration. “No more Austerity

The People’s Assembly : Assemble 1pm at the BBC Headquarters,Portland Place ( nearest tube Oxford Circus) March to palace of Westminster.

 HPAG Ham & High column. The next one is due on June 26th to be written by Pamela Jefferys.

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.



Dignity Day Saturday 1st February

Hornsey pensioners Action Group has organised a celebration of National Dignity Day, Saturday February 1st  from 2.00 to 3.15pm

This will be a meeting on Saturday February 1st at Hornsey Library that will begin in the foyer of Hornsey Library, opened by the Mayor of Haringey, and then proceed to the Gallery for speeches.

The meeting will celebrate the support of Haringey organisations that have signed the National Pensioners Conventions Dignity Code.  This can be found on www.npcuk.org

PS HPAG members will also be helping with a stand to publicise such events at Whittington Hospital on 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th Jan.  There will also be an event on 31st at Islington Town Hall.

Come and Join Us

December newsletter

We continue to meet in the  the Marian Centre at Hornsey Parish Church Hall, Cranley Gardens, N10 3AH, formerly St. George’s Church.April 2013 001

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.

IMG_0881Hetty crWe 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.

Safe transport:   

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.

Home care:         

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.